Guess Who

“President Obama has the power to stop this ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ business. Just sign an executive order. I don’t know why it’s taking so long—it’s not fair. We should stop this nonsense.”


Bill O’Reilly.






119 replies
  1. 1
    JamesC says:

    While it’s heartening to see O’Reilly slowly grow a conscience, executive orders aren’t nearly as powerful as he thinks. For one, they can’t exactly be used to overturn federal law…

  2. 2
    Ash Can says:

    Evidently he realizes that his audience is brain dead, and that he can spout anything at all as long as it’s anti-Obama.

  3. 3
    homerhk says:

    Please don’t jump on the fox news bandwagon of emulating their supposed criticism of Obama! The intention behind it is to drive even more of a wedge between Obama and the liberal left. EO’s cannot overturn a law enacted by congress (otherwise we would accept that President Palin can overturn the healthcare reform with a stroke of the pen).

    I also find it amazing that the people who have pushed Obama to sign an EO overturning DADT are the same people who will lament at the power of the unitary executive.

  4. 4
    canuckistani says:

    O’Reilly?
    Shit, did I wake up in the mirror universe again? Does he have a goatee in this world?

  5. 5

    I have numerous gay activist Facebook friends who are saying the same thing. When I explain how it won’t work and the mess it would create, they say he should do it “to send a signal”.

    It’s always all about optics.

  6. 6
    MAJeff says:

    I got it right!

    Remember, though, if he were to do so, O’Reilly would be screaming bloody murder.

    On a related note, the hatemongers at NOM appear to have an ad on this site–showing them as the victims of gay violence and intimidation. It’s their new approach:

    http://www.hrc.org/14655.htm

  7. 7
    r€nato says:

    @homerhk: this.

  8. 8
    mistermix says:

    @homerhk: Hmm,

    The President has the authority to issue an executive order halting the operation of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Under 10 U.S.C. § 12305 (“Authority of the President to Suspend Certain Laws Relating to Promotion, Retirement, and Separation”), Congress grants the President authority to suspend the separation of military members during any period of national emergency in which members of a reserve component are serving involuntarily on active duty.

    http://www.palmcenter.org/file.....0final.pdf

    I guess a UCSB think tank (the Palm Center) is on the Fox News bandwagon, just like me and a Seattle alt-weekly.

  9. 9
    rachel says:

    Hmmm, I wonder if Bill-Oh has come to realize that if Obama gets rid of DADT by executive order, the next Republican president can bring it back with a stroke of his pen, but if Congress repeals it, it ain’t never comin’ back.

    Naw, that can’t be it.

  10. 10

    Bill wants Obama to do it with an executive order so that the next Republican President can overturn it regardless of the state of Congress.

    But thanks for playing!

  11. 11
    cat48 says:

    Yep, drive a wedge is what the GOP is up to. Morning Ho goes full blown spreading the “primary Obama because of Afghan” for the 2nd morning in row. Jo says Rendell suggested it, however, it was racist Buchanan who asked Rendell if he thought a primary was possible because of Afghan & Rendell said it was possible. Today he makes it sound like it was all Rendell’s idea on his own. Unfortunately, some people fall for this crap though.

  12. 12

    @rachel: Great minds. We has them.

  13. 13
    Steaming Pile says:

    @Pigs & Spiders: You win the debate. Executive orders are only as good as the President issuing them, Acts of Congress require considerably more effort, not to mention a couple hundred politicians putting their seats on the line, to repeal.

  14. 14
    Steaming Pile says:

    @cat48: So who’s it going to be? Who is the Democrat with the nerve to challenge a sitting President from his own party? And what would he do if he were successful in denying President Obama the Democratic nomination in ’12?

  15. 15

    What is the ugly squealing turd up to, we wonders, we wonders. This is the same fucker who ran an expose on imaginary gun-toting gangs of lesbian rapists and shat himself because the Padres had a gay pride night and children’s hat giveaway on the same night.

    I’m sure his refudiation of his statement (now that he has everyone’s attention) will be everything we’ve come to expect from this sack of crap.

    When I explain how it won’t work and the mess it would create, they say he should do it “to send a signal”.

    The signal would be he doesn’t really give a fuck, but if it will make the f^gs stop screaming for five seconds…

  16. 16
    ET says:

    But he isn’t going to so Bill don’t hold your breath. On the other hand…..

  17. 17
    Keith says:

    Wow, I woulda guessed (O’)Sully.

  18. 18
    mistermix says:

    @Pigs & Spiders: Of course, one strategy is to do both (EO followed by Act of Congress).

  19. 19
    Optional says:

    @mistermix: But, if he does an EO, that would end most of the pressure on Congress to actually DO anything. A bunch of the activist crowd would be satisfied that they won because of an EO and go home, and most of the non-activist crowd would count it as a win, and would get irritated at anybody continuing to bring it up.

    Congress’s default action on anything, particularly on things that might be controversial, is to do absolutely nothing, and an EO would be a wonderful excuse to revert to default.

    me

  20. 20
    kay says:

    I’ve changed my mind on this. I think he should do it. An executive order here doesn’t offend any of my notions of the proper role of the respective branches, in fact, it would go toward beating back what I consider too much deference to the military by the executive.
    I don’t think the repeal argument is persuasive. Once it’s done the military will move on it and if they don’t there’s a straight line of authority from the President to encourage them to comply. It won’t require buy-in by the states or big sections of the public because it won’t affect vast sections of the public, so that justification for Congressional debate and action isn’t present.
    The only problem I see is that an EO might be sort of a lame duck, in the sense that opponents within the military could drag their feet hoping Obama loses, and a GOP Prez reverses, but even there I don’t see a whole lot of energy for reinstating the rule.
    Put the order in already and then worry about reversal, and Congressional action. He can make a simple, direct, practical argument that it’s about workplace parity and fairness and common sense, and people would respond to that. It’s also a beautiful issue for advancing a broader equality idea, because it’s so clean and simple, and anyone who works can understand it. I don’t know why he doesn’t grab it.
    I don’t care what Bill O’Reilly’s motives or strategy are here, and that shouldn’t even be a consideration, unless we want conservatives jerking us around and driving policy, and I don’t.

  21. 21
    Violet says:

    @homerhk:

    Please don’t jump on the fox news bandwagon of emulating their supposed criticism of Obama!

