More uninspiring answers on DADT repeal from Robert Gibbs

You know the routine by now. Kerry Eleveld asks questions at the White House press briefing. Robert Gibbs gives answers that don’t really inspire any confidence. Gibbs reiterated that START is the next priority for the Obama administration. DADT, well, Gibbs doesn’t have a Plan B, because he is pretty sure it will be repealed (heard that before, haven’t we?):

“Fairly soon after [tax cuts], the Senate will move to the debate on START ratification,” Gibbs said. “This is a treaty that has the votes to pass the Senate and I believe will pass the Senate before we go home for the holidays.”

The Senate was expected to take a vote Monday on the tax deal struck between the president and Republicans.

Asked where the DREAM Act and DADT repeal stood on the president’s priority list of “achievable” measures, Gibbs declined to be specific.

“There’s not a list of 1, 2, 3, 4,” he said. “There’s are a series of things I think the president believes are important and can be done this year.”

He added that in his view, “we’re closer than we’ve ever been to making repeal a reality.”

Asked by The Advocate whether other options would be on the table if the legislative effort fails — a definite possibility — Gibbs remained optimistic instead of discussing alternatives.

“Well, I should say this — I think it’s a distinct possibility ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ will be repealed by the end of this year, and that’s where our efforts will be,” he said.

Okay, I don’t think the White House really has a DADT repeal strategy. There, I said it (again.)

Igor Volsky posted the video:




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Watch: White House Press Sec’y Robert Gibbs Grilled on ‘DADT’

Dadt
(Above, Obama meets the Joint Chiefs to discuss DADT on November 29, 2010 – Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked about 'DADT' today. Gibbs told reporters that "certainly our hope is that the Senate will take this up again."

When asked about Obama's pledge to stay in town until the START treaty is done, and whether he might promised the same for DADT, Gibbs said,

"Let me be clear, the President isn’t — if START gets done, the President and Congress is here, the President is not leaving.  I said earlier that the President will be here as long as the Congress is here…I think that we always envisioned it that if the Congress was here, the President would be here.  There’s a whole host of important things beyond the tax agreement and START — 'don’t ask, don’t tell' being one of them — that the President believes can be dealt with before Congress leaves town."

Gibbs was also asked if there are other options on the table should DADT repeal fail legislatively:

"Well, I should say this.  I think it’s a distinct possibility that 'don’t ask, don’t tell' will be repealed by the end of this year and that’s where our effort is focused."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP



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Watch: Robert Gibbs Expresses Confidence on ‘DADT’ Repeal

Gibbs

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs expressed confidence about repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" as part of his 'First Question' online forum today on YouTube, saying the White House would get the job done.

Gibbs told reporters at the press briefing shortly thereafter:

“The president — I’m not going to get into a list of who — but the president has through the course of the past several days made calls to Democrats and Republicans on two very important issues: passage of the DREAM Act and repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ I think we are — on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ — I think we are very, very close to seeing that repeal happen. We’ve had important endorsements over the past few days that I think in many ways is the result of the process and survey that the Pentagon issued last week. The president is hopeful and encouraging Democrats and Republicans to get behind that.”

This all happened prior to the flurry of activity in the Senate. No late word from the White House.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP



Towleroad News #gay

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NYT: Obama DOJ’s stay cites Robert Gates desire to consider separate facilities for gays

Oh boy, here comes the influence of Robert Gates and Company again…floating as justification the spectre of separate barracks because of privacy issues and some kind of “religious objections” to working with the same gays and lesibians they are already working with now. (NYT):

Although President Obama and the Pentagon’s top leaders have all said they want the law repealed, the Justice Department on Thursday asked Judge Phillips to stay her injunction while it files an appeal.

As justification, the administration made overheated claims that a precipitous change in wartime would have adverse effects on morale, good order, discipline and unit cohesion. Those are the same specious arguments used to justify the benighted policy in the first place. The administration wants to leave it in place while it finishes a study on how to carry out a repeal.

Clifford Stanley, the under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness, said in a court filing that ending the antigay policy would require training, and reworking regulations on issues like housing, benefits and standards of conduct. He said the Army had to consider the “rights and obligations of the chaplain corps.” Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said the military had to consider whether barracks should be segregated and whether partners of gay soldiers should have benefits.

This sounds disturbingly like the creation of a “separate but equal” system. The armed forces do not need to be protected from their gay and lesbian personnel. The military has always had its own culture and rules of behavior, but it has not been living in a cave.

Excuse me, who is Commander-in-Chief? And let’s wind the Blend clock back to July, when a harried Pentagon spokesbot Geoff Morrell said that reporters had it all wrong — separate facilities were not on the table

I guess it’s time to measure and order those shower curtains…

Igor Volsky @ Think Progress spoke with Department of Defense spokesperson Geoff Morrell, who probably had a knife at his back from the Pentagon brass to “clarify” his earlier statement that suggested segregated facilities might be one answer to handle straight service members with modesty issues.

