Rep. Patrick Murphy says he’s got 176 co-sponsors for legislation to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Conservatives don’t like that very much! Which is only giving New York’s Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand more motivation to enact change in her branch of Congress. It’s like healthy cells feeding off diseased cells! So why do we think Gillibrand is coming off as so naive?
Because she’s got faith that President Obama will help her cause. She is wrong.
Yes, Obama will likely sign legislation to repeal DADT if it’s put on his desk. But even then, we’re expecting him to do so at 6pm on a Friday, so as to miss the weekday news cycle. The gays will take notice and applaud (good for Obama), but the White House will immediately put forth another talking point for conservatives to latch on to (also good for Obama).
But we’re also reaching this conclusion based on past evidence. Just last month Gillibrand’s colleague Sen. Harry Reid made a direct appeal to Obama, and the Pentagon, to instruct lawmakers on what to do about DADT. And what was that request met with? A message from the Defense Department reiterating the “Obama is too busy” mantra.
So while we’re cheerleading Gillibrand and Murphy’s efforts, they and their Congressional colleagues are going it alone. If Obama does come out (really) swinging for DADT’s repeal (say, at Saturday’s HRC dinner?), that will be the surprise. Until then, we fully expect the president to take a backseat in delivering civil rights.
And then we predict Rahm Emanuel will rewrite history in a few years and give his boss all the credit for saving the homos.