Alex Blaze

The Congressional, queer Bradley Effect

Filed By Alex Blaze | May 19, 2010 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: bradley effect, Don't Ask Don't Tell, ENDA, ike skelton, LGBT, Nancy Pelosi, politics

Jill summarized Pelosi's transparent attempt to stall on ENDA this morning:

First, she said that taking a vote on ENDA and DADT in the same week is impossible from a scheduling standpoint. An amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to repeal DADT will be proposed next week. So that puts ENDA into June. And not the first week of June, either, as the House has a week off for Memorial Day. And of course, no markup has been scheduled on ENDA, and the notice period for that usually takes up a week. So we're looking at mid-June. What does that do to the possibility of the Senate having enough time to take it up before the August recess?

Oh, and there's more

Pelosi said she thought ENDA would have a much better likelihood of passing if DADT repeal were successfully ushered through first.

If you liked that, you're going to love what Rep. Skelton, Chair of the House Armed Services Committee, had to say about when that DADT vote is going to happen:

The Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee began Wednesday's consideration of the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act by saying there would be no debate of "don't ask, don't tell" repeal during the committee's markup.

"You won't find any mention of the repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell,'" Rep. Ike Skelton of Missouri said of the draft language for the bill, adding that he and the ranking Republican member of the committee had an agreement not to address the gay ban in committee. "Mr. [Buck] McKeon and I have spoken about this, we have agreed to support Admiral Mullen and Secretary Gates' request for time to study the issue, and we do not support this issue being raised in this markup."

Repeal advocates have never viewed the House Armed Services Committee as a good avenue for adding repeal to the Defense funding bill. The committee is seen as leaning conservative and Chairman Skelton has consistently said he does not support repealing the policy this year.

So DADT repeal when the Pentagon gets done with their study (set to finish, by pure coincidence, just after the midterms). Then we can start talking about ENDA.

At this point there shouldn't be any doubt that Congressional leadership simply doesn't want to pass these two bill. Maybe they're worried about losing the already-Republican 10-40% of the vote that opposes these basic measures. Maybe they don't want to do anything that won't interest the majority of Americans.

Or maybe the leadership is full of homophobes. That'd something like the Bradley Effect, where they don't want to be perceived as homophobes so they say what they need to say in public, but behind closed doors vote what they actually believe.

Otherwise, I'm out of ideas. But this is pretty much the game the Democrats have been running since last year, putting off the ENDA vote for a couple weeks and then a month and then maybe another week. Each time it's a different person with a different excuse. Meanwhile, LGBT people are still losing their jobs with no recourse.

Over at one of my old haunts, the big orange forest, straight progressive activists are debating whether we should be criticizing Democrats or clapping louder to keep them from losing too many seats in 2010.

If the Democrats do lose seats (and they most likely will, since this is a midterm and they have the White House), they will interpret that loss as a sign that they need to move further to the right, that Real Americans are just fed up with all this Socialism. It'll be their excuse not to do anything.

If they do, somehow, gain seats, they'll need to protect their majorities in the 2012 election. The only thing they'll have been shown by this session is that they don't really have to do much to benefit anyone to stay in office, much less LGBT people.

Either way, it's not going to be good for us, and we'll be less likely to participate in the political process. Which works out well for them, since they'd rather we shut up.

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It's 1994 all over again.

looks around for new party to attach to. green?

Is there a purple party to join? Or just a plain party? Seriously, may as well form our own party and impact the Dem's adversly by pulling votes and money from them. Won't directly affect them, but they'll understand that we can cause them to lose an election just as easy as we can help them win. Kick them in the teeth a few times with marked looses to the Republicans/Teaparty and they may wise up.

Or not. Some on the left tried that with Nader in 2000 (and Nader in previous years) and it didn't do anything to help anyone - Democrats didn't learn that lesson either.

Yep its throw out the bums kind of year nobody is safe from Liberals to Blue Dogs to Moderate Republicans.So look for this to be ignored till the primaries are over if then Congress has two big votes to live up or down they cant handel three.

Politics is a contact sport with no rules.

R L Pete Housman | May 20, 2010 2:05 AM

Sometimes in the heat of the moment I forget that all of this is just a game. No big deal.

John Rutledge | May 20, 2010 9:58 AM

I hear 'they want us to shut up and go away' and that is exactly what I am reading and hearing many are planning to do. We don't get what we want, when we want it, so we pack up and go home. We cave. I hear many say they are staying home in November, not participating, not being involved. I understand, but remember it took the Matthew Shepherd Act 12 years to pass! Did his mom give up, ever? We can only imagine the uncountable dark nights she suffered. Who are we being if we refuse to engage? We must fight the good fight until we draw our last breath. We do so remembering our pain, and honoring those who have passed, so future generations can be spared some of what we have endured.

They'll change their minds before November.

They're still in the anger and demanding phase. After realizing that doesn't work, they'll blow up balloons for Pelosi, Reid and other Democrats.

I spent the morning downloading the names and addresses of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees anyone want my list? write me privately [email protected]

I may have the wrong election, but I thought everyone was blaming Nader from causing the win for Bush, that he split the independents. I also thought the republicans were blaming him for pulling some of the independents, thereby making the race so close. So no side was happy with Nader.

And that is what we really want, an impact to both sides.

You might be thinking of Perot in 1992. Nader ran with the Green Party on a platform further to the left than the Democrats and every I knew who worked for his campaign was on the left.

Not the reason Gore wasn't president, of course. The Supreme Court telling the state to stop counting votes along with all the other irregularities going on down there had more to do with it. But that didn't stop the Dems from blaming the stupid leftists who voted for Nader.

At this point there shouldn't be any doubt that Congressional leadership simply doesn't want to pass these two bill.

That's the understatement of the decade.

Of course, it has nothing to do with the inability of either Bill to pass the US Senate.