In an interview with Morrell this afternoon, the Pentagon spokesman told the Wonk Room that his comments were twisted and taken out of context and vehemently denied that the Defense Department was considering segregating the troops. “So what I said, I used the term ‘facilities adjustments’ and I think people have gotten carried away as to what that could mean,” he began:

MORRELL: So, when I was asked, about the, you know – this is in the context of “why are you even asking these questions?” – well, we’re asking these questions because in our engagements with the force thus far, this has been an area of some concern. Now we need to test it to see if that holds for-if it really reflects the concerns of the force, and which members of the force. Is it older members? Is it younger members? Are they, you know-which ones? And, and then along with this information, the working group will make some recommendations about how to deal with those concerns. It could be, as I said, who knows? This could be dealt with through education programs, through training programs, or it may require “facilities adjustments.” But no one, no one is considering “separate but equal” bathing or living facilities for you know, gay and straight troops. That’s just not ever a consideration.

Q: So that’s off the table.

MORRELL: Absolutely off the table.

…MORRELL: Well we’re gonna have to figure out how we overcome that. Whether it’s through additional training or education or recruiting techniques – I can’t tell you what the working group may or may not come up with. This is not in any way intended for us to find potential landmines that would cause us not to proceed with a repeal, but rather is to edify us about the kinds of challenges associated with repeal that would need to be dealt with post-repeal. I guess what I don’t understand here is why you and some of these others who are writing on this issue can’t take what we say at face value.

Oh lord have mercy. Since Obama has taken office, all we’ve had from the Administration and the Pentagon is a delay and deny pantomime, from Robert Gibbs feigned ignorance at the podium, to letters from Sec Def Gates to Congress trying to stop votes on repeal until the report is completed. Yes, trust them.

So in desperation to restore DADT while this case is on appeal, this administration is throwing anything against the wall, including BS it previously said was “off the table.” Again, the hand of Gates is driving this show, and the boldness is epic in the face of prior statements of his own Pentagon PR machine.  
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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Robert Gibbs shows little improvement in the ability to give a straight answer to a DADT question

And to think this man’s name was floated as a contender to head up the DNC? Can you even imagine Mr. I Hate the Professional Left in that role? I’d tell him “don’t quit your day job,” but as we’ve seen, Robert Gibbs still can’t answer a straightforward DADT question that The Advocate’s Kerry Eleveld tosses him at today’s presser.

From the WH transcript:

KERRY ELEVELD: It looks like the defense authorization bill and, with it, “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal is sort of barreling toward a dead end. Sixty-nine House members and now 16 senators have signed on to a letter urging the President to instruct his Justice Department not to appeal a recent decision that ruled “don’t ask, don’t tell” unconstitutional. Is that something that’s even being discussed within the walls of the White House right now, not appealing that decision?

MR. GIBBS: I would point you over to the — I think the Department of Justice, the last I heard, was reviewing the case. Obviously the President has a deeply held view that this is a law that can and should be changed. We worked to make sure that that happened in the House, and we, regrettably, were unsuccessful in the Senate. That is not going to stop the President from trying. And I know that — without being totally aware of all the discussions in here, I know the Justice Department is weighing a series of arguments as they make those decisions.

KERRY ELEVELD: Right, but ultimately that power resides with the President. I mean, he can instruct his Justice Department not to appeal.

MR. GIBBS: I don’t — I’ll be honest with you, I don’t have an update on whether that’s something that’s happened in here or not.

KERRY ELEVELD: Any contingency plans at all? I mean, I’ve listened to you talk about the priorities for lame duck. You’ve rattled through them on Thursday, Friday and today, and not once has defense authorization been mentioned.

MR. GIBBS: I will say, and I think I’ve said on a couple of occasions, that off the top of my head — I wouldn’t necessarily say which list is completely exhausted. But let me see if I can get better guidance on that — understanding, again, the President’s deeply held belief that we have to get this changed.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

Robert Gibbs, DNC Chairman?: From Defending Obama To Raising Cash For His Buddies

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs could become the next DNC chairman, according to "insiders," who say sitting chief Tim Kaine would get bumped to an administrative post, perhaps in the Cabinet. They just have to check with DNC's donors first. Not you.


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Queerty

—  John Wright

Robert Gibbs Remarks on Senate Filibuster of Defense Bill

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs remarked on the Senate Filibuster of the Defense bill as the vote went down:

Gibbs "Sixty is the new 50 and I don't mean age. To do anything in this town now you have to get 60 votes. And it is certainly not the way that many of the people who work in the Senate, including senators, thought that this is the way it ought to work."

