Don't Ask Don't Tell Military Activists by AP File Photo
Between failing to follow Federal Judge Virginia Phillips' orders - and to be fair, Obama asked the judge to stay her order, he didn't appeal the ruling - and tomorrow's announcement of the second year in a row of trillion+ deficits, Obama has just cost the Democrats both the Senate and the House, and doomed his Administration to 2 years of paralysis, at BEST - and probably his own chances at re-election in 2012. Obama just doesn't get it. Gays serving the military is a non-issue for anyone under 35, and it was the youth vote that put him in office. Now, the youth will do what they usually do in elections, especially midterm elections, and just stay home. Even Meagan McCain has shown more leadership on this issue than the president, and with the powerful Log Cabin Republicans supporting a repeal of DADT, it's arguable this isn't even a Democratic issue anymore, and that a repeal is more likely under Republican, or at least Republican-Libertarian leadership.
There was already an enthusiasm gap big enough to drive a Humvee into. Now it'll be a disgust gap at our spineless leader.
And Obama shouldn't count on the conservative oldsters rallying around his decision to punt the ball back to Congress either, even though it was then-president Bill Clinton, of the executive branch, who initiated DADT. His rolling out Bush's DoD Secretary, Robert Gates, to be the point man on supporting continuation of DADT, won't win him any Democratic friends either. Most importantly, the older generation is more likely to respect two things: Leadership and fiscal restraint. Obama's failure on the first is so obvious it supersedes even their possible agreement on allowing DADT to remain the law of the land - a law, let us remember, that the House and U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee-passed Murphy amendment (May 28, 2010) allowed the President to overturn next year. No, Obama already lost their vote due to the second trillion-dollar plus deficit, even though it is mostly the fault of Bush II and his unpaid for tax cuts and wars. Obama has escalated the expensive Afghanistan war, which we are losing, whereas under Bush, it was perceived as merely a stalemate, while now codifying allowing openly Gay servicemembers to be booted from service. No support here.
Real progressives will probably look to third parties, maybe the Green Party, at least in the midterms, or not be motivated to vote at all, handing the reins back to the Republicans, whose base is charged up - by default. Only a strong arch-conservative showing by a candidate like Sarah Palin is likely to get them to hold their nose enough to vote for Obama in 2012, and she is unlikely to get the Republican primary nod, though it is no longer impossible. And if Palin threads the Gay needle by saying something sensible like "the military should be allowed to discharge people for breach of conduct rules only, Gay or Straight, not for what they think on duty or do off-duty," then All Hands on Deck. It'll be Palin in 2012.