congressional rule

Robert Gates: Screw That Judge Calling DADT Unconstitutional

Despite a federal judge throwing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell into the shredder Tuesday for violating everything from equal protection to the First Amendment, Robert Gates still wants lawmakers to, uh, be able to take credit for ending discrimination.

“I feel very strongly that this is an action that needs to be taken by the Congress and that it is an action that requires careful preparation and a lot of training,” said the defense secretary following Judge Virginia Phillips’s decision. And given President Obama is letting Gates run the show on DADT, then yeah, you can expect DoJ to appeal to give your elected officials another shot at letting discrimination stick around.

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  • Tim W

    “We have a lot of revision of regulations that has to be done, in addition to the training,” Mr. Gates said.

    Mr. Gates said the Pentagon review, which includes surveys of service members and their spouses, should not be rushed.

    “One of the results of the review will be what kind of other changes we need to make, whether it’s in terms of benefits or physical plan. This is a very complex business. It has enormous consequences for our troops,” Mr. Gates said.

    Above is from the article. It doesn’t take a genius that Gates means with the blessing of Obama to drag this on for years. The arguement he is making is we can’t lift it right away because we need to do all this work work they should have already in place. Believe me if and it’s a big if if Congress repeals DADT Gates will tell us well we have to wait a few years until we get everything in place and will have the blessing of the president to discriminate for more years.

  • Cam

    The Pentagon ALREADY received a Congressional study to look at whether or not allowing gays to serve openly would be a good idea. This was around 1991

    They Burried the study because the results were that letting gays into the military would not cause significant problems and the study recomended that they move ahead. This was a study DONE FOR THE PENTAGON.

    They didn’t like that answer, so they tried to bury it but a Congressman forced them to release the information to him.

    In the study Defense Secretary Dick Cheney and Gen. Colin L. Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have acknowledged that a soldier’s sexual orientation is no longer a major security concern.

    Remember, this was back int he Early 1990’s!!

  • the crustybastard


    You had the better part of two decades to get that unconstitutional POS law off the books, and you sat around with your thumbs in your asses instead.

    So the judiciary shitcanned it. Finally.

    Therefore no, you cannot take credit for the remedy; but please feel free to finally take credit for your party’s crucial role in enacting the ban in the first place. DOMA too. In fact, you might want to get started on repealing DOMA before you get trumped by another judge. Tick, tock.

    Get that and ENDA done, and I’ll start voting for Democrats again. Until then, I really don’t care whether you win or lose, because you demonstrably don’t do any more for me than a Republican would.

    Quid pro quo, Clarice.

  • reason

    @the crustybastard: You don’t care if they win or lose? Well the Supreme Court depends on whether they win or lose. Democratic judges are overturning the laws, but when it gets to the U.S. Supreme Court the GOP appointees are going to stop us in our tracks. The president is already having a difficult time getting judges appointed to the lower courts, if they lose more seats its going to get even harder. That doesn’t make things good for us.

  • jason

    “Openly gay” simply means that you can be known to be a gay person within the military. Repealing DADT means that such knowledge is no longer grounds for your dismissal. At the moment, the tiniest shred of knowledge is used against you and forms a case for your dismissal.

    As for Gates, I personally think he has little, if any, credibility on this issue. This “survey” he’s referring to is a straight-out solicitation of prejudice. Gates is opposed to the repeal of DADT, and everything he says about it should be framed in that context.

    Gates is a throwback to a bygone era. When DADT goes, Mr Gates needs to be removed from his post by the President. Gates is not a credible representative of the military nor is he a credible representative of America.

  • declanto

    @jason: Unfortunately he seems to be a credible representative of the democratic administration.

  • Clarence J.

    The judiciary has a right, no, an obligation to strike down laws that are unconstitutionally. However, if DOJ appeals the decision and it makes it way up the court hierarchy, the earliest it will get to the Supreme Court is mid 2011, months after the review is completed so I’m not sure this is the fastest process. (In fact it would have the unintended consequences of just making it messier, but that’s a hypothetical.)

    Now of course a lot of us would like DOJ to appeal the decision, and in an ideal world void of petty politics I think that would be a likely reality; however, I could also see the administration choosing to go ahead with it if only to spare further trouble from Republicans in the Senate down the road, i.e. Jim DeMinit being Jim DeMint.

    Congress is out of session and it won’t be back in until after the election for the lame duck session, which will only be a couple of weeks before the review is finally completed, at which point the Senate could vote for it again before the start of the new session in 2011.

