The DADT repeal? Don't ask.

November 9, 2010

It
looks like
the Senate Armed Services Committee is going to drop the
proposed repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy from the bill
to authorize defense spending. With the DADT repeal language, the bill was
blocked by a John McCain-led filibuster in September.

Two-thirds
of Americans
think DADT is discriminatory. The commander in chief, defense
secretary and chair of the Joint Chiefs all
support
repealing it. So does Sen. Carl Levin, who chairs the Armed Services
Committee. Yet Levin--whose party still controls both chambers of Congress and
the White House--is working with McCain, the committee's ranking Republican, to
strip the DADT language from the bill.

Adam Serwer offers a helpful,
if not exactly encouraging, historical point of contrast:

That
Democrats would cave on this now shows how far the party of Harry Truman has fallen. In December
the Defense Department is reportedly set to release a study showing
that, like the American people, most servicemembers aren't opposed to gays and
lesbians openly serving. That's in contrast to the vast opposition
of most servicemembers to racial integration in the 1940s; if Truman had
insisted on staying his hand until a political climate as favorable as this one
had come along, integrating the military might not have happened until decades
later. 

Truman
ended segregation in the military because it was the right thing to do, despite
the fact that it was unpopular. Ending DADT happens to be both popular and the
right thing to do, and Democrats today still can't get it done.