Is DADT repeal going to happen?

Hate to jinx it, but it sure looks that way.

Hate to jinx it, but it sure looks that way. If it does, will any of the folks who vilified Obama for doing it the right way have second thoughts?

No, I didn’t think so.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

16 thoughts on “Is DADT repeal going to happen?”

  1. That's silly. Whether success is found or not, it's unlikely that there's only one right way to any political goal.

  2. Are we supposed to be delighted that it passes, if at all, by the slimmest of margins at the very last second? Even now, a single defection, a single delay in the Senate schedule, and it all blows up and DADT remains the law. Does that really suggest that Obama found the best way to do this?

  3. And are we just supposed to forget that ENDA never passed, or even (AFAIK) came up for a vote? and likewise a DOMA repeal?

  4. Mark: "If it does, will any of the folks who vilified Obama for doing it the right way have second thoughts?

    No, I didn’t think so."

    Will Mark 'supported the Iraq War' Kleiman ever stop punching hippies?

    I don't think so.

    Will Mark 'supported the Iraq War' Kleiman ever go over to his own history department, and punch out Amity Schlaes?

    I don't think so.

  5. 77% of the public for it. 2/3 of the armed forces. Solid Democratic majority in the Senate and overwhelming in the House. It may pass at the last minute squeaking through with the major support of a Democratic turncoat who campaigned for his opponent in 2008. Count me unimpressed on the job that Obama did to get DADT repeal accomplished. Count me impressed by the level of delusion and the sheer audacity you have as an apologist to suggest this has anything to do with Obama.

  6. DADT repeal is not a done deal yet. The votes are there, but the timing might not be. Here's a case where we should judge solely by results, not effort. I'll do my judging on January 3d.

  7. To me, the fact that DADT repeal is (at best) squeaking through at the last second is, sadly, plenty of evidence that ENDA and DOMA repeal never had a chance because they were both harder bridges to cross.

    As for Obama's legislative strategy for the lame duck session, there's a credible argument (that I agree with) that START ratification is more important to national security than DADT repeal. I think the political question goes the other way (DADT is more popular, more people care about it and I think there's a lot of mileage to get out of the new "crazy Republican senators" opposing a broadly-endorsed arms control treaty), but I find it hard to criticize the White House for choosing policy over politics when I frequently criticize Republicans for doing the opposite.

  8. Because Obama declined to do a stop-loss, hundreds of servicemen and women were expelled from the military over the past 2 years.

    The only argument that legislative repeal that made any sense is that it could not be overturned by a later president. But after 4-8 years of open military service and public approval no doubt higher than the current 70%, would another president actually do this? Seems very unlikely to me.

    Further, there is no reason why a stop-loss could not have been applied on day one, and then DADT repealed legislatively later on.

  9. Further, there is no reason why a stop-loss could not have been applied on day one, and then DADT repealed legislatively later on.

    Unless you think having the president obey the law is at all valuable, sure.

  10. No, Disgusted, DADT is the law. Clinton tried to end discrimination against gays in the military by executive order, but he wound up learning the difference between a President's formal powers and his real power; if he hadn't signed the bill, something worse would have been passed over his veto.

    By doing this slowly and showing respect for the brass, Obama helped solidify about the current public and military consensus for repeal. If he'd handled this as ham-handedly as Clinton did, the issue would be much more contentious.

  11. Thank you, Mark.

    I think that so much of the anti-Obama vitriol on the left stems from the fact that otherwise-educated people really have no idea how government works. The anti-Obama vitriol on the right, on the other hand, is just paranoia and willful ignorance.

  12. I think he's handled DADT fairly well. There may be something to the thesis that his low-key approach has allowed a popular consensus favoring repeal to prevail over a reactionary opposition. Reactionary opposition needs something to react against.

    On the other hand, if you think Obama a master in this matter, you must allow the possibility that he is also a master in the matter of fiscal stimulus and the Bush taxcut extensions, and that he deliberately manuvered to extend taxcuts for the wealthy, and to assault Social Security, while failing to address foreclosures or unemployment.

    Basically, if you like him for DADT, you pretty much have to hate him, overall.

    Just to be even half-way consistent in your appraisal, is what I'm saying.

  13. One reason Gates says he prefers legislative repeal is that it will permit a more orderly repeal of the DADT policy. Checking quickly just now I didn't find any details of this more orderly process or how long it is expected to take.

    Gates said the repeal should be taken up during Congress' current lame duck session, and said he considers the repeal a matter of "urgency." Should the courts require an immediate implementation, however, Gates said the change could negatively impact military morale, readiness and battlefield performance….

    Both Gates and Mullen said that to avoid disruptions over the policy change, the implementation of repeal should be as well-thought out as the 10-month survey the Pentagon conducted.

    "It is in that implementation plan that the risk level is mitigated," Mullen said.

    Gates comments are telling because they pinpoint the moment at which the Secretary flipped from slow-walking the repealing process to running with it and publicly calling on the Senate to lift the ban in the lame duck.

    The good news is that since the Secretary’s major concern is having enough time to implement repeal, he may prove an important ally to pushing the stand alone bill through Congress and if that fails, pressuring President Obama to use his executive authority and issue some kind of stop-loss that would be more respectful of the military’s preparation concerns.

    Of course, if all these efforts fall short, then the policy will probably be overturned by the courts — which, as some advocates told me, is not necessarily a bad thing, since it would prevent DOD from stretching out the implementation process.

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