Obama's DADT Repeal Campaign Rally

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Dec. 22 2010 9:26 AM

Obama's DADT Repeal Campaign Rally

The very last argument that opponents of Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal used wasn't very convincing. It was a political operation, they said. It wasn't about strengthening the military. It was about a political win for Barack Obama.

Maybe they weren't right about the motivations, but they were right about the effects. The signing ceremony for repeal was even more of a pep rally than the typical signing ceremony, and these things are always about politics. It was not signed in the White House; it was signed in the sizable James S. Copley Auditorium at the Interior Department. So it had room for activists, the sort of people who once heckled Obama at fundraisers or got arrested in protests (like Dan Choi). Now they were screaming "We love you!" and listening to a high-flying Obama speech comparable to his speech before the signing of health care reform.

Advertisement

"There can be little doubt," said Obama, "there were gay soldiers who fought for independence, who stormed the beaches at Normandy." Today's gay soldiers "stand for all those who came before you and you will serve as role models for all who come after you."

Nobody seems to like theater criticism-as-political-criticism, but if you compare Obama's look when he signed the tax cut deal and his look when he signed this, it was night and deal. He set his jaw signing the tax deal; he smiled and laughed while signing this. After doing it he smacked the table and pronounced "this is done."

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

Where Ebola Lives Between Outbreaks

Gunman Killed Inside Canadian Parliament; Soldier Shot at National Monument Dies

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Paul Farmer: Up to 90 Percent of Ebola Patients Should Survive

Is he right?

Science

“I’m Not a Scientist” Is No Excuse

Politicians brag about their ignorance while making ignorant decisions.

Politics

The Right to Run

If you can vote, you should be able to run for public office—any office.

In Praise of 13th Grade: Why a Fifth Year of High School Is a Great Idea 

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 22 2014 6:30 PM The Tragedies That Have Shaped Canada's Gun Politics
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 22 2014 4:10 PM Skinny Mark Wahlberg Goes for an Oscar: The First Trailer for The Gambler
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.