Don't Ask, Don't Tell... Don't Blow It

With an impressive first 100 days under his belt, Obama appears to be a friend and ally. But we've been here before with "don't ask, don't tell" -- and Joan M. Garry says this time, we must win.



1) "Don't ask, don't tell" is a law. To change it, you need to vote. And you have to be ready for that vote. My point of view -- shared by many closer to the Hill than I -- is that we are not ready. We need 60 Senate votes. We don't have them yet. We can and will get them.

The logical next step? A detailed plan to go out and get them.

2) Injecting the DADT hot potato (regardless of the overwhelming public support -- over 75%) into a Defense budget discussion will turn us from a civil rights priority to a distraction. And it could be the red meat some are looking for to undermine a president who by all accounts has had a very good 100 days.

3) The enforcement of DADT has cost the United States hundreds of millions of dollars since 1993 and the idea of ensuring that the budget does not include funding for its ongoing enforcement is an interesting angle. But not funding the ability to enforce a law is radically different from repealing the law. The law must go.

4) Mr. Sarvis doesn't trust Mr. Obama's commitment to the LGBT community. A dose of cynicism is healthy. We've been thrown under the bus by politicians time and again. Democrats are all too aware that our issues are the best weapon the conservatives have to fire up their base. Politicians tread carefully with us and President Obama is no exception.

And yet, a look at these first 100 days offers some tangible evidence that we can begin to trust. The Philadelphia Gay News , whose editor was not drinking the Obama Kool-Aid during primary season, compiled a very impressive 100-day LGBT scorecard. Worth a read.

Tags: Politics