View From the Hill
BY Kerry Eleveld
May 15 2009 12:00 AM ET
Reporters peppered Gibbs with questions again on Friday. Was this just one more campaign promise he was backing away from? Doesn't firing specialized soldiers like Arabic linguists put our troops in danger? Couldn't the president put a moratorium on the discharges while the legislation was being hashed out?
Gibbs said the president had determined that halting the discharges via executive order was not a "lasting or durable solution" and focused again on changing the policy through legislation.
Since the White House seems fixated on congressional action, allow me to point out that while a bill has been introduced in the House, no bill has been "dropped" in the Senate, as they say on the Hill. In fact, I have been sniffing around here for weeks and have yet to find a single sign that the "legislative vehicle" Gibbs speaks of is being pushed forward. I have asked the White House press office for any sign of advancement. Nothing.
And with the exception of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, LGBT groups appear to have ceded the issue almost entirely to the White House. Even when someone like national security adviser Gen. James Jones goes on TV, shrugs his shoulders, and says "I don't know" if the military policy will be overturned, all we hear is radio silence from everyone but SLDN.
That silence might be music to my ears if it were accompanied by any movement -- any sign that all this LGBT White House access was working some magic -- but it's not.
The truth is, President Obama is calling the legislative shots on the Hill right now. And if he wanted lawmakers to introduce a repeal bill in the Senate so that lobbyists could start building support, he could do it with, say, the snap of his fingers. But apparently all that silence isn't getting him into the groove either.
- Op-ed: What People Don't Get About Dismay Over Jared Leto
- Anne Rice Announces New Vampire Chronicles Novel
- South Carolina Soccer Team Signs Gay Player Anton Hysén
- Op-ed: In Boston, an Ugly St. Patrick's Day Tradition Continues
- Pet Shop Boys Remix Irish Drag Queen's Powerful Speech Against Homophobia
- WATCH: Gay Man's Grandfather Came Out to Him at 90 Years Old
- Media Former Fox Sportscaster Claims Anti-Antigay Discrimination March 10 2014 9:37 PM
- Women Lorde Takes Down Idiot DJ Who Implies She and Taylor Swift Are Lesbians March 10 2014 9:01 PM
- Women WATCH: Trailer for New Lesbian-Themed Series #Hashtag March 10 2014 7:54 PM
- Travel Sydney Mardi Gras: A Post-Mortem March 10 2014 7:47 PM
- Marriage Equality WATCH: Marriage Equality Is an 'Extra Right,' Says Right-Wing Activist March 10 2014 7:44 PM
- Women Laurel Holloman Joins L Word Costars Leisha Hailey and Kate Moennig at Dinah! March 10 2014 6:22 PM
- Politics Lesbian Couple Sues Neighbors for Bias March 10 2014 6:08 PM