Lawmakers predict there are enough votes in Congress to pass a White House-Congress-Pentagon compromise to end the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military. But in separate letters collected by Sen. John McCain, the chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines say the military should be allowed to finish its lengthy review of the repeal process before Congress votes. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs, agreed to the deal — but is it being rushed by Democrats for political reasons? (Watch Rachel Maddow discuss the "urgency" behind a "don't ask, don't tell" repeal)
Democrats are putting politics above national security: Lifting DADT may be the right thing to do, says Boston Herald editor Jules Crittenden in his blog, but it should be "handled in deliberative fashion rather than a petulant political one so that there are no chaotic results." We're at war, after all, and Obama shouldn't be "pushing politics ahead of national security" to appease gay voters.
"Don't vote, tell first"
The military brass is just stalling for time: The armed forces can handle integrating "uncloseted gays and lesbians," says The Boston Globe in an editorial, just as it did black and female soldiers. And the compromise agreed to by the "commander-in-chief and the civilian and uniformed leaders of the military" gives the Pentagon plenty of time to finish "cross[ing] all the i's and dott[ing] all the t's."
"Congress: Don't wait on 'don't ask'"
Democrats should be making this happen faster: Gays and lesbians agreed to this "crappy compromise" because they were afraid they wouldn't get another chance to repeal DADT for many years, says Pam Spaulding in Pam's House Blend. Unfortunately, the deal gives the military final say in "triggering" the repeal. In reality, DADT could be in force indefinitely, leaving "us just as screwed as if no deal was made."
"Adm. Mullen: proposed DADT repeal 'gives senior leaders the final say...'"