power plays

Did Our Threats Really Convince Democrats to Announce Their DADT Repeal Timeline?


“I don’t know whether it’s some desire on the part of some in the community to claim that they caused things to happen that were going to happen anyways so they can get credit for it.” That’s Rep. Barney Frank to reporter Kerry Eleveld, insisting all along that Democratic leadership always planned on repealing DADT next year, via the Defense Department budget reauthorization, and that news of such a plan didn’t bubble up this month because the gays were getting louder and angrier (and stingier) than usual. Meanwhile, that repeal deadline is far from “hard,” and for being an “open secret,” nobody is the gay press seems to have been talking about it. And HRC, the one organization you’d expect to be aware of (and/or promoting) this strategy, hasn’t told anyone about it. But Eleveld insists: “Quite honestly, this strategy has been sort of an open secret on the Hill for the past month or two — bandied about by activists, lobbyists, and Democratic aides alike. But until this week no Congress member had spoken of it on the record — or at least not that I was aware of.”