In the president's civil rights agenda he calls for the repeal of the military "Don't ask, don't tell." policy that requires the discharge of servicemembers who perform homosexual acts or make statements identifying themselves as homosexuals. Here he cites the dramatic losses (300) of valuable individuals who served in the military as linguists, 50 of which were capable in Arabic. Here is a piece about one of those fifty patriots who were discharged under "Don't ask, don't tell." I can personally vouch for the superb character of the individual, who I count as a good friend.
At this time, Politifact.com's Obameter is tracking Obama campaign promise #293 - "Call for repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy" as a "no action" promise.
So what is the delay on this "moral imperative?"
There is the argument that Obama is waiting for consensus to develop in congress before making any moves at suggesting repeal. This is what prompted Servicemembers Legal Defense Network to conduct a 300-person rally in Washington on 13 March 2009. Nancy Pelosi says that repeal of D.A.D.T. is a priority and expects to pass it "when we have the votes."and is quoted in the last link.
Perhaps the "moral imperative" can wait until after midterm elections in 2010. That way some members can avoid the risk of upsetting voters that are against repeal. Obama will still be president in 2010 right?
Perhaps the "moral imperative" can wait until 2012. This way Obama won't risk a second term to the loss in support a repeal might make.
Maybe I'll be checking Politifact's Obameter late into the second term sometime around 2015 when it might just change to an "in the works" campaign promise.
(Thanks to two friends who reminded me I was upset about this)
First, some old news...
26 Jan 2009 - Timothy Geithner is confirmed as Treasury Secretary although drawing 34 senate votes against his confirmation after news of his failure to pay $34,000 in self-employment taxes in time.
02 Feb 2009 - Nancy Killefer, first-ever named Executive Chief Performance Officer withdraws candidacy after findings of late payment of household payroll taxes which were paid after a lien was put on her home.
03 Feb 2009 - Sen. Tom Daschle withdraws from consideration as President Barack Obama's Secretary of Health and Human Services in the face of findings that he only recently paid back in the amount of $128,000; says that he is not a leader who "can operate with the full faith of Congress and the American people."
These three are all highly qualified individuals (Geithner, Killefer, Daschle) with many years of expertise in their fields that they bring (would have brought) to the Executive cabinet. They were perhaps the best possible people to work in those jobs.
The best people in Washington are being precluded from service because of a lack of integrity. (Don't tell me that an IRS efficiency official actually screwed up on her taxes and it took a lien on her home for her to notice.)
My larger question is: Can qualified people even be found in politics who haven't got some story like these?
This is the question I've heard most often one day after the fact and a big question I have myself. Where can integrity be found anymore? This government has got some serious housekeeping to do.