Slight of Hand

It was big news when, out of nowhere, Democrats announced they were tacking a provision to repeal DADT to a defense spending bill. The announcement just a month ago was that Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, openly opposed allowing DADT to continue and supported repeal. Democrats agreed with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates that they would wait to repeal the bill until a report on the impact of a repeal on the capability to recruit and readiness of the military could be completed. A date of December 1 was set.

Then, this week, they announced a sudden change in plans. They couldn’t have had better timing: as Steve pointed out in his post a couple of days ago, the Obama administration has been under fire for the past couple of weeks for their lack of response to the massive pipeline rupture spewing thousands of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico every day. Obama has managed to assign all the blame for the disaster, including the lack of attention to containing the oil that is now washing ashore in Louisiana (or even attempting to begin cleanup efforts, for that matter), to BP. Not only was Katrina Bush’s fault, this disaster is apparently his fault too, according to Madame Speaker Pelosi.

Worse yet, at least for Obama’s legal issues, is the revelation that the White House is tangled up in offering Joe Sestak a job if he would agree to drop out of the primary race for turncoat Arlen Specter’s senate seat. Back in February, Sestak let slip that he’d been offered a high-level job within the Obama administration to drop out of the race and said that he’d adamantly refused to accept the offer, but also refused to give any solid details. The press jumped on the allegation, immediately asking the Big O’s personal talking head Robert Gibbs to explain the claim but everyone had suddenly clammed up.

You see, it is a felony to attempt to bribe a candidate to drop out of a political race, just as it is a felony to bribe a politician to vote a certain way. As soon as the questions surfaced the administration went into lockdown. Nobody said a word. When anybody did speak, the only thing they were allowed to say was, “nothing improper took place.” They were willing to say that nobody did anything wrong, but at the same time they wouldn’t tell us what DID happen. They kept saying that a report was in the works. Odd behavior for a group of extremely powerful people who didn’t do anything illegal, wouldn’t you say?

So, on May 21, the announcement came: in one week a vote would take place on a defense spending bill. Included in the bill was now the language to repeal DADT.

See where I’m going with this yet?

There had previously been absolutely no plan to do anything about DADT until the end of the year. That report was what everything was to be based on, and both SecDef Gates and Admiral Mullen had specifically asked Congress not to revisit the issue until the report was completed. Congress agreed. The only reason they went back on their word was because they needed to do something to drum up some positive press with at least part of their constituency, and the best way to do it was to keep a promise they’d made to the gay community. Repealing DADT will be a historic measure, one guaranteed to win Obama some favor.

The Democrats had to do something to save face. This was the best way to do it. Obama did nothing proactive after the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil platform; he could have gotten the jump on a cleanup effort. He could have saved the coast from the ecological disaster that has already begun, but we’re more than a month out and Obama STILL hasn’t done anything. If you think Katrina was bad, wait to see what happens now.

The report on the Sestak affair wasn’t released until this past Thursday. In it officials claimed that it was Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel who asked former president Bill Clinton to offer Sestak the job. I’m curious…if Sestak was being offered a job in Obama’s cabinet, then why didn’t Obama make the offer? Why did a second party need to enlist the aid of a third party, one who is no longer personally in the government, to make the offer? The whole thing reeks of plausible deniability. Everyone involved, from Sestak to Obama, knew perfectly well they were doing something illegal. I have to ask again, also – if nobody did anything wrong, then why couldn’t they have come out the day that Sestak let the cat out of the bag and told us what happened? If that report is the truth, it should have come out three months ago.

I want DADT to be repealed, but this is dishonest and I am no closer to giving Obama or any of the Democrats any kudos than I was before. This was carefully-orchestrated liberal slight of hand. Watch closely, and you might just figure out where the deception is.

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8 thoughts on “Slight of Hand

  1. Rahm Emmanuel was also involved in the Blagojevich affair, wasn’t he? What is the status of Blago, and why isn’t he in jail yet?

