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The DADT repeal? Don't ask.

It looks like the Senate Armed Services Committee is going to drop the proposed repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy from the bill to authorize defense spending. With the DADT repeal language, the bill was blocked by a John McCain-led filibuster in September.

Two-thirds of Americans think DADT is discriminatory. The commander in chief, defense secretary and chair of the Joint Chiefs all support repealing it. So does Sen. Carl Levin, who chairs the Armed Services Committee. Yet Levin--whose party still controls both chambers of Congress and the White House--is working with McCain, the committee's ranking Republican, to strip the DADT language from the bill.

Adam Serwer offers a helpful, if not exactly encouraging, historical point of contrast:

That Democrats would cave on this now shows how far the party of Harry Truman has fallen. In December the Defense Department is reportedly set to release a study showing that, like the American people, most servicemembers aren't opposed to gays and lesbians openly serving. That's in contrast to the vast opposition of most servicemembers to racial integration in the 1940s; if Truman had insisted on staying his hand until a political climate as favorable as this one had come along, integrating the military might not have happened until decades later. 

Truman ended segregation in the military because it was the right thing to do, despite the fact that it was unpopular. Ending DADT happens to be both popular and the right thing to do, and Democrats today still can't get it done.

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