Thursday, October 21, 2010

Valerie Jarrett's Lies

Yesterday on CNN the Obama administration's p.r. disaster was in full view, as the White House sent Valerie Jarrett out to battle Dan Choi on "don't ask, don't tell." Not a good move. Dan forcefully and eloquently pointed to the administration's hypocrisy and to Jarrett's earlier CNN hit where she arrogantly claimed that the critics in the gay community don't understand the process. Wolf Blitzer actually made Jarrett sit through Dan's take-down, in which he rightly stated, "We don't need a lecture from Valerie Jarrett." How dare she try to divide us and claim she knows the smarter gays who back the president's plan, particularly after her "lifestyle choice" comment? Are those smarter gays the ones who told her that phrase was ok? Sorry, if that's the case she's not hanging with the right gays.

Listening to Dan Choi, Jarrett was squirming in her seat, and then completely running from Blizter's questions, including not giving any answer to whether the president will push for a vote in the lame duck session or not. Same old bullshit.

Valerie Jarrett, who I met back at Netroots Nation in Pittsburgh, is someone I thought was a voice on our side in the White House, but I'm really coming to dislike her and realize she's another smug hack, a complete phony. She outright lied several times on CNN yesterday, claiming the president has called DADT unconstitutional -- he has not -- and also claiming the administration must appeal Judge Virgina Phillips' injunction. The emerging consensus of constitutional and military legal experts -- including former Bush Solicitor General Ted Olson -- is in fact that Obama does not, and should not appeal the ruling and injunction if he wants to end DADT. It just means having some guts and doing the right thing rather than continuing to pass the buck.

One of those respected constitutional military legal experts who's been quoted in the press in recent days is Diane Mazur, a former Air Force officer who is a law professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. In an interview on the show on Wednesday, Mazur told me that President Obama is on much more solid ground in not appealing this decision than even Bill Clinton was when he decided that the ban on people with HIV in the military was unconstitutional and refused to defend it. In Mazur's legal analysis, not appealing is neither risky nor out of the ordinary. As Ted Olson said, it's actually "appropriate." We also talked about how the president could end the discharges now and the options he has had all along. Listen in to the audio clip, and also watch Dan Choi and Valerie Jarrett on CNN.