how things work

An Actual Road Map To Repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (Not Provided By The Human Rights Campaign Slackers)


In August 2009, Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese said he and the White House had a “road map” to repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Solmonese noted “the LGBT community is feeling frustration […] that the road map and timetable have not been made as clear to them.” Solmonese then proceeded to not make that road map clear to anyone. Then, in February, a glimmer of hope: HRC shared with us “The Road to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal.” Except — joke’s on you! — it also said nothing concrete. And then came word Tuesday the president called to the White House some of the leading advocates of repeal, including Solmonese (and HRC’s legislative director Allison Herwitt), as well as Servicemembers United’s Alex Nicholson. There, he outlined what it would take to enact a legislative repeal of DADT. He shared some of that strategy at a meeting with gay bloggers, saying groups like the Log Cabin Republicans needed to secure two to five Senate Republicans to back repeal in order to push it through. Except the Human Rights Campaign, which supposedly has exclusive levels of access and knowledge about White House plans, has said absolutely nothing about what’s transpired this week. Who has? Mr. Nicholson, who just uploaded a video laying out, in detail, what this road map looks like today. Bravo. Seriously: Bravo. The gays in Kansas and Florida and Hawaii and even NYC need to know what’s going on behind closed doors.

With extreme clarity, Nicholson lays out the November timeline for repeal, the major players involved, the other variables (like requiring the president to make calls and push his staff to actually round up votes, not just issue lip service), and what to do about senators like John McCain (read: forget it!, and don’t trust anyone who tells you to waste energy lobbying him). “The road map is right here,” says Nicholson, who is working toward an end goal of dismantling his organization.

Incredibly simple and transparent, and thus, incredible. The Gays thank you.