    Is this mistermix’s point for posting these? I thought the point was that the right and the firebaggers are saying the exact same things. If the lefties want to change things, then saying things that are impossible to differentiate from what a teabagger might say is maybe not the best way to go.

  22. 22
    Frank says:

    @cat48:

    Yep, drive a wedge is what the GOP is up to. Morning Ho goes full blown spreading the “primary Obama because of Afghan” for the 2nd morning in row. Jo says Rendell suggested it, however, it was racist Buchanan who asked Rendell if he thought a primary was possible because of Afghan & Rendell said it was possible

    Yeah, good luck with that. Anybody who tries to primary Obama will get trounced. He will have a tremendous money advantage and he still has the support of most Democrats. The very far left may hate him, but they are a tiny minority.

    It ain’t gonna happen. And if did, it will just make Obama look good as he wins every primary by huge margins.

  23. 23

    @cat48:

    Morning Ho goes full blown spreading the “primary Obama because of Afghan” for the 2nd morning in row.

    Because Obama got us into Afghanistan in the first place. Wait, what?

    And srlsy, primary Obama? WTF are these people thinking?

  24. 24
    tim says:

    Whaaaa…Obama CAN’T sign an executive order to stop enforcing DODT…he can’t do anything, don’t you see…it’s all congress’ fault…his hands are tied….he doesn’t have the votes…whaaaaaaa…

    where have I heard this before about 50 times on other issues in the last 18 months?

    Obama is afraid to LEAD by example and bold action. He is a pussy.

    Isn’t it just possible that dropping enforcement of DADT by EO would give the military and society time to adjust and see that it is no big deal, and that by the time O’s successor takes office, possibly in six years, the idea of going back to DADT by EO or congressional action will seem silly?

    But then, that would show leadership and initiative.

    My god, obama is such a huge disappointment, more than even I imagined before he was elected.

  25. 25
    Allison W. says:

    yep. O’reilly is trying to drive that wedge. using a left talking point to slam Obama and then the left will go around praising O’reilly.

    As I’ve said before to the left: msm, right wing – not your friend. ever. period.

  26. 26
    Hal says:

    In all honesty, I really don’t see how an EO would hurt Obama with his constituency at all. I’m sure he’s more than capable of making the argument that it is necessary to do so due to the war in Afghanistan.

    On the other hand, he could also nudge the military brass to speed up their study and have the new legislation go into full effect.

  27. 27
    Hal says:

    http://www.thedemocraticstrate.....ome_re.php

    Though he called it “unlikely,” the New York Times Magazine’s Matt Bai unleashed the idea this weekend that disgruntled progressives might support a primary challenge to President Barack Obama in 2012, even suggesting that Dr. Howard Dean could be positioning himself to make the challenge himself.

    It’s natural for pro-Obama Democrats to recoil from even discussing the possibility of the President being “primaried,” but I’d argue it’s healthier for everyone to pull the idea right out of the closet and examine it closely, beginning with the recent history of such challenges.

    * Four of the last eight presidents (Bush 41, Carter, Ford and Johnson) prior to Obama faced serious primary challenges in their re-election campaigns.

    * In all four cases, the challengers (McCarthy in 1968, Reagan in 1976, Kennedy in 1980 and Buchanan in 1992) ran on the implicit or explicit message that the incumbent had betrayed his party base. In all four cases, the incumbent was struggling in the polls to some extent, amidst shaky economic conditions (less LBJ than the others, though inflation was a big concern in 1968).

    * In three of the four cases (all but Bush 41), the incumbent’s party had done very poorly in the prior midterm election.

    * All four challenges ultimately failed to secure the party nomination.

    * The opposition party–twice Democrats, twice Republicans–won all four general elections.

    Suffice it to say that primary challenges to sitting presidents are more common than many people realize, but never, in recent history, successful in any way other than chastening party leaders via general election defeat.

  28. 28
    Malron says:

    I can’t believe how many in this thread actually believe O’reilly meant what he said.

  29. 29
    El Tiburon says:

    @homerhk:

    I also find it amazing that the people who have pushed Obama to sign an EO overturning DADT are the same people who will lament at the power of the unitary executive.

    If the power to overturn DADT via an EO exists, the use it. Also, this is not the same as the Unitary executive. If the power does not exist, then Obama should not make up some billshit reason in order to do it.

    Let’s not be such purists that we equate promoting equality to creating a dictator.

  30. 30
    El Tiburon says:

    @toujoursdan:

    When I explain how it won’t work and the mess it would create,

    Please do explain the mess it would create.

    We are waiting.

  31. 31

    @El Tiburon:

    Haven’t we been over this a million times on this blog already?

    Here’s one mess:

    Obama issues an EO, but the DADT law itself isn’t overturned (which isn’t even a given now, much less if the GOP makes gains in Nov.)

    Troops come out.

    Their commanders are caught between the DADT law and the EO. Which take precedence? Legal scholars are split. Can an EO violate a valid law? Some say yes, some say no.

    Even if one can definitively argue that the EO is supreme, what happens to those gay troops if elections return a GOP President in 2012 or 2016 who rescinds the the EO? Many of these people would find their career paths brought to an end. This isn’t a short term battle that just ends and goes away. Unless the law itself is overturned, the result for gay troops is the same. Their careers are in jeopardy.

  32. 32
    Kerry Reid says:

    I’d be fine with Obama overturning it via EO, and I actually do agree that it would be an easy way to show support for an important part of the Democratic base — not to mention that it’s the right thing to do. But while I don’t think it would be as likely to be overturned by a future GOP prez as the Mexico City policy (the one prohibiting government funding of any agencies in foreign countries that even mention abortion as an option — came in with Bush I, out with Clinton, back in with Bush II, out with Obama, lather rinse repeat), there is that risk.

    What I don’t agree with is that “Obama is just selling out the gays by making Congress do the work on DADT!” First, I have no problem with making members of Congress show their colors (rainbow?) on this issue — particularly because in the long run, I think it’s a vote that could bit the GOP in the ass more than the Dems, who aren’t gonna win with the raging homophobes anyhow. Second, I think Obama’s preference is to get legislation through Congress rather than bypass them. Which is of course a slower, messier, more frustrating process and which may end up with not the best sausage in the end — but it’s more or less the way it’s supposed to go. I think sometimes that’s been forgotten because of the all the backdoor maneuvering of the past administration.