Sam Stein adds: "Gibbs also stressed the 'frustration' he and other White House officials feel over the fact that funding for the "Pentagon and for our troops" had been delayed. He also re-affirmed the president's commitment to DADT repeal and the Dream Act. 'I don't think this is the end,' he offered, before punting on a question as to whether or not the package of legislation will be passed in the lame duck session after the November elections. 'Obviously there will be a whole host of issues including DADT that remain undecided. Our focus right now is trying to get the business of the people done as congress remains in session.' (A Senate aide confirmed to the Huffington Post that Reid will be bringing up the same package after the elections)"

Added Gibbs: "You have in the defense bill, obviously, very important funding for the priorities of our Pentagon and our troops,. The president also supports repeal of don't ask/don't tell and the DREAM Act … And we're disappointed at not being able to proceed to the legislation, but we'll keep trying."


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

Thank you to SSgt. Robert LeBlanc: A ‘gay military rights pioneer’

Here’s some important gay history.

On this date in 1976, SSgt. Robert LeBlanc received an honorable discharge from the United States Marines. Michael Bedwell from LeonardMatlovich.com posted LeBlanc’s story:

Heroic LtCol. Victor Fehrenbach was not the first gay servicemember to seek a restraining order to stop his discharge. One of the first filed was by gay military rights pioneer SSgt. Robert LeBlanc. And on September 3, 1976, almost a year-to-the-day after USAF TSgt. Leonard Matlovich appeared on the cover of TIME in relation to outing himself to try to end the ban, LeBlanc finally received an honorable discharge after defeating the US Marine Corps’ three attempts to give him a less-than-honorable one.

LeBlanc had served for 12 years, including two tours in Vietnam, had been awarded multiple medals including a Purple Heart, and been the Military Police Chief for all of Los Angeles County. Administrative discharge boards had voted twice to retain him when no evidence was submitted that he was gay other than claims by men LeBlanc had disciplined as a narcotics enforcement officer with the MPs. When asked directly if he was gay, LeBlanc told his superiors and the boards, “You have no right to ask the question!”—the kind of response the military does not like to hear. Gen. Louis H. Wilson, then-Commandant of the Marines, insisted that the accusations alone were adequate proof he was unsuitable, and ordered him discharged with the less-than-honorable designation which limits the kind of benefits a veteran can receive. The local MCC organized a then-rare protest of his treatment outside the gates of Marine Barracks, Terminal Island, Long Beach, California.

LeBlanc requested a restraining order in federal court, and no less than now-Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy was one of the two Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals judges who, while not ruling the ban itself was wrong, surprisingly ordered the Marines either give him an honorable discharge or retain him until his case could go to trial. They chose the former.

It’s hard enough to fight a discharge in 2010. Imagine the courage it took in 1976. Christ, it took courage to just come out in 1976. We really do stand on the shoulders of people like Robert LeBlanc.

Thanks, Robert.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Should SCOTUS play tough, Robert Knight will play ‘ruff’

So what happens if/when we win marriage equality at the United States Supreme Court? Well, if longtime “pro-family” so-and-so Robert Knight has his way, we will see evangelical Christians denying the decision ever happened:

It goes to the U.S. Supreme Court, where, flanked by leftist newcomers Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, Anthony Kennedy takes his latest plunge into existential mystery and manufactures a constitutional “right” to force Americans to recognize same-sex “marriage.” I’m not saying they are going to do this, but what if?

What should right-thinking Americans do?

First, they should announce loudly and clearly that they won’t go along with this abuse of language ruse. Does a federal judge have the right to change the meaning of a word?

For example, if a law gave special recognition to dogs (a dog license) could Judge Walker, a cat lover, arbitrarily decree that cats are dogs? Clearly not, any more than decreeing the absurdity of brideless or groomless “marriage” into the law immediately transforms it into the real thing. Creating counterfeits and then forcing them down people’s throats is straight out of George Orwell’s Newspeak in 1984.

KEEP READING: Will fake ‘marriage’ law become the new Sedition Act? [ONN]

Gay activists aren’t trying to change the species of marriage participants in ways that incorrectly mislabels — the goal is simply for society to accommodate all worthy and eligible members of the human race. Gay couples exist in loving unions. Gay couples share responsibilities with each other and share taxes with their government. To honor these unions with marriage is not at all like inaccurately labeling an Abyssinian as a Shih Tzu: It’s more like allowing all doggies access to the same kennel, regardless of whose leg they might hump.

</absurd realm where gay humans are forced to defend themselves against biological declassification>

Knight goes on to compare potential marriage equality to the Alien and Sedition Acts, saying that it would “impose falsehoods on its citizens” and stifle the First Amendment in a way that “Americans are wired to resist.” Except gay Americans, of course. We just want to play fetch the constitution before lining our litter boxes with the same.

***

**Knight is quote fond of this ridiculous cat/dog comparison:




Good As You

—  John Wright

Robert Gates Seeks Retirement in 2011

Defense Secretary Robert Gates will be stepping down from his cabinet post in 2011.
Daily News

—  John Wright