Jarrod Chlapowski

DADT Repeal: Take a Breath

Filed By Jarrod Chlapowski | September 21, 2010 3:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Don't Ask Don't Tell, Senate race, Servicemembers United, vote

The vote went down as predicted as early as last week when the procedure used to push voting on NDAA by Reid became known. We did not get cloture, and we lost. The "why" is a many-headed hydra that will be discussed endlessly today and tomorrow. I'll revisit should it become necessary.

contemplative.jpgNevertheless, there's more work to get done that I'll get into soon once we at SU have had a chance to regroup. In the meantime, I recieved from one of our miltary partners an hour before the vote:

Have hope, Dear Hearts... Yes, I am crying as I write this - mostly because I am thinking of my partner getting the news and having to go back to class and pretend that none of this affects him.

Regardless of what happens in the next few minutes on the floor of the Senate, we will win. Alex and Jarrod have taught us to keep fighting no matter what, and that's what we will do.

Although it might seem our validation as human beings hangs on the whim of a few rich, old and (mostly) white straight people - this is truly not the case...

The tide has turned in our favor, and there is no going back now.

I've recieved about 20 emails from active duty folks and partners sharing a similar sentiment. It is their lives that are affected by this law, not mine. And yet they each, in the midst of their pain, made an effort to let me know that they have not lost hope.

I cannot let them down. We cannot let them down.

We're not done.

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R L Pete Housman | September 21, 2010 3:41 PM

We are momentarily stalled. WE ARE NOT STOPPED
as long as we have will and breath. DADT will end. Honor and Service with personal Intergrity

Amen, Pete.

No matter how pissed off we are right now, the tide is turning and it won't be long before our legislators are forced to keep up with public opinion or lose their seats.

We will be vindicated

We WILL win. It's inevitable. It's right. And once again white Christian conservatives are on the wrong side. If it means our white friends, our Christian friends, and our conservative friends have to endure some uncomfortable questions from us, they'd better get used to it. We WILL win!

We're with you, Jarrod! Maybe this is what the movement needed - the energy to finish!!

Kyle Chernoff | September 21, 2010 4:25 PM

One of my friends who is a gay military cadet was sitting next to me when I received the news. He's.. upset, to put it mildly.
We spent the next half hour writing letters to the relevant senators either thanking them or expressing our disapproval. I wrote my senators (Hagan and Burr), thanking the forming, and telling the latter that I'd "relish voting against him, and pledge to do my best to persuade my friends and family to do the same", and I wrote Senator Webb thanking him for coming around at the end. He wrote his senators, Boxer and Feinstein, to thank them for their votes in the safely non-specific manner necessary as someone who is (thanks to todays vote) still blocked from fully participating in the political process.
It seemed like the most productive thing we could do at the time. I'll look into making some strategic monetary donations this evening, after class. I'm thinking Boxer, Feingold, and Elaine Marshall would be good choices.

Good job Kyle. I will send letters out to Hagan and Burr was well. Keep on keeping on.

Wilmington, NC

I was in tears seeing my state's senators who I have volunteered, donated and votd for Senator Stabenow and Senator Levin stand up and demand this bill be heard that they will not stop. The issue I want to see our community nationally address what 3 Democrats did not vote for the repeal, and what we are going to do against the Republicans voting down a $730,000,000,000 budget with Dream Act, military pay raise, on top of our bill.

Democrat Mark Pryor voted against DADT repeal.
Democrat Blanche Lincoln voted against DADT repeal.

Democrat Jim Webb voted yes, but maintained he was still against DADT repeal.

Those three Conservative Democrats that will never support the repeal of DADT. Combined with the current 40 Republicans means DADT Repeal will never get 60 votes. McCain will not give up his filibuster.

After November 2nd, there will be 48 Republicans and four or five Conservative Democrats or a majority - even if not enough to break a filibuster. It will be gridlock, putting DADT off until after the 2012 election.

This reality is why I suggested calls, emails and faxes don't change any minds. Politicians, non-profit advocates and other assorted political pimps would like you to believe they do, but they do not. Especially concerning us, we don't have anything to negotiate with or threaten with.

Today's vote was determined by the religious intensity of the individual States. Democrats Pryor and Lincoln are from Arkansas where 78% of their adult population make religion "important."