    So in other words: advocate for the EO, sure, and also lobby for repeal of DADT through Congress. Just don’t assume that the reluctance to follow that first course of action means that Obama doesn’t want to see ANY action on repealing DADT.

    Besides, sponsoring this legislation may be the only chance Lieberman has to redeem himself for posterity, and we don’t want to deny him that, do we? Oh wait…

  33. 33
    angler says:

    My doctor said to stay away from trollbait, but she smokes and eats Cheetos so I ignore the advice. The strawman food fight thread is even better than the old firebagger ones. Kudos Mistermix for the guess who said this series.

    It is a shocker that the right would play these politics with the Dems. They ran it on the conservative side of Dems, too (think Stupak). O’Reilly is ill intentioned and will remain so.

    Still I like the acronym possibilities: O’Hamschulzwaldengoldkosbagger.

  34. 34
    Steeplejack says:

    @angler:

    Mmm . . . smoked Cheetos.

  35. 35
    lawguy says:

    Tell you what when it really happens (actual repeal of DADT) then I’ll apologize for thinking that Obama is a putz on this issue.

    It’s been said up thread, but if a lot of people do come out, then it will be very hard to put that genie back in the bottle especially during a time of war (is there anybody here who thinks that we will not be at war in either 2 or 6 years?). It is completely different than the anti-abortion non-sense.

    I see more than a few people are willing to give all the reasons that the proDADT will raise against an EO, but really why not do it and then let them howl?

    I don’t really give a shit what O’Reilly thinks on any issue at all, so if he says something that sounds like it agrees with me I tend to take his voiced position with a grain of salt. I am not prepared to simply take a position because a winger took the opposite position. I like to do a little more independent thinking thank you.

    All the arguments against an EO repealing DADT boil down to “If Obama does it then something bad may happen in the future.” Isn’t something bad happening right this very moment?

  36. 36
    Mnemosyne says:

    @El Tiburon:

    If the power to overturn DADT via an EO exists, the use it. Also, this is not the same as the Unitary executive. If the power does not exist, then Obama should not make up some billshit reason in order to do it.

    The power to overturn DADT via an EO does not exist. Does that mean the firebaggers will finally STFU about it?

    Given how many times I’ve pointed out that DADT cannot be overturned by EO and how many times that zombie lie that it can keeps coming back over and over again, my guess is, “No, they won’t STFU.”

    Obama could do an EO stopping people from being let go by saying it’s a national emergency but it would do jack shit to affect DADT itself. All the next president has to do is say, “Okay, emergency is over,” and the firings start again. It would stop the current people who are enlisted from being fired but it wouldn’t do a thing to prevent people from being fired in the future. Plus it would keep that national security state thing that people complain about in place — “We’re in a perpetual STATE OF EMERGENCY!”

  37. 37
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Plus it would keep that national security state thing that people complain about in place—“We’re in a perpetual STATE OF EMERGENCY!”

    Actually not so much keep, as create a constituency for….

  38. 38
    Mnemosyne says:

    @lawguy:

    All the arguments against an EO repealing DADT boil down to “If Obama does it then something bad may happen in the future.”

    Actually, the argument against it is that an EO cannot repeal DADT. It could temporarily stop enforcement, but it can’t repeal the law.

    I know it’s emotionally satisfying to put a band-aid on a sucking chest wound and pretend that the band-aid cured it, but that’s not reality.

    What is this obsession we have with the quick fix where the magic man can come in and overturn 50 years of settled law with a wave of his hand because we rilly rilly want him to?

  39. 39
    MattR says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    The power to overturn DADT via an EO does not exist.

    It depends on what you mean by the word overturn. I think that word gets used by a lot of people who really mean that DADT can be ignored (or overruled if you prefer) by an EO – which is a power that the president has at his disposal.

    Personally, I think an EO might actually help Congress to pass the legislation necessary to repeal DADT by conclusively demonstrating that there are no adverse affects to having openly gay soldiers in the military thereby eliminating the number one BS excuse they are currently hiding behind.

  40. 40
    Cassidy says:

    @tim:

    Isn’t it just possible that dropping enforcement of DADT by EO would give the military and society time to adjust and see that it is no big deal, and that by the time O’s successor takes office, possibly in six years, the idea of going back to DADT by EO or congressional action will seem silly?

    Short answer? No.

  41. 41
    Cassidy says:

    @Mnemosyne: People got used to the idea of the POTUS being a decider-er and Americans are generally lazy. We want to be told what’s going on, not actually having to get involved.

  42. 42
    ErikaF says:

    @mistermix:

    The President has the authority to issue an executive order halting the operation of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Under 10 U.S.C. § 12305 (“Authority of the President to Suspend Certain Laws Relating to Promotion, Retirement, and Separation”), Congress grants the President authority to suspend the separation of military members during any period of national emergency in which members of a reserve component are serving involuntarily on active duty.

    If I’m interpreting this correctly, the executive order (which can only last as long as this president issuing it does) works only in a period of national emergency. So to have the executive order become permanent, we’d have to have a series of presidents upholding this executive order, AND have a national emergency become permanent. I’m rather dubious of depending on this tactic rather than permanent repeal.

  43. 43
    Cassidy says:

    @MattR:

    Personally, I think an EO might actually help Congress to pass the legislation necessary to repeal DADT by conclusively demonstrating that there are no adverse affects to having openly gay soldiers in the military thereby eliminating the number one BS excuse they are currently hiding behind.

    Well of course. I mean the Republicans have stopped talking about repealing HCR, since everyone has figured out it isn’t the end of the world, right?

    People just need to hold on to there britches. The JCOS wants it. The SecDef wants it. How much more fucking support is needed?

  44. 44
    Toni says:

    If I am a service member who is gay, can I be open about it if the President used an EO to stop me from being fired? I would be unsure because the underlying law is still there. What is to stop one of my colleagues from ratting me out, 5 or 10 years from now if the EO is rescinded and the military has to follow the law again? To me the law must be changed to prevent the possibility of that happening.

  45. 45
    lawguy says:

    @Toni: What’s to prevent your collegues from rating you out now?

