From the DC Agenda:

Agenda: Is the president expecting repeal legislation on his desk this year?

Gibbs: Well, again, the president outlined in the State of the Union ó and you heard Secretary Gates and Adm. Mullen discuss the process that will take place. If that process results in legislation by the yearís end, the president will certainly sign it. I think, most importantly, the president, the military and others feel like we have the best process structured moving forward to end ďDonít Ask, Donít Tell.Ē

Agenda: I have a follow up, actually. Would the president support a legislative moratorium on discharges under ďDonít Ask, Donít TellĒ at this time, until the Pentagon completes its review?

Gibbs: I would point you to what the ó to the testimony from Gates and Mullen in what that process will ó the process that will take place over the course of the next year.



Unnecessarily wishy-washy on the moratorium, but I'll get back to that in a minute.

Strike "DADT" and insert "public option" and this could be a quote from last year, when the White House refused to push for the public option, but stated repeatedly that if the legislation magically somehow landed on the President's desk, he'd sign it.

We need leadership. From our groups, from the Congress, and most of all from our President. The military ban is his domain, no one else's. He may be able to get away with claiming it's Congress' job to repeal DOMA and pass ENDA (even though the President has one hell of a role in helping to get Congress to do that), but the repeal of DADT is going to come down to what the Department of Defense and its Commander in Chief decide they want. Congress, for better or worse, will likely follow the lead of DOD and the President on this one. And neither is leading.

We had a great seven days for DADT, between the State of the Union and the Armed Services hearing, and now that momentum is in danger of being lost. Servicemembers United presented an excellent compromise this week, that could really move the ball forward - namely, repeal this year with delayed implementation until the DOD study is done. But it happened in a vacuum, a vacuum of leadership.

We need three things, soon.

1. It would be great if the groups could get together in a united front and publicly tell the administration we expect the repeal of DADT this year, period. Especially the Human Rights Campaign. If HRC stood up publicly and told the administration that "we expect DADT repeal this year or else," the Democratic party, ten months before a pivotal congressional election, would crap its proverbial pants. Sadly, no one expects HRC to stand up and demand anything, other than a federal employee domestic partners benefits bill that the community never even asked for, that will likely help only a handful of all gay federal employees (those in domestic partnerships, civil unions, or marriages), that gay legal groups said the President didn't even need (they've said he already has the power to grant health care benefits to gay partners in the administration), and is, frankly, a sorry replacement for the repeal of DADT and DOMA, and the passage of ENDA, which we were repeatedly promised. If HRC actually held the President accountable, I think you'd see the repeal of DADT this year.

2. We need a Senator on the Armed Services committee, with the savvy to get this legislation passed, stepping forward and taking the lead in that body. And for all the good words coming from Kirsten Gillibrand, she's not on the Armed Services Committee, and worse, she's not even pushing for repeal this year. Gillibrand says she's for the repeal of DADT, but this year she's advocating a moratorium on discharges. And while a moratorium sounds like a wonderful thing, it's not what we were promised by candidate Obama during the campaign, by President Obama during the State of the Union, or by the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs only one week ago. It's also a sure-fire way to kill the repeal of DADT this year, by negotiating with herself in public and offering something less than her supposed final goal, repeal, right out the gate. There are other problems with the moratorium proposal that Joe and I will delve into this weekend. But in a nutshell, if we get the moratorium we won't see the repeal of DADT for years to come, if ever. I explain why that's the case in this piece I wrote a few weeks ago.

3. We need our President to lead. No more health care reforms. No more sitting back and waiting to see if the Good Fairy puts a legislative victory under the President's pillow while he sleeps. The President needs to stop taking a legislative vacation, and start getting in to the nitty gritty of using his political capital to push for the legislation he promised. Millions of gay Americans, their friends, and their families heard President Obama promise in his State of the Union that we were going to get the repeal of DADT, and the Pentagon the next week made clear that we didn't mis-hear the President. You don't put something in the 2010 State of the Union that you don't want in 2010. So where is the President's leadership?

The President raised a lot of hopes these past few weeks. I think you're going to see a lot of seriously ticked off gay (and straight) voters come November if his promises end up broken once again.

AMERICAblog Gay: Gibbs: Obama will sign DADT repeal this year if someone else magically makes it appear on his desk
president fierce strikes again