Words Mean Everything
There has been a lot of talk on Barack Obama's first "100 days of silence" regarding the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy (and associated law). First we go back to a recent article about the changes on the White House website which first featured the wording "changing" in regards to the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. The White House quickly did an about face that evening and adjusted the site to say "repealing."
With two high profile discharges this month of two Asian Americans, including Army Lt. Dan Choi and Army 2nd Lt. Sandy Tsao, Barack Obama can't afford to remain silent on this issue. A break in the silence came May 7th in the form of a hand written letter from the President to 2nd Lt. Sandy Tsao in which the President promised "changing" the policy as a response to a letter she wrote him back in January on the day she came out to her command.
I think it's great that President Obama has said something promising to keep his promise. However, I'm still concerned with the wording. "I'm committed to changing the policy" doesn't mean the same as repeal. And while we can all give him the benefit of the doubt on his true intentions it doesn't escape the fact that the White House website initially said "changing," the officials in the Administration are saying "I don't know," and Nancy Pelosi is saying "What we're focused on is jobs, jobs, jobs." One gets the feeling their not even on the priority radar of our elected officials other than as a pariah to generate campaign donations to all sides of the argument.
One option the President may have as explained by Pam below is an executive order suspending enforcement of the policy, which could easily be re-instated by the next President. Or the President could use his "bully pulpit" and really get out in front of his issue.
In a recent exclusive interview with me for the Blend, Aubrey Sarvis, he said his "concern is, if the president remains silent, Don't Ask Don't Tell is going to become his law… silence [will] and in fact, will okay, the continuation of Don't Ask Don't Tell enforcement and funding."
And the question becomes "Will the President allow this to become his law? Will he allow Don't Ask, Don't Tell to be defined by his almost deafening silence?" The right wing has started to take notice as well. This, today's missive, from The Peter.
It is interesting that the White House through its official website retained Obama’s promise to repeal “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” (thus allowing open homosexuality in the armed forces) even as it removed his pledge to repeal DOMA–one of the top goals of his homosexual activist allies.
Obama has a lot to gain and nothing to lose for standing his ground on his ORIGINAL campaign promises. This game of "change" needs to turn into something real.