  46. 46
    Allan says:

    @tim:

    My god, obama is such a huge disappointment, more than even I imagined before he was elected.

    This is a textbook example of “confirmation bias.”

    I’ll let others who focus on sexism in language weigh in on what it means to call the President a “pussy.”

  47. 47
    Maude says:

    @Toni:
    And what happens, if you are career military and retire? Do they take away all your benefits? Do they do a retroactive discharge and what kind of discharge would that be?

  48. 48
    lawguy says:

    Ok, so I used some inartful language. The president can prevent enforcement and can push for a change in the law. As I said I’ll take it all back if something really happens legislatively. However, if I were playing the odds and I am, I would be willing to bet good money that when Obama leaves office DADT will still be enforced. Something that he could have prevented, but chooses not to.

    Hey, these are the same kind of arguments that I saw here about Dawn Johnson (sp?) remember her. It was explained that Obama really couldn’t do a recess appointment because, well you know it would be bad and wouldn’t work. The congress would take care of it. Remember?

    So he could try something or not. Hmmmm, what do you think he will do this time?

    Also, come on people really does anyone here think that we will end this state of perpetual war and emergency any time in the foreseeable future, no matter which party controls the presidency. I mean the current guy has shown that he kind of likes it and no one from the republican party is going to be any better.

  49. 49
    Steaming Pile says:

    @Frank: I would guess Michael Moore might try it. He’s a big name and not currently a member of Congress. Prolly lots of firebaggers will have their checkbooks out for that.

  50. 50
    El Tiburon says:

    @toujoursdan:

    Haven’t we been over this a million times on this blog already?

    If so I guess I was out smoking a cig.

    You sure do have a ton of “what ifs” in your explanation there.

    What if an EO overturns DADT and everyone is happy?

    Period.

    As it is now, thousands of US troops are living in fear of their careers being ended by this stupid, discriminatory law.

  51. 51
    roshan says:

    I don’t know why we jump in excitement when anyone on the right wing agrees with us. Our position doesn’t stand on their approval and what is right, is right irrespective of who agrees with it.
    O’Reilly while attacking Maddow for her recent coverage of the Fox propagated race-baiting over the last year of so, mainly just said that his ratings beat Maddow’s. He didn’t offer any evidence that Maddow was wrong, but used the ratings stick to refute her assertion. Why would anyone want to welcome O’Reilly’s approval (if that’s what you are doing) is beyond me.

  52. 52
    El Tiburon says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    I don’t even think Youngstown is applicable here, but I am not going to pretend to be a legal scholar in any form or fashion.

    There seems to be enough wiggle room in the President’s authority to give him the ability, as Commander-in-Chief, to stop the enforcement of DADT on a temporary basis until its fate is decided by Congress.

  53. 53
    Nick says:

    @MattR:

    Personally, I think an EO might actually help Congress to pass the legislation necessary to repeal DADT by conclusively demonstrating that there are no adverse affects to having openly gay soldiers in the military thereby eliminating the number one BS excuse they are currently hiding behind.

    They’ll find adverse affects. Those who oppose it don’t oppose it because they’re concerned about how it would make soldiers feel, that’s a convenient excuse to cover up their bigotry. I don’ think an EO would help Congress. The powers that be don’t want it repealed because they hate gays. The end. Congress would like to not piss them off. Sign an EO and DADT never gets repealed. I can assure you of that.

  54. 54
    Nick says:

    @Toni:

    If I am a service member who is gay, can I be open about it if the President used an EO to stop me from being fired? I would be unsure because the underlying law is still there.

    Technically no. The Military Code of Justice still bans homosexuality and makes it a prosecutable offense. Part of the reason DADT was instituted was so prevent gays and lesbians from being prosecuted for it. Lawrence v. Texas probably does cover MCJ, but they would needed to be sorted out in courts. An act of Congress repealing DADT also repeals the sodomy laws in MCJ, which is why I want it done legislatively.

    What is to stop one of my colleagues from ratting me out, 5 or 10 years from now if the EO is rescinded and the military has to follow the law again? To me the law must be changed to prevent the possibility of that happening.

    No, the fact is if the EO is rescinded by a future President, and you’re serving openly in the military, you will get kicked out. You can’t go back in the closet. I mean we can hope that the courts overturn the sodomy laws before that happens, which would make DADT moot anyway, but It’s a dangerous game, and we’re too close to complete repeal now to take a risk for immediate gratification.

  55. 55
    Nick says:

    @El Tiburon: Because if we just do it by EO, they’d be living in fear of the next Republican president.

  56. 56
    K. Grant says:

    “Ooh, look, someone is whacking the President with a rolled-up newspaper on an issue that will actually be taken care of in due time, but not on my time schedule, so therefore he is the worstest president ever, and we should primary him, and who cares that the person whacking the president doesn’t actually mean it, its just some sort of way to whack the president, so he must be, like, all turning over a new leaf and stuff, and is on our side, and the president sold us out so we should run to whomever pretends to love us most.”

    Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

  57. 57
    Nick says:

    @Hal:

    In all honesty, I really don’t see how an EO would hurt Obama with his constituency at all.

    it won’t, it’ll help him with his constituency, but it won’t end DADT. So the choice is A.) get rid of the policy permanently or
    B.) Give the gays something to cheer about (which they won’t anyway since they’ll bitch about DOMA or that he didn’t issue the EO fast enough)

    Me? I would push it through Congress. The will end it forever. The “base” would be happy then.

  58. 58
    danimal says:

    Bill O has a libertarian streak. He’s sincere AND trying to drive a wedge.

    BTW, I expect DADT will pass Congress by the end of the year; it’s a culture war issue that will bring people to the polls as it excites the liberal base. The righties will portray the end of DADT as the end of the world as we know it, but the public is behind the repeal. Obama has been putting all the chess pieces in place since the beginning of his term. It’ll happen.

  59. 59
    Davis X. Machina says:

    An indication of what could happen: Since 1984 the abortion gag rule has been imposed, and lifted, and reimposed, and lifted again, by executive order, every time the White House changed hands.

  60. 60
    Cassidy says:

    What if an EO overturns DADT and everyone is happy?

    What if the sky were chartreuse?

