Over at The Advocate, Kerry Eleveld reports that President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are basically making no attempt to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell during the lame duck session. The thing about being a cynic is that you’re almost never wrong. It’s only when you let your guard down for a minute that they can put one over on you. WordPress won’t let me embed a video directly from C-Span, but you can see Harry Reid explaining the Senate’s priorities at AmericaBLOG. They will be impeaching a judge and handling a few matters both parties can agree on, like tax cuts. When asked about the defense appropriations bill, Reid said he was trying to figure out a time to move forward on that. You get the impression he’s not thinking too hard, though.
I’ll concede that it’s just barely possible that Reid is going to try to ram repeal through at the last minute without giving the Republicans time to offer a lot of amendments. He can do that if he can get all the Democrats and two of the Republicans to vote for cloture, and maybe he’s got the votes. We’ll find out by next Thursday. I’d be happy to be proven wrong on this.
While the clock is running out, Eleveld sums up the situation perfectly: “Bottom line, if ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ repeal dies on the vine, the White House earned this epic failure and they own it.”
In a way, though, failure to repeal would be kind of a blessing in disguise for the Obama faithful and for our friends at the Human Rights Campaign who have worked so hard for
LGBT rights the Democratic Party. If DADT isn’t repealed at all, they can try to blame the Republicans, and they can try to blame the community for not supporting the Democrats enthusiastically enough. If repeal passes, a year from now they’ll be in the far more difficult position of having to explain why Obama still hasn’t implemented it.
The best chance — and most likely the only chance — of justice for lesbian and gay servicemembers is the still the court system.