President-elect Barack Obama will allow gays to serve openly in the military by overturning the controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy that marred President Clinton's first days in office, according to incoming White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
The startling pronouncement, which could re-open a dormant battle in the culture wars and distract from other elements of Obama's agenda, came during a Gibbs exchange with members of the public who sent in questions that were answered on YouTube.
"Thadeus of Lansing, Mich., asks, 'Is the new administration going to get rid of the "don't ask, don't tell policy?'" said Gibbs, looking into the camera. "Thadeus, you don't hear a politician give a one-word answer much. But it's, 'Yes.'"
[For the full article, see here.]
Now, fast forward to the present and notice how Robert Gibbs responds to a question concerning the repeal of DADT. See how he is dancing as fast as he can, hemming and hawing his way toward trying to answer a very straightforward question regarding DADT.
Also notice how Gibbs, representing the Obama Administration, is now talking about "changing" DADT and is not using the word "repeal" in reference to DADT; uses as justification for "changing" the policy our "national interests" rather than equal rights for all military personnel.
We are to make no mistake! Obama could obliterate DADT with the snap of his fingers!
My guess is that Obama doesn't see any political mileage he can derive by removing DADT, particularly since LGBT people make up a relatively small percentage of the electorate; Obama seeks compromise with as many factions in Congress as is possible in order to ruffle as few feathers as possible; he figures that LGBT people will not vote for a McCain-type for President in any case; he feels that most Gay people will likely settle for some crumb of "change" in that policy (and crumbs of incrementalism in any LGBT-related policy) when he gets around to it; he cares far less for the lives and careers of dedicated military personnel and for our national security than he does about not alienating potential voters in his Presidential run in 2012, and in his future ability to pass legislation that is far more important to him than is the repeal of DADT.