Next year's defense bill will probably include a provision repealing the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," policy, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) told the Advocate on Wednesday. Kerry Eleveld has the fascinating details:Frank said he has been in direct communication with the White House, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, and other Congressional leaders about the strategy for ending the 1993 ban on gays serving openly in the military.
Though some moderate Democrats have recently expressed concern about repealing the policy during a midterm election year, Frank said resolve at the White House has never wavered. "The Administration is totally committed to this and has been from the beginning," he said.
Anecdotally, Frank recalled an incident earlier this year when Defense Secretary Robert Gates made a statement to reporters suggesting that repeal was still an open question.
"There was a point where Gates said, 'If we repeal "don’t ask, don’t tell,"'— and the next day he said, 'When we repeal "don’t ask, don’t tell,"'" said Frank. "That's because Rahm called him up. The White House has been consistently committed."
If the administration wanted, it could almost certainly put off DADT repeal until after the midterms without suffering a significant political price. The fact that, according to Frank, the White House is choosing to push for repeal before the midterms suggests that gay rights may be part of of the administration's political strategy. One can make the case that focusing on certain social issues could actually be the right move for Democrats in 2010.
Now just because Congressman Frank said it will happen doesn't mean it actually will of course. But there are a lot of people who should definitely offer up some apologies if it does. I consider myself a pretty progressive person, but some of the hyperbole from a certain segment of the left over DADT has been, in my opinion, ridiculouos. I am not talking about people pushing for the repeal, I am talking about those people who every other week were talking about how President Obama was "selling them out". I am all about putting pressure on President Obama to fulfill his promises and I am all about calling him out when he doesn't but a lot of that over the top rhetoric was bullshit and hopefully this puts an end to at least some of it.
He isn't perfect but sometimes its worth remembering that President Obama IS on our side on most issues.