Chair of House Armed Services Committee opposes repeal of DADT. Do we have our new Sam Nunn?

Here we go again. This is why Presidential leadership matters.

Bringing back memories of Senate Armed Services Chair, Democrat Sam Nunn, who led the charge against President Clinton’s effort to repeal the gay ban in 1993, today we hear from the Chair of the House Armed Services Committee, Ike Skelton (D-MO), that he too is going to oppose the repeal of DADT:

“I am personally not for changing the law,” he said during a C-SPAN “Newsmakers” interview that will air Sunday.

Because the military is engaged in two major conflicts, Afghanistan and Iraq, changing the law would create “disruption” that can cause some “serious problems,” Skelton said during the interview.

He said the full House Armed Services Committee won’t hold a hearing on the repeal of the law. Rather, the Personnel subcommittee will hold the hearing at some point this year.

Notice a pattern? What Skelton said is remarkably similar to the language used in the Pentagon’s leaked memo:

“Now is not the time,” the in-house legal counsel for Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote recently in a memorandum obtained by The Associated Press. “The importance of winning the wars we are in, along with the stress on the force, our body of knowledge and the number of unknowns demand that we act with deliberation.”

Skelton is tight with the Pentagon, and it appears more than a coincidence that they’re using the same language to try to thwart the President’s promise.

The other side has launched its strategy to prevent the repeal of the law. Unhelpful leaks from the Pentagon, the key Democrat on the authorizing committee coming out publicly against us. People seriously proposing segregation of gay troops. It really is 1993 all over again. The same players on the Hill and in the Pentagon are publicly working against our President’s promise, against our civil rights. Will our President rise to the challenge?

An early sign of what’s to come — our side doesn’t even yet have a strategy or plan to insure that DADT is repealed. Robert Gibbs confirmed that earlier this afternoon. Our enemies are wasting no time moving ahead with their strategy. Some day, hopefully, our side will come up with one too.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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