Axelrod: Obama will call on Congress to repeal DADT

And that’s great. And I think meaningful. It’s not just another speech, it’s the State of the Union. And that matters. But calling on Congress to do this is cute, but wrong. Congress isn’t going to do anything, can’t do anything, until the Department of Defense publicly states that it is behind the repeal 100% and wants to see it this year. And the President is the boss of the Department of Defense. I agree that Congress needs to get its butt in gear on repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, but on this policy in particular they can’t do a thing without the full support and assistance of the Department of Defense, and up until now DOD has been cagey as hell. Not to mention, the White House and DOD still don’t even have a position on whether to move ahead with DADT this year, as we reported last week, let alone a plan for doing so. It’s not just up to Congress. No big policy move is. That’s what many of us knew before the health care fiasco, that we need presidential leadership to make big policy changes. Anyone who didn’t know that pre health care knows it now. The White House needs to lead.

But before we judge, let’s see what the President actually says. If he calls on Congress to work with him, and calls for the repeal this year, then I think this is a step in the right direction. It’s not a step in the right direction if the White House reiterates the old chestnut about Congress passing laws and the President being just a constitutional fig leaf that has nothing to do with legislation.

Lead. Please.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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