America is asking, Obama will tell. A few days after former Bill Clinton adviser Richard Socarides penned a fairly scathing Wall Street Journal op-ed which called on President Obama to “show the same kind of concern for the constitutional rights of gay American service members as he has for enemy combatants held at Guantánamo Bay” the commander-in-chief will reportedly address the repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” in his State of the Union address Wednesday night. We know this because Michigan senator Carl Levin was planning on holding some hearings on DADT, but was asked not to by the Pentagon.
Levin was told to hold off on announcing the hearing until after the president’s address Wednesday, according to a Senate aide. Levin was also told that Obama will address the issue of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” in his speech on Wednesday, but Levin does not know what’s in the speech, the aide added. Levin also mentioned this in a huddle with reporters on Monday.
It would address it. Well, that’s not saying a whole lot. Obama has been addressing it for years now. As recently as October, he told the Human Rights Campaign, “I will end ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell.’ ” But with momentum building to actually, you know, do it already, Obama will hopefully voice support for a firm timetable tomorrow night. If he simply promises once again to “end it” at some future time, we may suffer an episode of déjà vu so forceful as to be debilitating, and possibly fatal. We read medical journals; it can happen.