    This is a wedge issue driven by religious fundamentalist. They do not debate. The do not negotiate. They do not compromise. How long have they tried to get Roe v. Wade overturned? They simply do not let up. These are the people who throw out “2nd Amendment options” if they don’t get there way at the polls. It is coming to a point where the only good faith debate with these people will involve bullets.

  61. 61

    An important point is that an act of Congress is needed for permanence, and the Republicans have 40+ votes. The Repubs would scream that they have to block it because Obama didn’t go through proper channels, and blah blah blah.

  62. 62
    Toni says:

    @lawguy
    Yes they can rat me out now but I know the score. But an EO to me gives a false sense of security.

    @Nick
    Your answer to my second question was exactly the point I was trying to make but didn’t articulate it well.

  63. 63
    roshan says:

    Also, don’t let O’reilly climb into the bandwagon, just after all the heavy lifting is done and we are soon to cross the finish line in repealing DADT.
    In this case, he is like the guy who hands you a water bottle, just as you are nearing the finish line of the marathon and claims that he was there cheering you forward all along.
    He is a bigot and will always remain one.

  64. 64
    ruemara says:

    @tim:

    I only see one WATB in this statement. Name begins with a “t”, ends with an “m” and there’s an “i” in there somewhere.

    Obama could end enforcement of DADT, possibly with an EO, but it does not repeal a law and if you come out, you may still suffer the consequences of that unenforced law the minute some other guy with a different view steps into the president chair. If that’s enough civil rights for you, then pressure him for an EO. If that’s not, then pressure congress to overturn the law or petition the courts to declare it unconstitutional-if that is even possible.

  65. 65
    Mnemosyne says:

    @El Tiburon:

    What if an EO overturns DADT and everyone is happy?

    Legally, an EO cannot overturn DADT, because DADT is a law duly passed by Congress. It’s been settled law for 50 years that the president cannot overturn laws passed by Congress. Only the judicial branch can do that.

    So really what you’re saying is, “I bet if we put a band-aid on this sucking chest wound it will totally cure it without any of that nasty and time-consuming surgery.”

  66. 66
    Mnemosyne says:

    @roshan:

    In this case, he is like the guy who hands you a water bottle, just as you are nearing the finish line of the marathon and claims that he was there cheering you forward all along.

    He’s even worse than that — at the same time he’s congratulating you, he’s telling you about how all of the other racers were trying to cheat and trip you up and he’s the only one who was really on your side the whole time.

  67. 67
  68. 68
    DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective says:

    @kay:

    I would think it is obvious why the executive order is not desirable. The military does not want to be caught in an on-again-off-again cycle of rule changes on this policy. The only desirable way to end DADT is to end it permanently.

    But of course, to think this way requires looking at the entire picture and not just the expedient, easy or convenient parts of the picture, which is why the idea will never sell on the blogs or cable tv.

  69. 69
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    Maybe if the Dems actually did something about DADT (and ENDA) us queers might not complain so much?

    And no, as mistermix showed with the UCSB report, Obama using his very legit power as cinc of the military had nothing to do with executive powers or rule by fiat. Way to tar lgbt activists as wannabe John Yoos.

  70. 70
    Nick says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay: Well if that isn’t the strawman of the day. You do realize the House of Representatives passed a repeal of DADT, right? And you do know it passed the Senate Armed Services Committee? Right?

  71. 71
    Mnemosyne says:

    @mistermix:

    Except that part of what the Palm Center said in March of 2009 would not happen has already come to pass: the House has passed a repeal of DADT. So their argument that it would have to happen via EO because Congress would never pass a repeal is already invalidated.

    Again: we’re already halfway there. I understand people being impatient and wanting to rush to the ending, but it’s not like nothing has happened and no steps have been made towards repealing it. We’re halfway done and now you want to change horses mid-stream and gallop off in a different direction that might harm what’s already been done because it’s not happening fast enough for your taste.

  72. 72
    kay says:

    @DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective:

    I don’t think they’re going to be caught in on-again off-again rule changes on this policy. There’s no practical, emotional or moral argument to support reinstating the policy. It’s hanging by a thread right now, on what I consider turf battles, rather than strict constitutional delegation.
    If Obama makes it a fact, it sticks. Not to mention I think it’s a beautiful issue to draw conservatives into a broader public argument they are going to lose.
    I think he should jump on it. I don’t even think it’s “risky”, politically, as long as he doesn’t meander around and complicate the plain issue. I see the risk to the individual gay servicemembers, but if they’re up for that I don’t know why I would object. I’m not a gay military member.
    Put it in place and then go to Congress. Screw them. They took too long.

  73. 73
    Nick says:

    @kay:

    There’s no practical, emotional or moral argument to support reinstating the policy.

    Because there needs to be with Republicans? They’ll make the argument it was a power grab, or was done hastily. They’re not angling for the gay vote.

  74. 74
    Mnemosyne says:

    @kay:

    Put it in place and then go to Congress. Screw them. They took too long.

    Yeah, that’s going to go over well with the prima donnas in the Senate. Just tell them to fuck off and they’ll totally come around and vote for the repeal.

    Sorry, kay, I think you’re wrong about this. If there had been no Congressional movement whatsoever, then you might have a point, but the holdup is (as always) in the Senate. Except for them, the repeal is ready to go. Why throw a monkey wrench into the process?

  75. 75
    Cassidy says:

    @Mnemosyne: Arrrggghhh….facts….they are inconvenient to my narrative of pain….i want my got-damn pony now!

    @kay: You are absolutely wrong. I said it upthread. When you are dealing with religious fundies, there is no negotiation or compromise. They don’t need a reason. Even after DADT is repealed, they will not stop until there voodoo goes the way of the Greek pantheon. Every time they get ahold of a legislative branch, they will try to get a newer version of DADT repealed.

    Stop thinking of them as real people you can talk to.

  76. 76
    kay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I think they will. I think they don’t want to deal with it politically and if it’s a fact they get around that. All the heat (such as there will be, which I think is overstated) will go to Obama, and his thuggish ways :)
    It’s a good issue for him to push back on the Senate with, too, and constitutional duties run both ways. This is Obama’s military. He supposedly lays awake nights in anguish over their fate, when he puts them in “harm’s way”. He has a duty to them, and some of them are in harm’s way in a different but very real sense.

