Join Email List | About Us | AMERICAblog News
More about: DADT | DOMA | ENDA | Immigration | Marriage | 2012 Elections

Signorile debunks the rewrite of history on battle to end DADT

| Reddit | Tumblr | Digg | FARK

Mike has a post at The Advocate, which challenges the efforts to rewrite the history of the recent legislative effort to end DADT. I think it's a must read. Remember, the Obama administration's original plan was to push off a vote until this year. That, obviously, would have been a disaster. Several of the key advocates, signed off on that plan - but not the military groups. This was, in the end, a great victory. But, absent a lot of people pushing against the Obama administration and the gay leaders (with all of their vaunted access), it would not have happened. Mike followed the DADT debate very, very closely. His analysis is spot on:

“Don’t ask, don’t tell” is on its way to becoming history. And there are two things about history I feel compelled to point out: It’s often unpredictable (I never imagined it would take nearly 18 years for the United States to dump this embarrassing policy) and it’s often revised.

Look no further than false narratives about what the White House, Congress, and leading gay organizations did to make repeal happen. Some say it doesn’t matter now how it happened, that we should sweep it all under the rug, thank the president, and move on. I say not so fast.

There’s no question that this is Barack Obama’s victory, a great one for which he will be credited in the history books. He initiated the task, taking on the entrenched homophobia in the Pentagon. And we should be enormously grateful that he came through in the end. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t look deeply at how we achieved the goal and realize the fundamental lesson for the LGBT movement: Only sustained pressure and continued media attention to the cause — which led to outright embarrassment for an administration and a Congress that failed to deliver all they had promised — will ultimately bring success. Remember that, because the revisionists are already trying to obscure it. Without an understanding of what really happened, we’re not going to win future battles.
That's right. Mike examines and debunks three of the current themes from the revisionists: 1) "The president really did have a plan for repeal"; 2) "Grassroots activists caused more problems than they solved and were wrong all along"; and 3) "Putting repeal in the defense authorization bill was wrong. It should have been crafted as stand-alone legislation all along." If our so-called leaders actually believe those three points, we're in trouble moving ahead.

blog comments powered by Disqus