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Sen. Levin asked to hold off on hearing to repeal ‘Don't ask, don't tell’ policy

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cal04 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 04:38 PM
Original message
Sen. Levin asked to hold off on hearing to repeal ‘Don't ask, don't tell’ policy
http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/77875-levin-asked-to...

The White House has asked the top Senate Democrat on military affairs to postpone announcing a hearing that would explore repealing the controversial law that bans openly gay people from serving in the military.

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, was expected to have Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen testify before his committee on recent calls to end the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

The hearing was expected at the end of January. Sources tell The Hill that even though it has not been announced publicly, the target date was Jan. 28, one day after the State of the Union address. But that would have required public notice ahead of the hearing.

Now the target date is expected to be Feb. 11, a source said.

Levin was told to hold off on announcing the hearing until after the president’s address Wednesday, according to a Senate aide. Levin was also told that Obama will address the issue of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” in his speech on Wednesday, but Levin does not know what’s in the speech, the aide added. Levin also mentioned this in a huddle with reporters on Monday.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 04:45 PM
Response to Original message
1. Interesting
The subject here makes this seem negative, where in fact the last paragraph suggests the President will address it in the SOTU. Also, given that it has to be publicly announced - the target date seems unlikely and Februay 11 is not that far off.
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WeDidIt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. My hope:
Obama will announce that he will issue an executive order to implement stop-loss on all DADT discharges, then ask the Congress to overturn the ban on gay service members.
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. be a good way to wrap it up politically. Harder for braying jackasses to object
to what should be common sense.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I hope so too - it is still mind boggling that they kicked out gay Arabic experts
when there was a shortage.
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Smashcut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 05:45 PM
Response to Original message
5. Let us hope that the intention is to prevent Mullen or Gates from undermining/preempting Obama
and NOT to stall progress yet again.

Let us hope.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 05:55 PM
Response to Original message
6. More from the NYT:
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Marr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 06:00 PM
Response to Original message
7. I was assuming they'd pull this out as an issue for the election year.
This is why it wasn't addressed last year-- they save this kind of stuff for the elections. Sell your ass to Wall Street for a year, then drum up the fights around largely symbolic, and completely costless, issues like this one.

I don't think this is going to work very well, if my assumption is accurate. This isn't the 90's and this shit is more transparent than it used to be.
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Smashcut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. "largely symbolic"
It isn't largely symbolic to the GLBT soldiers (and would-be soldiers) it affects.
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Marr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Call it whatever you like.
It's a social wedge issue. Politicians whip these kinds of things out when they want to have a political scuffle without ruffling any establishment feathers.
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Smashcut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 06:38 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Again, you minimize its concrete effect on actual lives
Edited on Mon Jan-25-10 06:42 PM by Smashcut
because it doesn't affect your life (or, I'm guessing, the lives of anyone close to you).

My civil rights are not a "wedge issue." That's the way cynical beltway types (i.e., privileged heterosexuals) describe gay rights because they're too afraid to face the "controversy" and opposition posed by bigots (you know, the people who are actually driving a wedge) and they wish it'd just go away.
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Marr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Don't tell me who I am, thanks.
You don't know me.

I described this as a wedge issue because that's how it's being used. When I see a politician completely ignore an issue like this one for a long time, then pull it out during an election year... I call it what it is.

Abortion rights are also used as a wedge issue. That doesn't "minimize" the subject.
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ShadowLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. Not to mention the GOP seems likely to overplay it's hands on this issue and burn themselves
Much as I don't like the year long delay, I can see the strategic value in it like you said.

With such a high number of people supporting gays serving openly in the military (over 70% in most polls I think), and the people in the military only having the "it's not the right time" argument, and other evidence that the military is ready for it, this is a pretty safe issue for us. If anything the GOP will probably overplay their hands with their 'say no to everything' approach, and open bigotry likely to be all over the place. That kind of bigotry might work on stuff like gay marriage where the public still agrees with them, but it won't work on stuff where they disagree with them.
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jgraz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 06:14 PM
Response to Original message
9. But I thought the White House couldn't get the Senate to do anything!!
:shrug:
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JNelson6563 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 06:43 PM
Response to Original message
12. I look forward to hearing
what the President says about it.

Julie
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