    Also, all this hating on Democrats in the legislature is a bit confusing. The Democrats in the House of Representatives voted and passed their bill to repeal DADT, and the vast majority of Democrats in the Senate–in fact a majority of Senators, i.e. 50-plus–voted for their bill to repeal DADT, but failed to get the mathematically necessary number of votes, which had to include someone from the GOP, to break Republican John McCain’s filibuster. Now if all this hate was directed towards say Democrat Ben Nelson of Nebraska I would understand, but all this hating on Democrats who did what they said they were going to do is, like I said, a bit confusing.

  • JR

    Robert Gates is a useless little turd. I spent 8 years in the Navy as a corpsman. I don’t recall once in those 8 years being asked my opinion on anything. Orders came down, you followed them. Period. It didn’t matter if you liked them or not, yhou followed those orders. This federal Judge did something that robert Gates and the rest of congress could not do. so how does he react, by throwing a hissy fit. Be gone Mr. Gates, you have no power here.

  • peter

    Enormous consequences, my ass! I really doubt if there will be much of a blip on the radar. People aren’t going to suddenly start acting “gay” just because of the end of DADT. The military is all about conforming, and I’m sure most of the people just want to fit in and do their jobs without hassle. Gates is just being a drama queen.

  • the crustybastard

    @Clarence J. said, “Also, all this hating on Democrats in the legislature is a bit confusing. The Democrats in the House…passed their bill [as well as] the vast majority of Democrats in the Senate…but failed to…break Republican John McCain’s filibuster.

    That’s what they’d have you to believe. That’s the narrative, the script.

    In the actual political process, which bills will succeed or fail is determined well in advance by deals done in back rooms — the vote is often a predetermined formality. That “repeal” vote didn’t surprise anyone. If Obama, Pelosi and Reid actually WANTED the law repealed, they’d have cut a deal to get it done. They didn’t bother.

    The entire “legislative repeal” process was a bit of theater orchestrated to whip the justifiably furious LGBT electorate into the voting booths so Democrats could keep their jobs. Nothing more.

    Here’s the truth: the fix was in from the beginning.

    Harry Reid postponed the Senate vote to accommodate McCain’s campaign schedule. Reid made that decision AFTER McCain promised to filibuster. After. Why on Earth would Reid do that unless he wanted McCain to kill the bill so he could keep his hands clean?

    What do Democrats gain by fucking us over? Second-class citizens are more tractable, and certainly more likely to vote Democrat. So I’m not confused by the hating on Democrats.

    I’m confused that gay people aren’t rioting in the goddam streets.

  • B

    No. 3 · the crustybastard wrote, “ATTENTION PRESIDENT OBAMA & DEMOCRATIC PARTY TRUE-BELIEVERS: You had the better part of two decades to get that unconstitutional POS law off the books, and you sat around with your thumbs in your asses instead.”

    Really? From 1990 through 1992, we had a Republican president.
    From 1993 through 2001 we had a Democratic president, with the Republicans controlling the House and Senate for 6 of an 8 year term. From 2001 through 2008, we had a Republican president, with a Democrat controlled House for 2 years and a Democrat controlled Senate for four years.

    Until 2009, senate Republicans could filibuster to block any bill they did not like, and even then it would only take one Democrat in the Senate agreeing with the Republicans to kill a bill that the Republicans opposed.

    So what do you do? You blame the Democrats.

  • the crustybastard


    Hm. Where are 1993 and 1994? Those were the years we had a Democrat president and a Democrat majority Congress. Those were the years we got DADT and DOMA.

    Your argument is…what? That somehow wasn’t the Democrat’s fault? That Democrats haven’t passed a single law in the last 17 years?


    I can hardly blame Republicans for doing what they promised to do, but why shouldn’t I blame Democrats for never doing what they promised to do?

  • fizzydrink

    I’m confused. Why do any gays even WANT to be in the military? It’s an incredibly homophobic environment, plus it’s abundantly clear that the armed forces consider their troops to be government property, to do with as they please.

    I happen to know several former officers, and the stories they’ve told me — about blatant lies told to the enlisted members, about enlisted members being ordered to take experimental drugs, etc. — are really terrifying. Who wants to be a part of that corrupt system? Especially these days, it’s hard to say what you’re fighting for or if it’s even a legitimate purpose.

    I think the loss of DADT is almost a tragedy, as it was a fairly direct way to get discharged without doing something serious.

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