Bryan Fischer
We could be winning the battle against DADT repeal
By Bryan Fischer
May 20, 2010

There is much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth this morning in the LGBT community as news has emerged that Rep. Ike Skelton will not include language repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in the 2011 Defense Appropriations bill. This is fantastic news, my friends.

Allowing open homosexual service in the military will destroy morale and unit cohesion, irretrievably damage retention and recruitment, and bring to an end the military careers of any officers and chaplains who will not publicly express their approval of homosexual conduct. In other words, it will disastrously weaken our military's ability to carry out the number one mission of the central government, which is to protect our citizens and preserve our national security.

It's hard to imagine President Obama doing anything more damaging to the future of the country he seems determined to destroy than leading the charge to normalize deviant sexual conduct in the United States military.

I finish my radio program every day by reminding my listeners, "We are fighting a winnable war." We, of course, must stay engaged and never let up until this repeal effort is buried in the depths of the deepest sea, but it appears our cause is gaining momentum as we speak.

From the blog "Pam's House Blend:"

Rep. Ike Skelton, chair of the House Armed Services Committee, has officially confirmed that language repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell will not go in the House version of the Defense Authorization Bill for fiscal year 2011.

During today's mark-up of the defense authorization bill, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) officially announced that he would not attach provision repealing the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy (DADT), despite the President's commitment to ending the ban against openly gay and lesbian service members:

SKELTON: You won't find any mention of the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. Mr. [Howard] McKeon and I have spoken about this; we agree to support Admiral Mullen and Secretary Gates' request for time to study this issue, and we do not support this issue being raised in this markup.

The AFA sent out an action alert earlier this week to our 2.4 million member network, urging them to contact their representatives and insist that they vote against any repeal attempt. Perhaps this is an indication that our voices were heard. This increasingly is looking like a fight we can win if we continue to persevere.

In addition, lesbian blogger Pam Spaulding reports that gay activists expect more bad news, this time from the Senate side. Scott Brown of Massachusetts has apparently come out against repeal, and will be joined by Democrats Ben Nelson and Jim Webb. Nelson, of course, is in a fight for political survival after his disastrous health care vote, and likely figures he can't afford to cast one single additional vote that will tick off his middle-America constituents.

Gay and transgender activists are ticked, and appear about ready to form a Teed-Off Party of their own. Here's more of Spaulding's delicious rant (emphasis hers):

To anyone playing close attention, repeal seems hopelessly handicapped in 2010.

And mostly, by the White House's complete and total lack of leadership. Because of Gates' unprecedented presumption to set the legislative calendar for Congress, and Obama's total silence and disengagement on the issue, it is undeniably the Democrats who are destroying hope for repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy for 2010.

They are telling our community as they always have: to wait.

Not acceptable.

This is not the bargain we made. This is not the "fierce urgency of now." I say to President Obama, we voted for you. Not George W. Bush's Secretary of Defense. We were expecting Change. And we expect you to keep the promises you made to our community. And we expect you to lead the Democrats, as the leader of the party.

Your complete and total lack of leadership on this issue is more than a disappointment, it is a betrayal.

It's time for the gay community-for the leaders of our national organizations-to come together, in total unity, and say with one voice: "We'll vote for you later."

Later. As in Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010.

In other words, you're on your own for midterms.

It's clear the carrot is not working. We've been donating, volunteering, and voting Democratic since time immemorial. We stood by the party in the hard times. We help them regain control of the House and the Senate in 2006. They've controlled both houses for over four years. But when did they get around to introducing a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal bill into the Senate? Oh that's right, March 2010, just two months ago. Wouldn't it have been good to have planned a little more in advanced? Wouldn't it have been smart to have introduced it earlier and built support internally before the clock started ticking down? Our civil rights are, apparently, the Democrat's afterthought.


Until Democrats fear ticking off the LGBT community, they clearly will be feckless allies and fair weather friends who take us for granted and feel no inclination to reward us for our tireless devotion to keeping them in power.

Well, let them look at the prospect of midterms 2010, without our resources. No LGBT votes. None of our feet on the ground knocking on doors. Our pocketbooks sealed tight.

To be clear, I don't want the Republicans in charge of the Senate or the House anymore than anyone else. But it is the only stick we have in our arsenal to discipline the Democrats into doing what they promised, what is right. As the Courage Campaign noted today, the relationship has become hopelessly dysfunctional. They clearly need a spanking. It is no longer enough they be better than the GOP, they must actually be good.

And, as completely incompetent as the Obama administration has been in getting anything resembling "bi-partisanship" out of the GOP in the last 15 months, I wish them luck in 2010, contending with even an stronger GOP minorities or, god forbid, majorities.

Maybe when President Obama really contemplates that, he'll call off his dog, Secretary Gates. Maybe he'll be moved to pick up the phone and have a chat with Jim Webb and Ben Nelson and get them to do what's good for the party in November 2010. Maybe he'll do one of his famous bi-partisan reach arounds to Scott Brown?

Or maybe not. Maybe it's time for Democrats to feel a little hurt from the LGBT community. Maybe our little kiss-and-make-up sessions after the Democrats passed and signed DADT, and DOMA, have left the impression the LGBT community are a bunch of pushover pansies that will never fight back, no matter how many times the party betrays us.

It's time (way past time, really) for Human Rights Campaign, and every major LGBT organization to let a message be known, Obama and the Democrats have a proposal on the table:

"President Obama and Secretary Gates must come out and endorse repeal this year. The leader of the party must bring Democrats in line to deliver on the promises he and the party have made to our community for years. Or every major LGBT organization will recommend LGBT Americans stay home during the midterm elections. Yeah, we'll get around to helping you guys out again someday. On the same time frame you've been giving us for years: Later.

© Bryan Fischer


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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