    Bribing politicians a place on Obama’s cabinet… Obama must be involved there.

  2. I want DADT repealed but it needs to be done the RIGHT way. I doubt this is the best way to do it. I wish they could make it so an bill could only contain related things. Not an environmental bill that has bank bailouts tacked on because that is the only way it will pass (for instance, not a real bill AFAIK) and if you don’t vote for it you are “against the environment.” I wonder when the President will start pulling rabbitts out of his hat and sawing people in half (or making them disappear) just to keep us occupied and not looking at the real problems?
    I was surprised to hear about the Sestak bribe. Not surprised that it happened just that they’d let it get out. Shows how united and organized their party is. I have said for years that the Dems couldn’t organize a pissup in a brewery full of alcoholic Irishmen! They’d probably bring near beer.
    AndyB, NH.

  3. Here’s my take on how the Sestak bribe got out…I don’t think Sestak likes Obama. Yes, he’s a Democrat, and he won an appointment from Bill Clinton way back when. I think he sees Obama as dangerous, though, and wanted to let the cat out of the bag to get him impeached.

    As a Democrat, though, he would never have gotten away with going on national TV and saying, “hey, here’s what happened, we need to get rid of this traitor before he does any more damage!” The rest of the Democrats who would sell their firstborn to protect Obama would have done all they could to run Sestak out of politics for the rest of his life. If he’d done that he wouldn’t have been able to run for his hometown’s city council without the Democrats spending big money to see him fail.

    So, he made a compromise. He let slip that something had gone on, guaranteeing that everyone would demand to know what happened, then he’d be able to say, “hey, I didn’t mean to say that, now you’ve got a chance to cover yourselves” knowing full well that the public would never let it go.

  4. Mel…this is an interesting theory (?)…you put forth (I put the question mark–not because I don’t think it’s possible–just because I didn’t know what else to call it…LOL).

    I agree with Andy above. It would be nice to have DADT repealed…but, if it’s done with all the rest of this baggage attached it ends up being rather pathetic. I have a hunch, and I don’t have a specific reason for saying this other than gut, that DADT will end up staying right where it is. Hate to say it…but, I just have this gnawing feeling that it’s not going to happen…that something will come along and, “Oops! We can’t do it!”.

  5. Well, everyone is celebrating already as if it’s a done deal. It’s not. The defense spending bill the repeal language has been added to still has to pass the Senate and McCain has threatened a filibuster. I get the feeling it’s gonna stop there.

  6. “DADT will end up staying right where it is”

    I agree. Democrats often win elections by claiming “social justice” for the “oppressed and victimized” If “social justice” has been achieved, they would lose a certain voting block because then the voters could focus on other issues.

    Also, keeping DADT would also give the Democrats something to demonize the Republicans. Attaching the repeal as a statute is a way to trap Republicans into being demonized. Anyone who votes against the bill because of the bill itself could be portrayed as a bigot because he/she would have also voted against the repeal.

    Overall, I think it also depends upon how desperate the Democrats are to garner votes and support.

  7. Something just came to mind…the Republicans would have to be able to filibuster in order to stop it in the Senate. They tried to do that during the last big vote and guess who broke the filibuster? Olympia Snowe and Scott Brown.

    I get the feeling we might see them do the same thing this time, actually.

  8. And a bill can be passed to do one thing and put in practice to do the opposite. A number of years ago there was a bill that was supposed to keep insurance companies from discriminating against people who were injured riding a motorcycle (also applied to Horse, other “high risk”). It was passed but the wording put into practice allowed the companies to still be able to deny payments. You can be a drunk driver hurt in your own crash and insurance will pay. Motorcyle? Sorry. It doesn’t happen all the time but when it’s a serious injury that can cost 10s of 1000s. So, they can say they are doing away with DADT but the wording may be such that it just finds another way to discriminate.
    AndyB, NH.
    PS I hope everyone is having a safe and happy Memorial Day! It’s easy to forget this day is to remember those who serve and that it’s not about another serving of BBQ!

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