Rep. Alcee Hastings has withdrawn an amendment that would have prevented the military from using money to carry out the provisions of its controversial Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy which prevents gays from serving in the military. He says he pulled the measure under pressure from the White House and colleagues.
"I would, however, like to note that it is most unfortunate that we are not addressing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell at this time," Hastings said in announcing his decision. "We should not be appropriating funds to enable qualified service members to be booted out just because they are honest about whom they are."
He took a slap at President Barack Obama noting that the military has spent over $95.1 million on retraining soldiers because of the law.
"What is the holdup, then?" he said. "Last month, 76 of my colleagues and I sent a letter to President Obama urging him to take leadership on this issue and to work together with Congress to repeal this law. More than a month later, I have yet to receive an official response."
Let me be clear, I'm no fan of Hastings, but he asks an important question here: What is the holdup?
More to the point, why is it that Barack Obama, who was supposed to be the best friend of "the gays" can't get it together to deliver on a campaign promise and do something, anything, even something rather insignificant, to make it look like he'll make good on his promise to jettison DADT or at least not look like a painful obstructionist who paid lip service to something that was an important initiative potentially impacting our national defense and something that allowed him to curry favor with a particular constituency and who now can't be bothered to deliver?
John McCain has made clear that he would have already initiated a review of DADT were he president.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand to her credit introduced an amendment to nix DADT and has at least managed to secure an Armed Services Committee hearing on the subject.
What exactly is Obama's excuse here? [intro]