Don’t Ask Don’t Tell – the Take Away

At todays Senate hearing on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Chair Carl Levin strongly supported repealing the law, saying,”The policy makes no sense.” Vice Chair John McCain opposed repeal indicating, “In the middle of two wars it is not wise… bad for discipline,and morale…”

Defense Secretary Gates announced he has appointed a working group to examine the matter and to make recommendations by the end of the year on how to implement such a repeal. He emphasized, however, it is up to congress to repeal the law. Democratic Senator Webb suggested he would like to hear the results of this working group before congress decides what to do.

THE PROBLEMS: Don’t Ak Don’t tell has been law since 1993, during which period there has been plenty of time for working groups to study the matter.  Indeed, President Obama, a known supporter of repeal,  has been in office for over a year, yet not until now is a serious study about to be undertaken, and it will last a year. And Gates implied it would take an additional year to implement it. Another problem: lengthy delays served to scuttle President Clinton’s desire to end this form of discrimination, and could easily play the same role now, particularly in the midst of midtem elections. A final problem:  it is not clear that the Senate could muster 60 votes to repeal the law.

THE SOLUTIONS: Senate and House leaders, and the President should use their muscle to get the needed votes soon,OR the repeal should be included as a clause in the next military authorization bill, in which case 60 votes (unlikely) would be needed to remove the clause.  

THE UBER SOLUTION: It’s time to show some audacity, Mr. Commander in Chief.  Our LGBT troops, their families and friends deserve no less.  “JUST DO IT.”

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