Over at National Review Online, Jonah Goldberg is counseling the Right not to take the bait on Obama’s promise finally to start the process of repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell,” with a piece entitled, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Bite“:
I’m basically with Amy Holmes and Jim Geraghty on this one. Conservatives shouldn’t take Obama’s bait on repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. The Left seems entirely underwhelmed and unpersuaded by Obama’s rhetorical pandering. I’m not saying he doesn’t believe it should be repealed. But no one seems to think Obama will do anything to achieve this supposed goal. Democrats certainly aren’t going to push it in an election year when they’re supposed to be concentrating on jobs and tacking back to the center.
So why did Obama even throw it out there? Beyond the obvious desire to shore-up his left flank, I can’t help but wonder if — as Amy suggests — this is a deliberate wedge issue. It’s not aimed at voters, but at conservative talk radio and similar sectors of the Right. Obama wants to win back independents.
Jonah, I think Obama is telling gays, “Bite me!”
The prominent people who support the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” are on the Right — Dick Cheney, Gen. Colin Powell (ret.), Gen. John Shalikashvili (ret.) — so I really don’t see the Right getting very stirred up against people volunteering to serve their country in the armed forces, especially in a time of war. Also, if the armed forces are able to figure out how to allow Muslims to serve — people whose religion commands them to kill unbelievers and to fight enemies of Islam, which would be their fellow soldiers — then I’m pretty sure they are able to allow gays and lesbians to serve openly, as long as they behave according to the same rules of propriety that apply to straight soldiers.
Obama does not play games he hasn’t rigged. The base he will never betray — the anti-gay black religious Left*, Muslims and illegal aliens — is comprised of groups that are nation-building: morality is just their cover story for destroying people who are not on board with making babies for them. However, homosexuals have gotten unpleasantly uppity lately. Very nearly a critical mass of them have realized that the Left NEVER intends to keep its promises to them of equality. After all, if it did, then Obama would have gotten busy on the task even before giving the first interview of his presidency to Muslims and declaring that he would empty Gitmo and give foreign Muslim terrorists the same rights as American citizens — and MORE rights than homosexual American citizens have.
So I think Obama has rigged a crushing defeat for any attempt to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell,” and his homosexual patsies on the Left — I’m talking to YOU, Human Rights Campaign! — don’t see this betrayal coming. I don’t think even the uppity gay and lesbian bloggers — Pam, Joe, John and Towleroad — who have been generating real pain to Obama and the Democrats with their calls for gays to stop working for and donating to Democrats until they have enacted laws for homosexual equality see this betrayal looming. But this is classic Obama — make big promises and get homosexuals hopeful and gushing cash, then a few days or weeks later, crush them with actions that are the opposite of what was promised. Demonize the Right and repeat. A devastating defeat of an effort to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” will cow homosexuals about calling for the Democratic majority of Congress to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and generally shut them up all round.
I also think Obama is counting on an outcry from the Right in favor of “don’t ask, don’t tell” to give cover to the bigotry of the Left. In that respect, Jonah is correct to tell the Right, “don’t bite.”
Update, February 1, 2010, Mon.: Thank you, Instapundit, for the link to this post on Obama’s SOTU promise to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell,” and welcome, Instapundit readers! I share Instapundit’s post with Jennifer Rubin, who suggests that Obama intends to disappear the issue of repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” into the fog of the indefinite future in her post at Commentary, “Don’t Ask When, Don’t Tell the Left They’ve Been Conned.”
Also, here’s a bonus explanation from Hill Buzz about why I am scolding the Human Rights Campaign, from Oct. 13, 2009:
BUT, if these Human Rights Campaign volunteers approach US, and engage US, and ask US to support them, then we let them know, politely, just what we think of these idiots. Which sounds something like this:
“We will never again support the Human Rights Campaign, and on a regular basis tell everyone we know not to support you either, because from June to November 2008 you gave every cent donated to you to the Obama campaign. Clearly, you do not need money if you can so freely give it away. Clearly, you can’t be trusted with money if you lavish it on someone who has no intention of doing anything for the LGBTQ community. Do you know what Obama did on June 29th, 2008 instead of marching in the Chicago Gay Pride Parade? He got his hair cut and played basketball at the East Bank Club. He has done absolutely nothing for the LGBTQ community and pays only vague lip service to DADT and DOMA issues. He is not supporting marriage equality in Maine and Vermont…and he did not instruct his followers to defeat Prop-8 in California, which passed because of the enthusiastic support of black Obama voters. Joe Solomonese and the Human Rights Campaign will never again have our support because they put all their hopes into the world’s largest do-nothing narcissist. You should be ashamed to be out supporting an organization that is clearly so stupid and shortsighted.”
*Over at Hot Air late on Jan. 31, Slublog ponders, “Obama religious supporters jumping ship?,” and concludes:
It seems to me that religious leaders aren’t moving away from Obama because they’re disappointed with his actions as president, but because they are tired of being used by a man who is no longer interested in their input.
Update, Feb. 1, 2010, Mon.: Thank you, Prof. William Jacobson, of Legal Insurrection, for linking this post in your post explaining to the Left how it’s always donate-today-for-jam-tomorrow when it comes to Obama’s promises to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell”:
Obama did not say DADT would be repealed this year. He said that “this year” he would “work with Congress and our military ….” The professor-in-chief sure knows how to pen a sentence.
[Gay Lefties:] Please check your in-boxes, there are e-mails from the DNC and Organizing for America seeking donations “this year.”
And for donations, the DNC and OFA really mean this year, as in 2010, as in give them your credit card number right now to make sure they get your money this year. What do you not understand about this year?