Former President Bill Clinton and
former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell ignored
Tuesday's upcoming vote on repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the
1993 law that bans gay troops from serving openly, during television
appearances on Sunday.
Both men say they've had a change of
heart and support repeal of the law that prescribes discharge for gay
and lesbian service members who do not remain celibate or closeted.
The policy was considered a compromise
to Clinton's campaign promise that he would repeal an outright ban on
gay service. Instead, he signed “Don't Ask” into law, and
blamed the political environment for blocking him from completing his
Powell, who served as national security
adviser under President Ronald Reagan and later as secretary of state
under President George W. Bush, was instrumental in getting the
In appearances on CBS' Face the
Nation and NBC's Meet the Press, the men talked about the
growing influence of the tea party movement and the role of former
House Speaker Newt Gingrich in American politics, but neither was
questioned on “Don't Ask.”
Powell “should be questioned about
'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” blogger
Joe Sudbay wrote at AmericaBlog.com. “Powell helped create
that policy in 1993. Now, he thinks times have changed and the
policy has changed.”
a critical vote on repeal scheduled in the Senate for Tuesday,
Sudbay lamented the fact that President Barack Obama and Powell had
shied away from talking about the issue.
[pop star] Lady Gaga has become a fierce advocate for repeal –
and she speaks to a big audience. Fortunately, she's been willing to
use her bully pulpit.”
“At least someone has,” he added.