  77. 77
    kay says:

    @Cassidy:

    I don’t think there’s any political juice in this issue. I think the comparison to Roe v Wade is wrong-headed. I’m convinced Americans are ahead of Republicans on this, and Republicans know it.
    The facts are that very few Americans serve in the military. For once, that should work in favor of the few who do. There’s not going to be any huge public outcry. The legislation in the House produced a collective yawn.

  78. 78
    Nick says:

    @kay:

    some of them are in harm’s way in a different but very real sense.

    they still will be, it doesn’t preclude prosecutions over homosexuality, just stops discharges.

  79. 79
    Uloborus says:

    Personally, it’s a no-brainer for me that Obama wants to do this by congress. The man’s a constitutional scholar (which makes some of the Teabag accusations particularly hilarious) and it shows all the time. He’s downright dedicated to checks and balances. As Stuck described lovingly, a lot of the Bush detention and state secrecy policies he refused to repeal, let them go to courts, had his lawyers make exactly the Bush arguments without indulging in any of the other stuff he could have pulled out to stop a judgment – and the judges ruled against the Bush arguments and Obama didn’t even bother with a crocodile tear.

    It’s the man’s entire attitude towards governance. He was pretty open about it during the campaign.

  80. 80
    Socraticsilence says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Yeah its different when we have a president arbitrarily change things- when they do its unacceptable!

  81. 81
    Cassidy says:

    @kay: How is it the wrong comparison? It’s an issue that the majority of American’s support, in some way, the progressive stance, yet they still continue to fight and take it apart. The will of the people doesn’t matter to them. If it did, we wouldn’t be hearing about our KenyanMuslimCommunist Usurper/ N*gger in the White House.

    The bottom line is that they are convinced that their voodoo wants them to do this. And they will not back down. They never have. The end game is their salvation, not some paltry ownership of a legislative house.

  82. 82

    I was going to say Peter Daou, because I always say Peter Daou, because it’s usually Peter Daou.

  83. 83
    kay says:

    @Cassidy:

    I think the majority of Americans would and do support restrictions on abortion. They don’t understand the constitutional basis for the decision that makes that approach problematic, and they don’t pay attention to the long game that pro-lifers are playing, and they think they can have it both ways.
    To me, this is much less complicated. They’re not in the military, most of them, but all of them understand “getting fired” and basic workplace fairness.
    I’m uncomfortable with the deference being shown here to a hypothetical challenge. I think we win that, if it happens, both practically and politically.
    Look, I’m the soul of compromise, but “picking your battles” doesn’t always mean the absolute least risky approach. If I were Obama, I’d actually challenge them on this, and let them respond, and by ‘them” I mean both Republicans and Democrats in Congress. I think he wins.

  84. 84
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    What is this, Use Every Fallacy in the Book Week on Balloon Juice? Please read this.

  85. 85
    Mnemosyne says:

    @kay:

    I think they will. I think they don’t want to deal with it politically and if it’s a fact they get around that.

    But that’s what we’re saying — if Obama goes around the Senate with an EO, they will do nothing to repeal the law because they’ll decide the problem is solved. Hence my comparing an EO to putting a band-aid on a sucking chest wound — it won’t actually solve the problem for Obama to issue an EO.

    I would rather solve the problem once and for all than slap a piece of gauze on it in the hope that it won’t be ripped off again later by a Republican president.

    I’m uncomfortable with the deference being shown here to a hypothetical challenge. I think we win that, if it happens, both practically and politically.

    But if we actually solve the problem rather than shoving it under the carpet, then we win and don’t have to worry about even a hypothetical challenge.

    I don’t understand why you think we should defer the problem to another day and let someone else solve it later when it’s already halfway to being solved right now. Why is admitting defeat halfway through the game the way to go?

  86. 86
    kay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    We just see it differently. I don’t think filing a lawsuit to halt enforcement of the Arizona law was a “defeat” on immigration, and I don’t think issuing some kind of order to protect servicemembers while Congress screws around deciding how to credit Joe Leiberman is a “defeat”.
    I think they had a substantive argument and a political message to send, re: the Arizona law and they moved.
    Sometimes they have to act, and I’ve seen them do it.
    Treating this so delicately and carefully just serves to reinforce the idea that these servicemembers are marginal and, really, we need the majority to accept their status, or the ninnies in Congress will get all pissy. They’re individuals. They work for Obama. Aside from any constitutional issues, he has a different relationship with these people than Congress does.

  87. 87
    Mnemosyne says:

    @kay:

    I don’t think filing a lawsuit to halt enforcement of the Arizona law was a “defeat” on immigration, and I don’t think issuing some kind of order to protect servicemembers while Congress screws around deciding how to credit Joe Leiberman is a “defeat”.

    “Some kind of order to protect servicemembers” is not the same thing as trying to repeal DADT with an EO. Are you saying that Obama should issue an order temporarily halting dismissals based on DADT while the full repeal gets sorted out in the Senate? Because that is not at all what you were arguing a minute ago.

  88. 88
    maus says:

    @JamesC:

    While it’s heartening to see O’Reilly slowly grow a conscience

    O’Reilly doesn’t change, he picks a topic to be reasonable, then goes back to being a douche.

    It’s his gimmick.

  89. 89
    El Tiburon says:

    @Socraticsilence:

    Yeah its different when we have a president arbitrarily change things- when they do its unacceptable!

    Bingo!

    I’m tired of our side trying to play fair and by the rules.

    While we are on playing by the rules: remember when the Republicans threatened the “nuclear Option” Remember how that resulted in the “Gang of 14”? And remember how that guaranteed there would be no filibuster for Roberts and Scalia?

    It is about time the Dems threaten the nuclear option. Or do something. This is getting ri-goddamn-diculous.

  90. 90
    El Tiburon says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    So really what you’re saying is, “I bet if we put a band-aid on this sucking chest wound it will totally cure it without any of that nasty and time-consuming surgery.”

    Yeah, you could say that. Because right now there are no competent doctors in the office. And the doctors we do have are too busy fellating their corporate masters or being filibustered by a bunch of douchetards.

    So yeah, at this point of a broken-down democracy, I’ll take my chances with that band-aid.

