DADT Repeal Could Happen This Year

Joe Lieberman thinks that repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell is worth debating through Christmas. That's because we Jews hate Christmas! But seriously, Lieberman is making sense, and so is Scott Brown. Really. But Secretary Robert Gates is getting pessimistic.

"I'd have to say I'm not particularly optimistic that they're going to get this done, I would hope that they would," Gates said this weekend.

Will they? Getting Republican votes for repeal no longer looks like a pipe dream, with Scott Brown, Susan Collins, and Richard Lugar on board.

The loudest voice against repeal continues to be Lieberman's buddy John McCain, whose motivations were brilliantly evaluated in an essay by David Link. After noticing that McCain used the word "transcendent" to describe the issue, Link argues,

McCain cannot seem to accept that the world might have changed around him, and that the transcendent importance he attributes to sexual orientation isn't so widely shared any more... To McCain, it is the status quo – the institutionalization of prejudice – that is transcendently important. He is defending DADT as if it were a principle, rather than a political compromise that no one liked in the first place, but everyone could agree on in order to extricate Bill Clinton from his failed political promise to gays. That promise proved to be premature for our politics, and the military has had to live with DADT's bizarre strictures ever since as penance for Clinton's sins.

It's an argument that Frank Rich has often made — that Americans are less homophobic than the loudest voices in the Republican party, and sooner or later bigotry will catch up to the latter. But it's correct that this is the best chance we have of repealing this glaringly discriminatory policy — a bill already through the House, the support of a President, maybe even the Senate — so failure here could keep that gap in place for even longer.

Men Of A Certain Age [LGF Culture Watch]
Gates Sees Delay In Gay Ban Repeal [NYT]
Lieberman: Let's Stay In DC Until DADT Is Repealed [TPM]