Jarrod Chlapowski

Calm Down but Don't: The Continuing Adventures of DADT Repeal

Filed By Jarrod Chlapowski | November 08, 2010 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Carl Levin, Defense Authorization Act, Don't Ask Don't Tell, Harry Reid, John McCain

Word is via Wall Street Journal that Senator Carl Levin is in talks with McCain to discuss stripping the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) down to its barebones without any controversial issues attached, which presumably means anything mentioning abortions, the DREAM act, and, yes, DADT repeal. mccainlevin.jpg

This is not a story, folks.

The Senate Armed Services Committee is responsible for figuring out how to push NDAA forward this year, if it can. Levin is chair of that committee, McCain the ranking Republican. Levin is an ally, McCain is not. During the negotiations process, options not favorable to us will be floated. This is just one option. Other options such as going forward with a continuing resolution without voting on NDAA, going forward with limiting amendments, etc. will also be discussed. These discussions are not absolutely necessary, but a means to prevent filibuster on a motion to proceed on the bill. With no filibuster, NDAA could be done in a week. And the less time spent on the bill, the more likely it will go forward.

Should you still lose your shit? Absolutely. More, after the jump.

Though the option being leaked, while not quite 'background noise,' is not surprising, the fact that this particular option leaked outside of context is concerning. This may indicate that this option is holding more weight than the others - ie, being taken seriously - or that it's being selectively leaked by offices opposed to repeal to shift perception on the issue - meaning McCain has no intention on not filibustering DADT repeal. Coupled with a Marine commandant once again bucking his bosses - and with likely "negative" study leaks as the same commandant and other joint chiefs look over the study over the next few weeks - this creates a ton of negative press around the issue, and a sense of hopelessness right at the moment when urgency is so essential.

We need good press to counterbalance that.

Don't get me wrong, Mullen and Gates are making some effort to counteract this energy. But without a definitive gesture from Harry Reid on voting on NDAA with DADT repeal attached in the lame-duck, the base will not be confident in repeal this year, risking DADT becoming drowned out by the economy and jobs in the lame-duck. Without the administration going beyond 'potentially' pushing for a vote in the lame-duck , the base will not be supportive, and Reid won't feel White House pressure to go forward.

Here's your narrative, for your Letters to the Editor, for your Op-Eds, for your communications with White House peeps and folks in Reids office: If we fail this year, it's because Reid and the White House did not try nearly hard enough. We have the votes. We have a path forward.

We just need to vote on the damn thing in a way that does not alienate either side of the aisle.

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Amazing. We don't have the votes. There are 56 LGBT-supportive Senators after accounting for the four special elections.

Oh, what the hell - send emails, make calls and apply "pressure," that's always worked in the past.

Hunger strike, anyone?

SkepticalCidada | November 8, 2010 4:43 PM

Fivetree, below, has already corrected AndrewW's pathetic distortion.

Meanwhile, we get to continue watching as AndrewW works out whatever dysfunctional compulsion he has to attack anyone who is doing anything--whether street activism, lobbying Congress, or anything else--to try to advance the cause.

What a loathsome troll!

Well, what shall we use as evidence that "lobbying" is effective? HRC has spent $550 million during the last 30 years and they have never changed a single vote in the US Senate - not one.

How about "protests?" What did the various embarrassing stunts do to change the reality of the 60 vote threshold in the US Senate? Did we shame or embarrass or humiliate anyone into supporting us?

And all these calls and emails and letters - how many emails does it take? Or calls? How many are enough to change a senator's mind? Thousands or millions?

Tell us, please how any one of these things "advances the cause?"

For too long we have been engaged in "try everything" with the uninspiring goal of "one of these days." It's time to be honest and objective about what works and what doesn't.

You can simply insult people if that's your thing, I'm looking for answers. Real, sustainable answers.

SkepticalCidada | November 8, 2010 7:27 PM

Meanwhile, we get to watch AndrewW work out whatever his dysfunction is.

No evidence? That's becoming very clear. Of course, you're still full of childish insults.

SkepticalCidada | November 9, 2010 12:15 AM

Get help, AndrewW. You need it.

Actually, the vote was 57. Senator Reid, as Majority Leader, switched his vote so that he could re-introduce the bill further down the road. It's a procedural matter.

The 2 Democrats who voted against are Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor - both from Arkanas. You can forget about Pryor because he has to run for reelection, but Lincoln lost last Tuesday and is free to vote her consicience, if she has one.

