The Economist had this to say about the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell debacle:
Much as [gay rights activists] welcome [Obama's] promise to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell”, they are dismayed by the stately pace and bungled tactics of his attempts to do so. Instead of moving when the Democrats’ majorities in the House and Senate were still secure, Mr Obama insisted on a long period of consultation with the armed forces, which were asked to conduct a survey on how servicemen felt about (though not whether they approved of) the impending change. The House voted for repeal in May, but the Senate dawdled. Then, last month, before the survey was finished and for reasons still unclear, the Democrats abruptly tried to attach a repeal of the law to the defence appropriations bill, a stratagem the Republicans defeated in a filibuster.
All this leaves Mr Obama’s policy in a mess. The Department of Justice has already appealed the ruling of a judge in Massachusetts that found the Defence of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional. If it now appeals Judge Phillips’s ruling as well, the administration will find itself in the peculiar position of going to court to defend two laws that are deeply unpopular with Mr Obama’s own most liberal supporters, both of which it claims to oppose.