Just moments ago, the Senate voted 63-33, with six Republicans in the affirmative, to invoke cloture and effectively guarantee repeal of DADT. This is an historic moment in America, in a league with the Civil Rights Act and other major rectifications of injustice in America. My son, Professor Tobias Barrington Wolff, has worked tirelessly for this victory over many years, and I am prouder of him than I can possibly say for the role he has played.
With this victory, Obama fulfills a major campaign pledge, and a massive injustice is rectified. It is worth reflecting on the skill with which the Obama White House handled this extremely divisive issue. Those who wanted Obama simply to cancel the policy by Presidential fiat were either confused [a President cannot cancel a duly enacted law, George W. Bush to the contrary notwithstanding] or deeply politically naive. There are unilateral in-your-face steps Obama could have taken with regard to this matter, but they almost certainly would have provoked a Congressional backlash that would have killed all chances for repeal for many years. Instead, he engaged in the six-months long process of study, in effect polling the military, until he had the Joint Chiefs and the Republican Secretary of Defense on board. That boxed in large numbers of Senators who make a fetish of military opinion, and isolated McCain and other die hards, making them look foolish and petty in the process. It is a tribute to Obama's patience and political skill that this moment has occurred, and I for one consider it a triumph.
Now, let us hear some words of praise from the Left, please.