As I write this, Congress is gearing to come back to work for its lame duck session – a last chance Texaco before the new, more conservative class takes over as midterm victors.
And Harry Reid, Democratic majority leader on his last hurrah, has already indicated that his top priority bills are a stopgap economic measure and the Bush tax cuts, which everyone suddenly seems to agree on in principle but which no doubt will consume the entire two weeks before Thanksgiving in hashing out just exactly how much they disagree in fact.
Off that legislative list? The defense budget authorization bill. And even if it were to somehow miraculously re-appear on the agenda, it’s quite likely it would be without the amendment to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the odious policy which bars openly gay people, no matter how qualified or committed, from serving in the U.S. military.
Jason Linkins at the Huffington Post detailed the complete Democratic cave-in on the issue.
In the last few days, between his mojo-less dance in India and the visit to his childhood home in Indonesia, the mainstream media has let President Obama go on the record with how much he and his administration oppose any efforts to stop repeal of DADT. You’ll notice no one actually asks the president what he plans to do about it.
Is there anybody left that really thinks Obama gives a crap about queer people? Or that, if he did, he could actually take decisive action?
Because I, for one, am just having an Alice-in-Wonderland hard time reconciling how committed Barack says he is to our civil rights with the obstinate legal strategy he insists on using to defend DADT in the courts and which he arrogantly refuses to explain. (Yeah, I know he says it’s Congress who should overturn DADT – can we hear why? Can somebody from the administration tell us how defending DADT is really all about killing it?)
And is there anybody who thinks the GOPers, particularly the rabidly anti-gay new members of Congress and their emboldened brethren, care one whit about the president’s position?
Of course not. And it’s not just because they Republicans are still high from “shellacking” the president and the Dems. It’s because Obama has proven to be the easiest commander-in-chief to bring to his knees, even on signature legislation such as healthcare. Does anyone believe that even the pale version of healthcare that passed would have ever gotten a presidential signature without Nancy Pelosi? Hell no.
Ain’t nobody even a little bit scared of Barack, within or without his party.
Cobble this sad little fact with the Republicans’ almost completely unanswered use of same sex marriage as a scare tactic for the last 20+ years, and it seems a good guess that, unless pro-gay Democratic congressmen want to do some freelance heavy lifting, DADT is dead in the water.