President Obama signed the law that repealed the “Don’t ask Don’t tell” policy that had prohibited gay people from serving in the military. If you read the blogs and websites that lean left you would think it was Bastille Day. Don’t get me wrong I think it’s a good thing but the exuberance of the event outstrips the over all accomplishments of the President so far. He reminds me of a moody abusive parent where one moment it is all loves and hugs and the next minute you get locked in a closet for waking him up from a nap.
Here is one example from Talking Points Memo:
President Obama this morning signed into law the bill repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
“I am just overwhelmed,” Obama said as he took the stage among chants of “Yes we can!” and whoops from the audience. “This is a very good day.”
“No longer will our country be denied the service of thousands of patriotic Americans who were forced to leave the military, regardless of their skills, no matter their bravery or their zeal, no matter their years of exemplary performance, because they happen to be gay,” he said. “No longer will tens of thousands of Americans in uniform be asked to live a lie.”
Obama was joined on stage by Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen, Sens. Joe Lieberman, Susan Collins and Harry Reid and Reps. Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer and Patrick Murphy, an Iraq War veteran who had pushed for DADT repeal.
Or this from Washington Post’s Greg Sargent:
The White House:
Finally, the White House. Obama had been criticized for months on don’t ask don’t tell, with advocates complaining that his administration aggressively defended DADT in court and that he wasn’t doing enough to rally the Senate to pass repeal. But the botton line is that the White House did everything possible to create the political climate necessary to make this happen. The Pentagon report and the testimony by Robert Gates — and his public round of interviews calling on Congress to pass repeal for the good of the military — were major game-changers.
Also: For all the criticism of the Obama tax deal, today’s victory stands as partial vindication of his strategy. Getting the tax deal wrapped up early made the time for repeal, with only days left in the lame-duck session.
This is an important victory for the White House in another way. It will quiet all the talk about Obama’s supposed “triangulating,” because it demonstrates — for the time being, anyway — that even as the White House sees a need to trade away some core liberal priorities to compromise with Repubilcans, Obama seems to want to bring the left along with him, to whatever degree he can. This will make it tougher to argue that Obama’s strategy is to deliberately alienate the left in order to win back the middle of the country.
This moment in the Senate will take its place in the history books alongside other ground-breaking civil rights votes, and stands as an important reminder that as broken as our system seems at times, progress towards a more just and inclusive society is still possible.
And from “Mark Warner is God” on Daily Kos:
The bottom line is that no one will remember these people in 2 years when Obama crushes….WHOEVER. Members of this very group will either (1) not even remember that they were ever angry at Obama or (2) assign themselves credit for pushing Obama to the Left and facilitating his win. And that’s fine. Because in 20 years – when people take the long view – people won’t call Barack Obama a “dangerous” president. They’ll see things like the DADT repeal (YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), healthcare reform, and other liberal reforms and rather calmly say things like, “You know, that Obama was kind of annoyingly pragmatic, but he really moved the country to the left on an insanely wide range of issues!”
PS: YEAH DADT REPEAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And these are just a few examples of the mass celebration over the repeal of DADT.
But for every “bone” like repeal of DADT we then get a sick upside the head like the Bush tax cut deal.
As a friend of a friend on Facebook noted:
The problem with that is [compromise] only works if you extract something of value in return. He’s done that once or twice, most importantly with the tax cuts/unemployment benefits. But too often his foes have no interest in working with him and he winds up either with nothing (the Dream Act for instance) or has to water down and dilute his initial plans to the point where the final product is far weaker than it started out (Health care, net neturality rules).
DADT was one of those public winning laws. Civil rights laws usually are popular with the public. The Tax cut deal was also popular with the public because most people like tax cuts even if they don’t consider the long term effects.
I think I understand what the President is doing but there are many issues he has been short on that can’t be made better by the win on DADT.
I just hope I don’t wake him up from his nap too early.