this guy again

Richard Socarides Blames The Military, Not Himself + Clinton, For Making Don’t Ask Don’t Tell So Terrible

Richard Socarides wrote the talking points for the Clinton administration to defend the passage of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Since then, in criticizing the Obama administration for its lack of Oomph Factor in leading a repeal, he’s seemed to have forgotten his involvement in the horrible piece of legislation. Last night on Keith Olbermann’s show, Richard’s sideshow continued, where he blamed the military for not “living up to its end of the bargain” after DADT was passed. As in: Gays living their lives in private (including going to a gay rights rally) were supposed to be safe. “What they did instead was started this witch hunts against people.”

“This law might be around for a lot longer than anybody had hoped,” concludes Richard about today’s DADT vote. If it doesn’t pass today, “it’s gonna go away until after the election.” Obama, meanwhile, “has had the power” by executive order to end discharges, concludes Socarides. So did his old boss.

Except, uh? One day constitutes “a long longer.” But this badboy has been around 17 years. THANKS TO PEOPLE LIKE YOU. Jesus.

Keith Olbermann’s oversight in not calling you out on it? Fail.

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  • B

    Regarding ‘Obama, meanwhile, “has had the power” by executive order to end discharges, concludes Socarides.’ …. this statement is problematic insofar as it is based on the “stop-loss” laws. While the president can issue a “stop-loss” order and suspend various regulations during a national emergency, it has to be a real national emergency. Furthermore, if you do that to keep gays in during a conflict, once the conflict ends, the “national emergency” ends. Keeping gays in only when it is more likely that they could be killed is hardly a fair policy.

    It is reasonable to make the test for what constitutes proof of homosexual conduct as stringent as possible (e.g., being found in flagrante delicto by at least three witnesses simultaneously, and it better be a lot more blatant than holding hands or kissing).

  • Steve

    He is right about that part. Of course Clinton and the Democrats failed back then and let the military run over them, but this isn’t the first time someone said that DADT wasn’t meant to be enforced as strictly as it is. It was supposed to allow more freedom in people’s private life. In practice, not much changed compared to the outright ban.

  • Dallas David

    @Steve: True, true.
    Back in 1993, Clinton announced the end of the military gay ban, to much rejoicing in the glbt community. But the Republicans rose up in force, joined by the Religious Right (Jimmy Swaggart, Jerry Falwell, and lots of other TV preachers–this was the age of TV Evangelists) and the Republicans vowed to pass a law making things awful for any gay people discovered in the military.
    Clinton had no idea the Republicans would object so strenously to this, and he asked the advice of the two openly gay Congressmen from Massachusetts. One was Barney Frank, who recommended the DADT compromise, and the other one was Gerry Studds, who supported Clinton’s executive order, and thought that if the Republicans passed draconian anti-gay laws that the public would think they had gone too far and vote to replace them with Democrats.
    I was disappointed when Clinton went with Barney Frank’s choice. Gerry Studd’s option would have made life for military gays truly awful, but IMHO, would have hastened the end of the ban.

    As my optometrist friend who is into rimming likes to say, “Hindsight is 20-20.”

    My favorite times from back then was marching with Madelyn Murray O’Hair in Austin. Interesting lady.

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