  91. 91
    Cassidy says:

    @kay: I”m not saying this is a battle to be picked or not picked. I’m all for seeing it fought. What I’m saying is that debating Republicans and religious fundies is like fighting zombies. They don’t go away and they don’t quit trying to turn you into lunch without decapitating them.

    I for one have no interest in seeing our Senate get let off the hook for this. An EO gives them an out and then they can wait. An EO gets overturned. These people will try to repeal the repeal of DADT, but it will be much harder once it is law.

  92. 92
    Sleeper says:

    Is there ANYTHING we’re allowed to complain about and pressure President Obama to do? Anything? Maybe if you guys drew up a list for the rest of us.

  93. 93
    Cassidy says:

    I’ll take my chances with that band-aid.

    GIVE ME MY PONY!

    Seriously, how is it wrong to play by the rules? You wanna be like them, go hang out with them. The rules are there for a reason and we all spent 8 years lamenting how they were broken every damn day.

  94. 94
    Cassidy says:

    @Sleeper: Make an actual legitimate argument, and sure, go for it. This stupid and childish “if only he’d issue an Executive Order” business is retarded. It shows how little you actually know about the topic and how little you actually care about getting the goal.

    You want feel good platitudes. You want the angry guy in a press conference saying mean things, but not actually getting shit done. What you really want is a liberal version of Bush. You don’t want the gov’t to function the way it should. You are just as authoritarian, except this time its something you agree with and therefore the right thing to do. Problem is, it isn’t the right thing to do. Anything our guy does sets a precedent for the next guy, who may very well be a batshit crazy fundie. You really want that?

  95. 95
    DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective says:

    @kay:

    Blogging is easy, words are cheap.

    I guess I don’t think being president is as easy as you seem to think it is. Of course, if blogging is your guide, one can see where you might think that things are easier than they really are.

    Maybe you should have a few meetings with the Joint Chiefs and then get back to us. Perhaps you can invite them over for tea.

  96. 96
    kay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I don’t think it’s my job to come up with the legal strategy. I don’t care if he argues that it’s a rule change or goes whole hog and does an end run around the Senate. I’m not Russ Feingold, and I don’t think there’s some grave constitutional “slippery slope” threat here. One of the few advantages to being practical is it opens up avenues, and he’s got a lot of clever lawyers. I think he should challenge Congress with whatever legal mechanism works, if that indeed is what the gay servicemembers want.
    I just watched him recess-appoint the head of Medicare and Medicaid, because it was crucial he get that person in there. It’s not ideal, politically or tactically, but he did it.

  97. 97
    DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective says:

    @kay:

    You seem to think that being president is sort of like playing Risk, only with a cool real oval office and things like that.

  98. 98
    Sleeper says:

    @Cassidy: Well that was an amazing pile of bullshit. Pray tell, how does your strategy work? How do you move any politician, whether in Congress or the White House, with your compelling tactic of not talking or pressuring anyone on this topic and letting things run their course?

    I don’t know what’s wrong with some of you guys. A hell of a lot of you seem more concerned about embarrassing or inconveniencing the president than about prodding and pressuring and, yes, threatening him to get him to do what we want. He’s not on our side. No politician, regardless of party, is ever on our side. Whatever we get from them, we have to force them into doing it. If you think the best way to influence a politician is to “have his back” and patrol the blogosphere shouting down people who say mean things about him, go on and follow that bliss. I think that’s stupid but to each their own.

  99. 99
    El Tiburon says:

    @Cassidy:

    Seriously, how is it wrong to play by the rules?

    It’s not wrong. But we are playing a regged-game with no refs, or at least no refs with any power. So we just sit back and play by the rules and get next to nothing accomplished?

    Meanwhile the Republicans steal their way into office, break every single rule known, and get damn-near their entire agenda enacted? Fuck that.

    You wanna be like them, go hang out with them.

    If it means we get nothing done by playing by the rules, then yes, I want to be like them. I want more recess appointments because they filibuster everything. The country is being screwed by a minority and nothing is being done.

    The rules are there for a reason

    Yeah, to be broken. Obviously.

    and we all spent 8 years lamenting how they were broken every damn day.

    So, you would rather be honorable and a sap and get nothing done? This is politics. Not a spelling bee.

  100. 100
    DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective says:

    we are playing a regged-game with no ref

    Pretty much in this situation, Obama is playing that game, not you, or we.

    And I don’t find anyone here, including me, qualified to overrule his judgment on most things.

    George Bush was only right about one thing, which was that being president is hard. I think he misunderestimated just how hard it was. I don’t think Obama has made that mistake.

    But that’s just me. You go ahead and rant.

  101. 101
    kay says:

    @DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective:

    No, I don’t. They just won delayed implementation of the most egregious provisions of the Arizona law.

    Good fight to pick. We won!

    I suppose they could have waited for comprehensive immigration legislation, and preempted Arizona’s effort, but they decided to move.

    Nothing wrong with the President challenging the Joint Chiefs, either. That probably doesn’t happen enough.

  102. 102
    DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective says:

    Whatever we get from them, we have to force them into doing it.

    Sort of a never-ending Tale of Two Cities thing, right?

    Tell me, mister footstamping horse’s ass, how do YOU “force” a president to do anything?

    Seriously, are you even listening to yourself?

  103. 103
    DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective says:

    @kay:

    You are the reason why blogging will never amount to anything. You think that you can just make things be so just by saying them.

    The fucking reincarnation of Michael D. Great.

  104. 104
    DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective says:

    @kay:

    I don’t think it’s my job

    I can’t wait for your essay that states what you think your job is. I presume it is something like capturing the pure essence of the brain fart and turning it into prose.

    “I think the president should just overturn that pesky DADT rule, darn it! I would if I were president!”

    I can only imagine the beads of salty sweat that must flow from your brow before you can write this stuff.

  105. 105
    El Tiburon says:

    @DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective:

    And I don’t find anyone here, including me, qualified to overrule his judgment on most things.

    Tell me, mister footstamping horse’s ass, how do YOU “force” a president to do anything?

    Sounds like someone has a crush on the Preznit!

    I guess in your world Nixon resigned on a whim? Obama had his beer-summit because he wanted a cool frosty mug?

  106. 106
    DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective says:

    @El Tiburon:

    You are seriously going to try to draw a line from repealing DADT to Watergate and the Nixon resignation?

