The inept character of the Obama Administration’s fumbling with Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the military policy of discrimination against gays, lesbians and bisexuals, was epitomized by the statement by Obama’s Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, who said that the immediate implementation of the order by Judge Virginia Phillips to end the discrimination would bring about “enormous consequences”.
Did it not occur to Secretary Gates that the enforcement of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell itself has already created enormous consequences? Why is Gates so unworried about the enormous consequences of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, while he’s terrified of the enormous consequences of equality under the law? Such comfort with familiar prejudice is not the character of government that Americans thought they were voting for in the 2008 election, when they put Barack Obama into the Oval Office.
The central Obama talking point of the day seems to be that, above all else, the discrimination of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell should not be ended by the courts – meaning that the ruling of Judge Phillips must not be allowed to stand. Through several outlets today, the Obama White House signals that if anybody’s going to stick their neck out for equality, it’s not going to be Barack Obama. The Congress will have to end the law, says the Obama Administration.
Congress hasn’t been able even to pass a budget this year. Congress is moving toward becoming a Republican-controlled body in a few weeks. Surely, Barack Obama and his aides know that Congress won’t take action to end Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
As much as President Obama keeps on saying that he’ll take action to end the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell discrimination, the fact is that he isn’t taking that action. Obama could end that discrimination for good, today, easily, merely by saying that he’ll direct the Department of Justice to let the ruling of Judge Phillips stand.
Obama won’t take that action, however, because he’s afraid of taking a stand against inequality in an election season. What a coward.