Has a reason been given for Obama’s change of heart?
I’ll go out on a limb and speculate he is reacting to poll numbers. Also, compared to the problems on his desk this is pretty small potatoes, but, off course, it’s the easiest to fix. Clearly he doesn’t think it’s worth it.
It’s possible that he feels he needs to “lay the groundwork” politically. Yes, he could do it right away—it’s within his power—but what would the backlash be? If all he did was create a culture of resentment in the military and a groundswell of reactionary opposition in the electorate, then the policy doesn’t outlast his Administration.
Don’t forget, Obama models himself after Lincoln. And Lincoln was very shrewd about giving the public time to move in a certain direction so that he could appear to be, to some degree, going with the flow rather than brashly ignoring the public will.
Now, this is optimistic, hopeful bigredfutbol talking. The more cynical Me worries that he’s just paying lipservice to a marginalized group. We shall see. But my optimistic scenario does have the virtue of following in the footsteps of his political idol.