Over the weekend, observers of the "don’t ask, don’t tell" debate began cautiously acknowledging that an effort is in the works to potentially move a stripped down version of the must-pass National Defense Authorization Act that would exclude repeal.
A person close to the process said Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is looking into a deal with Sec. Gates that would cut ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ out of the Defense bill in order to smooth its way to passage.
"Levin is making calls under the premise – we can’t afford to waste time on a controversial provision, so we’ll strip out the controversial provision and be able to get the bill on and off the floor in the available amount of time," said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
We tried to tell everyone that this was a bad idea - to water the bill down and try to pass it in the lame duck session. We wanted to get this done months ago, to escape any problems like this. But President Gates got what he wanted out of it and now we're getting screwed. This was the plan all along. Attempt to hold DADT repeal out to gays as a carrot and get our votes, and then after the election, say, "Oops, sorry. Looks like we won't repeal it after all."
It looks like our only hope now is in the courts, where the President will continue to defend Don't Ask, Don't Tell. The fact that we'll have to wait for the Supreme Court to hear it is not a comforting thought. They are usually on Congress and the military's side on Don't Ask, Don't Tell. We aren't likely to see a pro-gay decision involving the military anytime soon.
So, this is it.