If healthcare wasn’t enough, Obama just picked another fight
One thing is clear. President Barack Obama is not afraid of a fight.
He battled all last year with Republicans and some of his own Democrats trying to get healthcare reform through the political headwinds.
Now he’s going to take on Republicans with trying to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy on gays serving in the military.
“This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are,” Obama said. “It’s the right thing to do.”
While that proposal will likely boost Obama with his liberal base, it was not received well by Republicans — and now with Senator 41 from Massachusetts they have the votes to throw up procedural hurdles on just about everything.
Republican Senator John McCain, who lost to Obama in the 2008 presidential election and is a war veteran, made clear his opposition.
“I am immensely proud of, and thankful for, every American who wears the uniform of our country, especially at a time of war, and I believe it would be a mistake to repeal the policy,” McCain said after the State of the Union.
So add that to the list of policy battles in an election year when Democrats are nervous about losing seats in Congress and Republicans are loathe to give Obama any victories as they try to secure more seats in November.
And some gay advocacy groups basically said that’s nice, but it’s not enough.
Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry, said: “President Obama’s pledge to end discrimination against gay people serving in the military, repeated in tonight’s State of the Union, is an important show of support for gay and lesbian Americans as well as a boost to our national security. Unfortunately, the President failed to address the government’s discrimination against same-sex couples in his speech.”
What do you think, should “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” be repealed?
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Photo credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque (Obama pauses while delivering State of the Union), Reuters/Jim Young (Obama waves at end of SOTU)