While accomplishing far more positive than most believed possible in nearly two years, now he needs to show moral leadership and a commitment to civil rights. He needs to do more to earn the respect of Congress, the military and us voters.
His whimpering echoing of the most regressive in D.C. is at best unappealing. Don't Ask/Don't Tell failed as a policy, driving good, great, and dedicated soldiers away when we need them most. It failed in courts as illogical and indefensible. It failed by resting solely on mid-20th Century stereotypes and scare tactics.
While on paper and as a clerical obligation, the DOJ has to appeal the judicial overturning of federal law, Obama needs to speak out and not squeak out.
Consider his brief, belated commentary on the appeals and end process. Using military lingo, he made a vague promise that "This policy will end, and it will end on my watch." That implies he wants up to another two years to make good on this campaign pledge, one he could have affected immediately with an order as commander-in-chief of all our armed forces.
Instead, now he says he can't do that. He again uses some mealy-mouth drivel about how "...we are moving in the direction of ending this policy."
Yeah, sure, right. He snivels with this, as he did yesterday at a public forum. He said, ""This is not a situation in which, with the stroke of a pen, I can end the policy. I think people are born with a certain makeup and that we're all children of God. We don't make determinations about who we love." He went on to say anyone should be able to serve in the country, regardless of sexual orientation.
Not only can he end this...if he finds the gumption...he must. We know it's coming and letting it happen slowly, by default, only infuriates rights advocates, but it causes stupid and unnecessary hardships to the hundreds of soldiers with pending DADT discharge procedures under this inane law.
Meanwhile, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has acted, in suspending action on those discharges. He's showing leadership that Obama should imitate.
Instead our President wants a study to see how to implement stopping DADT. A study.
Having been born in Fort Sill Station Hospital and grown up knowing military lingo from folk I knew as well as in papers and history, I can give Obama a little hint about how this works. The military implements orders. They need an order first.
Hey, Barack, mediate on the words of ancient playwright Terence — Fortes fortuna adiuvat. Virgil lifted that, as have many others. It remains in our pop culture in its direct translation of fortune favors the bold.
Tags: massmarrier, leadership, Obama, DADT, Armed Forces, DOJ, courage