Two things reliably predict a Senators position on LGBT-issues 1) the overall religious intensity of constituents and 2) the religious intensity of the Senator.

There are 7-10 States that are close enough to convert, but instead we make meaningless calls or send meaningless emails or faxes.

Someday, we'll learn.

Andrew, what do you think we've been doing for the past 5 years? A very quick summary is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeSN5LmMGTo.

Seriously, get your head out of your ass and do some research.

You've been wasting time, money and energy telling people to call their Senators. You have been pretending that lobbying works.

I was the 2nd view of your video. Congratulations.

I'm doing a lot of research and it demonstrates that your organization may look good, and sound good, but it isn't very effective. Stomp your feet all you want, you don't have any success to point to.

Last week you told people we can win if you make calls and send emails and faxes. Last week you said we REALLY could get 60 votes. Today you said
"the vote went down as predicted." Which statement was the LIE? Or, the bigger LIE?

You'll make a great politician someday. Is that your motivation?

@Andrew: I'm a queer military partner. I'm crushed by the defeat in the Senate.

I would be the last person to say that lobbying works. In fact, until I lobbied last week, I had NEVER been inside a Senator's office except for protests and sit-ins.

I agree that writing letters is an exercise in futility if you want ANYTHING besides the Demopublican business-as-usual model.

So let's hear your epic plan. Let's hear what you're doing to enable my partner to serve openly. 'Cause I wanna join your organization. Seriously. What's your next planned action?

Let's hear what you're doing to bring military-affiliated queers together on this. 'Cause the people you're dissing, they've brought countless people together. I've been connected with dozens of people in my situation--when I never knew ANYONE before. I thought my partner and I were completely alone. But these queer soldiers and partners helped me get through the Senate vote debacle. We are a support network for each other.

You can't say that "isn't very effective".

Really, though, I only have this to say: Remember who the enemy is.

Servicemembers United has made a huge difference in my life, and in the lives of many of my friends and colleages. I understand your bitterness and cynicism (you would call it realism) in regards to the political process, but you are painting with too broad a brush.

You can debate the efficacy and wisdom of lobbying ad infinitum, but by saying "Stomp your feet all you want, you don't have any success to point to", you are flat out saying that SU has been a failure. I couldn't disagree more.

SU has been at the forefront of bringing DADT into the public eye - and keeping it there. Every organization has its roll to play in this fight, and SU excels at that one. If people aren't aware of the issue, no one will ever give a damn if it's changed or not. You think our elected officials will even consider an issue that doesn't even register on their constituents' radar - out of fairness?

In its pioneering outreach to military partners, SU has brought hope and recognition where neither before existed - culminating in the historic meeting of gay military partners with the Comprehensive Review Working Group at the Pentagon.

Court case may very well lead us to victory - and thank god for Lawrence, Witt and LCR - but, a legal victory without public support and awareness is a hollow one in my eyes.

My comment was directed at Jarrod and his double speak.

We don't have to debate lobbying US Senators, it doesn't work and everyone knows that.

I'm glad SU has been helpful for you. These recent comments were about the SU repeated proclamation "if we just make enough calls or send enough emails, we can win." That's just silly.

Polls determine a Senator's vote.

Its time to bring it to the Senate floor and let the filibuster loose. Let McCain and friends talk it to death. Let all other business stop. Let it continue until the elections. Let the public see who is wasting time and billions while the defense budget languishes. Let the troops be unfunded while McCain talks his heart out and nothing else gets done. There is more than one way to skin a cat. Particularly in an election year. Let's see the Pentagon sweat a bit with lack of authorized funds to carry on in foreign lands. I'm willing to bet the generals get uncomfortable if it drags out much longer.

They don't even have to talk anymore, they just have to say "filibuster." I think Byrd changed that rule and added "cloture."

Ooh! A filibuster -- endless talking about anything and everything -- will bring the work of the US Senate to a standstill!

Isn't that where they are already?

And if the Republicans run out of objections and start reading books into the Congressional Record, just to keep talking, is that going to improve their election chances when we all go to the polls in a month?

"Regardless of which party is in power, there are always calls for forcing the minority party to "read a phonebook" to keep a filibuster alive. Unfortunately, the Mr. Smith filibuster is another Hollywood fiction. In real life, it can't happen."


The complete silence from the White House before this extremely important vote speaks volumes.