Olbermann talks the hurdles facing DADT repeal with Richard Socarides

Posted on 21 Sep 2010 at 5:44am

Keith talked about tomorrow’s vote on the Defense Authorization bill and the Lady Gaga rally. Richard Socarides explained what’s going on with DADT repeal and the forces working against it. Their strategy is stall and delay. If we don’t succeed, he said, “it will be a horrific fraud on the American people and really a massive failure of leadership at the Pentagon, at Congress and even at the White House because they waited too long.” Yep. Massive failure.

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Oh, the White House did issue statement supporting the Defense bill today. Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade got it:

“The National Defense Authorization Act is a good bill that is important for the overall health and well being of our forces, especially given the ongoing campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world,” White House spokesperson Shin Inouye said in a statement. “This legislation received bipartisan support in the House and in the Senate Armed Services Committee and the President hopes it receives similar bipartisan support in the Senate.”

You might have thought something of this import, you know, the Defense Authorization bill while we’re fighting two wars, would warrant a statement from the President. Nope. Shin took care of it. Actually, from what I’ve been able to glean, that statement is pretty much the entire lobbying effort from the White House on the Defense bill and DADT repeal. Massive failure.

UPDATE @ 10:39 PM: Shortly after I wrote this post, I was informed by someone involved with this process that the White House is not lobbying fence-sitting senators to reach the magic 60 votes. Here’s what I was told:

As we all know, without a fierce effort and person-to-person advocacy from Obama himself (or at least his senior-most staff), Senators have little reason to change their minds and support debating the Defense Authorization bill. Never did I think I’d see the day when Lady Gaga would do more to advocate for repeal of DADT than our president who campaigned on equality.

It’s stunning really. And, they wonder why the base is depressed.




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