Obama Rattled by Gay-Rights Hecklers

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Since President Obama announced in the State of the Union that he would begin steps to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," he has made little tangible process. Despite support from Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mike Mullen, White House efforts have stalled in the face of united Republican opposition.

The lack of progress towards repeal has infuriated many gay-rights activists, and they voiced their frustration during Obama's speech at a fundraiser for California senator Barbera Boxer. The repeated outbursts seemed to rattle the President, who fired back at the LGBT protesters.

When ... you've got an ally like me who [is] standing for the same thing, then you don't know exactly why you've got to holler, because [I] already hear you, alright? I mean, it would have made more sense to holler that at the people who oppose it. ... I'm sorry, do you want to come up here?

While Obama's retort drew the expected catcalls from the right, liberal bloggers were equally negative on the president for his inaction on DADT.

  • Playing Dumb on DADT  "It's frustrating, Mr. President," snaps the Huffington Post's Lane Hudson. who challenges Obama to wield his presidential power to enact a repeal. "YOU HOLD THE POWER," he thunders. "You can insert language in the Defense Authorization bill that would repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell. [...] Our impatience is growing, we will hold you accountable, we will pressure you, and we will not be told to wait."
  • Can't Hide From This  Firedoglake's David Dayen gets to the heart of gay activists' frustration with Obama. "For months since the President announced at the State of the Union that he would get DADT repealed this year, the White House strategy has been non-existent. Congressmen like Barney Frank have asked for answers and received none. The President can run but he cannot hide on this issue."
  • Why We're 'Hollering'  At the Atlantic, Andrew Sullivan informs Obama why LGBT supporters feel the need to heckle him. "Because, Mr President, it is not enough to be "supportive" of ending 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,'" he declares. "When you have the presidency and your party controls both Houses of Congress, it's a matter of having the political will to end it."
  • Enjoying the Carnage  Conservative blogger Don Surber is perfectly happy to sit back and watch the left's infighting. "This is a popcorn moment for conservatives as we watch these disingenuous people claw at one another over a tertiary issue — for them," he chortles. For his part, Serber thinks military personnel don't care that much about their comrades' sexual orientation. "Frankly, I think most people in the military could not care less if the guy next to them is gay. They just want to be sure that he will pull his weight."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.