momentum

Even Dick Cheney Wants DADT Repealed. Now Here’s How Dems + Gay Inc. Are Going to Screw Up the Momentum

Dick Cheney was most recently the vice president of the United States. Before that, he was secretary of defense. Which gives him a vantage point few people — whether civilians or military officers — will ever enjoy. We’d be saying that even if Cheney, on This Week this morning, did not say it’s time to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. But that’s just what he did. Now how can everyone fuck this up?

“I think that society has moved on,” Cheney says. “It’s partly a generational question.”

It adds Cheney’s name to a list that not only includes top military officials like Sec. Gates and Adm. Mullen, but also Colin Powell, a Bush administration official with direct knowledge of military readiness. It also puts Cheney’s views in line with, shock of all shocks, the majority of Americans (and 64 percent of Republicans). But Cheney, influenced by raising a gay daughter, has always been the conservative outlier with gay issues.

This is an excellent development (albeit not a new one; Cheney has long opposed bans on gays in the military). It’s a ripe opportunity for even more momentum on repealing DADT. So why do we get the feeling this opportunity to push efforts into a snowball effect will fall short? With the Pentagon’s “review” underway, we’re looking at a multi-year timeline before gays are finally allowed to serve openly.

It shouldn’t have to take that long. But it will, if Democratic leadership on a repeal is allowed to stand, or Obama’s hands-off approach to killing DADT continues to be blessed by weak Gay Inc. leaders.

It shouldn’t have to take that long. Not when the White House and lawmakers have so many pieces in place to push this through. Yes, “controversy” remains over homosexuality, but with the most senior military and executive branch officials (both former and current) on board, to not push for full repeal, in the immediate, is an opportunity lost.

It shouldn’t have to take that long. Sen. John McCain represents the past. So, too, does Sen. Jon Kyl,, McCain’s Republican peer from Arizona, telling CNN (see video below) he sees no reason to kill the policy. These men are increasingly on the outs with American views; moreso, they’re on the outs with the views of Republicans.

It shouldn’t have to take that long. Not often is there so obvious a stance lawmakers should take, simply because it is the right thing to do, but this is one of them. The ball isn’t just in Democrats’ hands; it’s about two inches from their hoop, and they still aren’t sure how to sink it.

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