Yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Virgina A. Phillips, a Clinton appointee who ruled a month ago that Clinton's "don't ask, don't tell" policy (DADT), used by the military to discharge homosexual members who have made their orientation public, was unconstitutional, issued an injunction yesterday to stop the federal government from enforcing DADT. I went through the ruling and have to say that if I were on the Supreme Court, I would have to concur in part with it; the information from testimony from service members who were affected negatively by DADT was quite riveting, and I encourage everyone to read it. It remains to be seen if the Obama administration, which supports DADT's repeal, will appeal the injunction and the ruling.
This highlights the rank hypocrisy of this administration and the Democrat-led Congress. DADT was put in place in 1993 when Democrats last held a majority in both Houses of Congress and the Presidency under the aforementioned Bill Clinton. Moving ahead to 2007, Democrats took control of both the House and Senate again, and the Presidency in 2009. President Obama and most Congressional Democrats made it a campaign pledge to repeal DADT. And yet, what did Democrats in Congress do? They waited until this year to do something, after they had lost their super-majority in the Senate. The Pelosi-led Democrats in the House passed an amendment to the 2011 Defense Department fiscal appropriations bill that would automatically repeal DADT only if a DoD study, to be published after the election, confirmed it wouldn't be a problem for the military; the Reid-led Senate, on the other hand, has been sitting on it. This is nothing more than rank political cowardice on the part of the Democrats in Congress, who have used politics to further cover-up their own failures to lead. Again!!!
And speaking of failures to lead, we have Obama defending, in court, a policy he said he didn't want to keep. Now I don't know if he's going to go all the way and appeal this up to the Supreme Court, but it isn't as if he didn't have it within his powers to repeal DADT with an Executive Order; he is, or is supposed to be, the Commander in Chief of the U.S. military. And did he? Of course not. Nor did he ever push his Democratic buddies in Congress to get rid of DADT in a quicky bill when they had enough members in the Senate who would vote for it (including some Republicans, I would imagine). Instead, like the despicable Pelosi and Reid, he played politics.
From a legal and Constitutional standpoint, I don't have a problem with the ruling. We aren't talking about some policy that is going to fundamentally redefine what we are teaching our children or redefining what is marriage. If you take the time to read Judge Phillips' opinion, soldiers were not being allowed to freely and responsibly associate with others, which is a clear violation of their rights guaranteed under the 1st Amendment. We're talking about people who volunteer to serve their country, who want to defend all of us, who are willing to die for the Constitution, the country, and the people. The testimony given to the court shows men who weren't only soldiers doing their jobs, but individuals who were decorated and rewarded for being exceptional.
Allah discusses this and has a pertinent conclusion:
Exit question: Is this actually a blessing in disguise for the GOP? We may well have a Republican majority in the Senate next year, and without this decision the survival of DADT would fall mainly on them. Their inclination will be to satisfy the social-con base and vote to keep it, but that would put them on the wrong side of public opinion (including Republican opinion) and would instantly destroy any chance of rapprochement with gay voters. The judge let them off the hook by taking the issue out of their hands.
I would like to take it a step further. Democrats passed DADT, signed by the Democrat Bill Clinton. Democrats, including President Obama, did next to nothing to repeal their own policy, something they said would be a priority if they had the power; Obama even defended DADT in court. All Democrats did was wait for someone else, either a federal judge or a Republican-led Congress, to do their job for them. Republicans, especially Senate candidates, should slam their opponents for belonging to a party of hypocrisy and political cowardice of those that lead them.