What a mess the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy is in! On Tuesday federal district court Judge Virginia Phillips issued an injunction immediately stopping the United States military from enforcing the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy that has bedeviled the military and fair-minded people in this country since it was first signed into law in 1993. Judge Phillips’s action was certainly courageous, intelligent and long overdue.
The ball is now in Obama’s court. (Ahem) And here is what White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs read in what Huffpost reporter Sam Stein called an “off-camera briefing to reporters.”
The president strongly believes that this policy is unjust, that it is detrimental to our national security, and that it discriminates against those who are willing to die for their county. And the president strongly believes that it's time for this policy to end...The best way to end it is for the Senate to follow the lead of the House of Representatives so that that end can be implemented in a fashion that is consistent with our obligations in fighting two wars.
Absent that action, the president has again set up a process to end this policy. And I think the bottom line is that recent court rulings have demonstrated to Congress that it's time to act and end this policy; they demonstrated that time is running out on the policy of Don't Ask Don't Tell, and the bottom line is this is a policy that is going to end. It's not whether it is going to end but the process by which it is going to end.
Aren’t you thrilled that the President “strongly believes that this policy is unjust?” And what about “detrimental to our national security?” Thrilled you might be, but aren’t you also a triffle uncomfortable that this man who states that a policy is both unjust and detrimental to our national security allows it to continue for one second?
We now learn that Obama’s Justice Department has appealed the injunction, thus assuring that this “unjust” and “detrimental” policy will continue until the appeals process grinds away.
Also, don’t you think it interesting that the President is waiting, waiting, waiting for the Senate to take its turn in acting against the policy? Obama and the Senate leadership did not press for action when they had 60 votes in hand. Are we really supposed to believe that the Senate is more likely now to vote to do away with this “unjust” and “detrimental” policy than they were when the Democratic majority was flushed with Obama’s historic win?
Even the NYTimes is disgusted. They wrote this yesterday in a strongly worded editorial, titled “Dithering on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: [Here]
The Obama administration professes to oppose the odious and misguided policy of banning gay soldiers from serving openly in the military. So it was distressing to hear that the Justice Department plans to appeal a federal court order that the military immediately stop enforcing the law that is used to drum out gay service members once their sexual orientation becomes known...
...Now that the administration is expected to appeal Judge Phillips’s ruling unnecessarily, we hope the appeals court lets it take force immediately. It is unfair to persecute valued service members under an outmoded and harmful law that should have been scrapped long ago.
This temporizing is not leadership that we can believe in. Nor is it leadership we should believe in.
It’s not leadership at all...