So it seems that I owe the president a little apology.
Back in October, I was somewhat perturbed at the Obama administration for their decision to actively fight the court-mandated cease and desist order for enforcing Don't Ask, Don't Tell. As I reasoned, all Obama needed to do in order to let the policy lapse was just accept the court order and let it go.
Sure, Obama said they were only appealing in order to get DADT repealed through proper channels, i.e., a bill passed through Congress. But, I reasoned at the time, this would never happen, not in a million years. Republicans would threaten to filibuster the action, Democrats would cave like always, the new Republican House of Representatives would push out the Democrats (it was already obvious at that point that this was going to happen) and there would not be another opportunity to repeal for at least two years and probably longer.
But they did it. They actually voted to repeal. So, hooray for gay rights! And may I say, this is a case where I am most definitely happy to have been wrong.
Even so, I can't resist a single sourpuss shrill liberal comment -- my moment of "What if Peter hadn't caught the wolf? What then?" This was by no means a foregone conclusion. Senate Democrats were racing the clock, it mostly didn't look like they were going to make it. Only some uncharacteristic party manipulation by Harry Reid as well as some frankly shocking heroics from Senator Joe Lieberman of all people (sole member of the popular "Connecticut for Lieberman" party) made this possible at all. Had this gamble not paid off, it's still highly likely that DADT would have remained a permanent fixture.
I would really like to have seen Barack Obama take a more active role in working to bring this down. Going into next year, let's not forget that Democrats still control a majority of the Senate in addition to the presidency. More than ever, passing any kind of desirable agenda will require better politics than just hopeful speeches.