Recently, fans of Scott Wooledge (clarknt67 on Daily Kos and Twitter) decided to spew some venom and go after little old me (ok fine, so I'm not old, sue me) for challenging his narrative that the President and his administration has been AWOL from the Congressional process of repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell. If you hear Scott tell the story, the President has been "unengaged." His fans are very angry at me for challenging his narrative of a President who is betraying his promise of repealing DADT.
But you see, Scott's "reporting" on this, as much as his editorializing of hair on fire news about this, have been wrong before. Just two weeks ago, on Pam's House Blend, Wooledge wrote a column pronouncing DADT repeal dead, complete with the singing fat lady metaphor.
This is pretty much the fat lady singing folks. Democrats are preparing to abandon the fight.In yet another post, he foretold with great certainty of a future when "nothing is passed" with respect to repealing DADT. I have screenshots of both stories, should they become necessary. And here we are now, with DADT repeal staying as part of the Defense appropriations bill, announced on the same day as a Presidential meeting with the Senate Democratic leadership and groups advocating repeal, and seemingly having secured 60 votes to overcome the McCain filibuster, according to Sen. Lieberman.
To believe Scott's new version of events, you'd have to believe the following: the White House which is not committed to repeal and was not in contact with senators' offices managed to set up a meeting with those senators they weren't in contact with and on the issue they weren't committed to and suddenly after that meeting DADT repeal makes it in. Oh and the groups that were in the room with the President and the Senators? Many of them also met with the President way before this "report", in late October. But hey, the president is not engaged and the administration is not in contact with anyone.
So what has Scott done about being completely and utterly wrong about his premature predictions of a doomed repeal effort? Has he even acknowledged that his earlier pronouncements were, at the very least, premature? Nope, not a thing. He's got a new attack line ready instead. Now that the President has acted visibly and publicly, the new game plan is to simply assert that the President was never committed, never interested in repeal except to pay it lip service, and the new push only happened because someone said to the media that the President was disengaged. You know, bear any burden, say anything, pay any price to discredit the President.
I have no doubt that Wooledge is a highly engaged activist. But activists don't always make good reporters, nor do they necessarily get to have a finger on Congress' pulse. Wooledge's judgment is clouded by what seems to be deep disdain for President Obama (to the point where he can't even bring himself to give the President credit for doing the right thing), his journalism is lousy and his predictions on this front have proven highly unreliable, to say the least. When a couple of weeks ago, news stories emerged about a possible removal of the repeal language from the Defense appropriations bill (even though most of that was bunk, too), Scott and his pals ran around with their hair on fire pronouncing the certain death of the repeal effort. Now that the White House and Senate Democratic leaders seem to have breathed life into repeal, we have the same people doing their level best to try to deny the White House any credit.
Scott has been fond of the Log Cabin Republicans' actions on challenging DADT in the courts, as we all should be, but I wonder if Scott even noticed the fact that they turned right around and honored two of the worst homophobes in Congress, both on the record against repealing DADT. Scott would even give John McCain a possibility of not filibustering a DADT repeal based on the words of the Log Cabin president, but the President of the United States, in Scott's world, would receive all of the blame if a repeal were not to pass, but none of the credit should one does come to pass, as seems likely.
The truth, and the bottom line, is this: The Senate looks poised to pass the Defense appropriations bill including a repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell (keep making those calls). President Barack Obama is poised to sign it into law, and thereby to keep his promise. Some believe fierce advocacy involves only frothing at the mouth and tongue-lashing at the opponents of one side of an issue. But true fierceness of advocacy is not measured by the decibels but by the advancement of policy. On this, we have an opportunity to advance policy. If Scott's primary concern is that the President get no credit from it, I suggest he step aside and the let the rest of us, who are concerned more about policy than credit, handle it.