Today a group of progressive and LGBT blogs are having a blog swarm aimed at getting the Human Rights Campaign directly involved in the push to get the White House to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell this year.
AMERICAblog's Joe Sudbay explains:
Besides us, these blogs are also participating: Pam Spaulding, Pam's House Blend, Michelangelo Signorile, Sirius OutQ & the Gist, Markos Moulitsas [mcjoan on behalf of Markos], DailyKos. Andy Towle, TowleRoad, Joe Jervis, Joe My God, Bil Browning & Phil Reese, Bilerico, Taylor Marsh, TaylorMarsh.com and Dan Savage, Slog
We need leadership from the White House to get the repeal of DADT. The President can include repeal language in the Defense budget he sends to Capitol Hill. There's still time for that. In addition, Servicemembers United have crafted a repeal plan that would meet the needs of all the key players. If Obama wants the repeal in his budget, the Senate Armed Services Chair, Carl Levin, can include the language in his Committee's Defense Authorization bill. That way, the repeal can be moved in a way that doesn't require overcoming a 60-vote filibuster. It can be done. It should be done.
Michelangelo Signorile on why now:
As you know, the president said in his state of the union that he'd "work to repeal" DADT "this year," and Defense Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen backed repeal but announced yet another study, which will take a year.
We do not have a year to wait and there is no need for another study. Democrats and supporters of repeal will lose seats this fall. We have momentum now, but it is being lost and there is no leadership on repealing the policy now. And if it is not repealed now it may be years away. There is no reason why, as Barney Frank as said, and as I and other opinion makers have stated, that we cannot have a vote now. The repeal can be pending the completion of the study. The repeal can be added as an amendment onto the Defense Authorization bill. It will be summer by the time that is voted on, and the study completion will then be just a few months away.
We must have a vote before the fall, but the Democratic-controlled Congress doesn't move on anything without leadership from the Democratic president. The White House has been vague, saying it is waiting until Congress passes a bill. That's unacceptable. We need leadership from the president.
Pam Spaulding explains why the HRC is key to this effort.
The largest LBGT organization in the country, the Human Rights Campaign -- with nearly a million members, according to president and executive director Joe Solmonese -- is seen by the White House, Congress, and the mainstream media as the community's official representative inside the Beltway. HRC had the ear of the White House -- attending strategy meetings on LGBT policy, and appeared numerous times at public social and political events, such as the signing of the hate crimes bill....
Tax-paying LGBTs have pulled out their wallets for the Human Rights Campaign for years, waiting for the day their investment would result in action once a gay-friendly administration and Congress were finally in place. Now is the time time to act. We need the full force of HRC flexing its political muscle to call for the President to publicly press for repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell.
And Dan Savage adds the why the netroots part of the equation:
Now maybe you need "radicals"—like these dangerous bomb-throwers—to scare politicians and "safer" groups and more "moderate" leaders in D.C. that politicians believe that they can work with. But there are times when the entire movement—the supposed "radicals" and our "moderate" leaders—need to speak with one voice. This is one of those times. We have an opportunity to end an injustice—and for the president to fulfill one of his campaign promises—but it's not going to happen if the Democrat in the White House and the Democrats on Capitol Hill think they can get away with punting on this issue—punting on another one our issues—indefinitely....
It's time. It's time to this discriminatory, counterproductive, and damaging policy. Doing so isn't even controversial anymore particularly within the military. It's time. Call the HRC and ask them to get on board. Ask them to publicly demand that President Obama take the lead in getting DADT repealed this year.
HRC Front Desk: (202) 628-4160
TTY: (202) 216-1572
Toll-Free: (800) 777-4723