In a new interview with Rolling Stone, President Barack Obama suggested that his administration would continue to try to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy through the legislative process while it accommodates the Pentagon's ongoing review of the policy.
According to The Wonk Room, which posted an excerpt of the interview published Tuesday, "He did not directly say how he would meet his administration's promise to end DADT before the end of the year, but signaled that it should be done in an 'orderly' way:
Obama: Understandably, everybody has a great sense of urgency about these issues. But one of the things that I constantly want to counsel my friends is to keep the long view in mind. On social issues, something like "don't ask, don't tell." Here, I've got the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff both committed to changing the policy. That's a big deal. Rolling Stone: You get credit for that.
Obama: Now, I am also the commander in chief of an armed forces that is in the midst of one war and wrapping up another one. So I don't think it's too much to ask, to say "Let's do this in an orderly way" -- to ensure, by the way, that gays and lesbians who are serving honorably in our armed forces aren't subject to harassment and bullying and a whole bunch of other stuff once we implement the policy. I use that as an example because on each of these areas, even those where we did not get some grand legislative victory, we have made progress. We have moved in the right direction.
Despite the repeal compromise struck last spring, an effort to advance repeal the legislative way faltered last week under a Republican filibuster. Barring the legislative route, the administration could choose not to appeal a federal judge's ruling that found "don't ask, don't tell" to be unconstitutional, or President Obama could use his stop-loss authority to end the discharges.
Tuesday afternoon President Obama will headline a rally at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in an effort to energize the kind of young liberal voters who were key to his historic 2008 victory.