    Just fuck off, man, you are insulting peoples’ intelligence.

  107. 107
    roshan says:

    Another episode of mud slinging goin’ on here. Now where the fuck is that blog owner? Leave the fuckin’ tomatoes alone, will ya? for once.

  108. 108
    MattR says:

    @roshan: Is that a new euphomism?

  109. 109
    Mnemosyne says:

    @kay:

    I don’t think it’s my job to come up with the legal strategy.

    So you’re second-guessing the people who have looked at the legalities and decided that repealing DADT through Congressional action is the best way to go even while you admit you don’t know what the legal strategy should be. Oookay.

    I’m sorry, but that’s just silly. “I want them to do what I want and I don’t care if it’s legal as long as they do it.” It’s the El Tiburon method of governance.

    I think there’s an argument to be made that, if the Senate doesn’t finish DADT in this session, Obama should issue an executive order specifically to suspend dismissals until the Senate votes on the bill. That’s a very specific and perfectly legal thing that Obama could do while continuing to pressure the Senate to do their goddamned job.

    But running around chirping “executive order!” when you don’t know why or how or what form you want that order to take is ridiculous.

  110. 110
    NobodySpecial says:

    I’d love to see how they figure that, if Obama were to issue an EO, that 1)Congress would never make it law and 2)The next Republican president would automatically overturn it. Wasn’t there some guy who overturned some form of discrimination in the military with an EO and then got it passed in the Congress and no one ever even thought about challenging his EO in a single court?

  111. 111
    Mnemosyne says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Meanwhile the Republicans steal their way into office, break every single rule known, and get damn-near their entire agenda enacted? Fuck that.

    So why, exactly, are you opposed to the US torturing people? After all, the argument in favor of doing it is that al-Qaeda and other terrorists don’t hesitate to torture Americans, so we have to fight fire with fire and do the same thing to them.

    By your lights, we should be torturing everyone who gets to Guantanamo, because they would do it to us anyway.

  112. 112
    Mnemosyne says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    Wasn’t there some guy who overturned some form of discrimination in the military with an EO and then got it passed in the Congress and no one ever even thought about challenging his EO in a single court?

    You mean the guy who issued his EO before the Supreme Court ruled against using EOs to overrule legislation passed by Congress?

    I guess as long as something used to be perfectly legal, we can keep on doing it even after the Supreme Court decides it can’t be done anymore. Who gives a shit what Brown v Board of Education said — Plessy v Ferguson says that racial discrimination is perfectly legal, so we can keep on doing it!

  113. 113
    kay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    So you’re second-guessing the people who have looked at the legalities and decided that repealing DADT through Congressional action is the best way to go even while you admit you don’t know what the legal strategy should be. Oookay.

    There’s never only one way in. You say yourself it’s the “best” strategy, not the only strategy.
    We just disagree on “best”. I have trouble with your making this argument with such certitude when at the end of the day you’re at “trust the people who know to come up with the best strategy”. I think I can second-guess the politics, and the timing, and I am. I think the people who are pushing for more public advocacy and urgency on this are right, and I think Obama should make their argument politically, and look for a legal avenue. I don’t think it’s at all like health care. If he can’t find one, he needs to tell them that. It’s a matter of some urgency to them, and I accept that. I don’t think I’m in a position to tell them it isn’t, or assure them this is “best”.
    Obama didn’t step up on Arizona. Arizona forced his hand and he moved, but the sequence won’t matter. The opponents of that law today (like me) saw an advocate, and that’s one of the many roles he has to fill, and should fill, for these specific servicemembers, in my view. I’d like to see him off defense and driving Congress, on this issue. I think it’s a good time to do that, for the reasons I laid out. I don’t much care what mechanism he uses to drive Congress, but I think he should act publicly and as an unabashed advocate.

  114. 114
    kay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    There are times to come out strongly in someone’s defense. I thought it was malarkey with the public option, I was counting Senators and I thought he could have screamed his head off and they weren’t budging.
    But that was a policy choice, and you’re looking at this from a policy and procedural perspective, and these are actual individuals in an actual real-time situation who are looking to him to take their side. They don’t want him to tell them about Congress.
    I think that’s true here and it’s true in Arizona.

  115. 115
    Mnemosyne says:

    @kay:

    The difference between this and Arizona is that it’s explicitly the executive branch’s job to enforce laws, so the Arizona law was stepping directly on their toes by legislating a particular way of enforcing the new law.

    You don’t have that direct connection with DADT where DADT actually impinges on the actions of the executive branch the way the Arizona law did. The cases are not the same.

    I do disagree that an EO would do much good to push the Senate to repeal DADT, and I do think it would impede our ability to get the actual law repealed. Yes, it sucks for the people who are getting fired, but do we want a quick fix that can be easily reversed by the next president or do we want the problem resolved entirely? I fall on the side of “resolve problem entirely,” but YMMV.

  116. 116
    kay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I’m not conducting a legal comparison. I’m saying the people affected by the law in Arizona would have been without an advocate if the Administration hadn’t responded aggressively and unequivocally, and the people subject to this law are in that same situation. He has a lot of tools and a lot of roles, and I know he can pick his battles, because I’ve watched him do it. I’m personally disappointed he’s not acting as an advocate here. I think he should do that.

  117. 117
    Alan in SF says:

    Wow, people are really constructing some bizarro arguments about why Obama’s continuing to discriminate against gay people 18 months into his term is great news for gay people. It’s 11-dimensional chess all over again!

    Substitute “black” or “Jewish” for gay and see how it plays.

  118. 118
    DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective says:

    @Alan in SF:

    Well, if you could combine those, you’d have Sammy Davis Jr.

  119. 119
    lawguy says:

    Drifting back in here late, but it occurs to me that the real problem with this kind of post on a “progressive” blog is that it is a kind of attempt at gatcha. You are using the O’Rielly quote to attack those who are further to the left than you, for no particular reason. It is all just so you can say: “See, Obama and I just know better than you what needs to be done and how to do it and if you criticize Obama it just shows that you are part of the problem.” It is an attempt to show that you are just so much smarter than those who want Obama to do something right now, because those who want to do something right now appear to agree with a sentence from a reactionary.

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