Lisa Murkowski didn't vote and as the preseumptive Independent winner of the Alaska Senate race is beholden only to herself and certainly not to Mitch McConnell. She has shown some independence before. She could here as well. She will caucus with the Republicans in January but voting for repeal would be a way for her to let them know that she can be trouble for them if she wants to be.

Finally, Scott Brown, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe are possible gets here. Collins says she supported the filibuster because they couldn't add amendments. Let them add amendments and see if she switches. Brown has to run for reelection in Massacussetts, which went solidly BLUE on Tuesday. He might want to position himself better in such a liberal state and reconsider his earlier vote.

That said: 1) call the White House, 2) call Harry Reid and 3) Call your 2 Senators.

You seem to be ignoring the new Senators from West Virginia and Illinois - they are both NO votes.

At best, we have 56 votes and McCain has once again vowed to use the filibuster.

After new Senators are sworn in we will have 53-54 votes.

That's the math. You can wish and hope and even dance in the streets, but we don't have 60 votes.

I've never understood why the religious right which seems to advocate death to gays (at times) would want to keep gays out of a couple of active wars. But then its not something I worry about except that it seems to have taken center stage.

OK, um... I think I know of a way to get DADT and DOMA repealed and ENDA passed. Just attach them to a 30% pay raise for all Congress members and a free unlimited life time supply of Viagra and pages.
That'll do it!

Gays serve openly in the military of the majority of NATO nations; national security is not an issue.

How can the United States continue to claim it is so progressive and accepting in terms of diversity?

Renee Thomas | November 9, 2010 9:00 AM

AndrewW writes:

" . . . You can simply insult people if that's your thing, I'm looking for answers. Real, sustainable answers . . . "

Such puerile bullshit. Hell Andrew, I'm doubtful that you could find your hind end with both hands and a flashlight. But since your looking so intently for "sustainable answers" that must definitively establish that you will be offering none of your own? This is of course as many have long suspected of you.

Mehsayer and indolent troll . . . you’re nothing if not consistent.

Rick Sutton | November 9, 2010 9:07 AM

Andrew, I'm not sure you're following, but try:

Fivetree was doing the math for THIS SESION of Congress. As in: not yet adjourned sine die.

The "new" senators don't make one bit of difference in the current Congress. They are like the rest of us--interested observers. With banking lobbyists hanging on their every word, and ready to feed the newbies.

I think Fivetree's math is close, and his logic on getting to 60 is sound. It's still a long shot, but one thing is sure: if we stand by and do nothing, we won't win.

5Tree: where was Ben Nelson in your math? He's a complete assbag in most matters. How about this one?

And how about Sens. Lugar and Voinivich? Both mdoerate GOPs on military issues. Any chance? V is leaving, and Lugar is, well, Lugar. Trying so valliantly to be Henry Kissinger.

Sorry Rick, look it up. Illinois and West Virginia were Special Elections and those Senators will be sworn in immediately.

We have, at best 56 votes. Calling, emailing and protesting - as usual - have no effect on that. But, what the heck, waste your time.

The way to get DADT through is to strip out the part of the dream act that doesn't apply to the military.make it a bill that pertains only to military money and military rules then send it out.If they want to filibuster it let them why bend? Let the Republicans go on TV and defend why they are going against the majority of voters talk about being activist.

The Dream Act is at least indirectly related to the military. The NDAA always counts a couple of amendments that are completely unrelated - often by Republicans. McCain once packaged campaign financing reform into it.

The part I was talking about withholding was the going to college part of the Dream Act. The other part about joining the military as a path towards citizenship leave in because it would authorize Recruiters to start the process of recruiting illegal immigrants and then recruiting them if they pass muster.The going to college part should come after service to this country as recognition and thanks for their commitment to America.

Rick Sutton | November 9, 2010 9:59 AM

I had forgotten about the president's old Senate seat--you're right. That's one vote lost to Kirk. I think (does anyone know if he's with us or against us?) But WVa is a trade-out: same vote out, same vote in. And I think the placeholder was better for us--I'm not sure Sen. Byrd, in his final days, was cogent enough to have an opinion on DADT.

I'm confused about Sen. Gillibrand in NY--hers was technically a Special Election, too, but now...doesn't she get to serve until the "natural" end of Sen. Clinton's original term?
Which is, I think 2012.

Both Kirk and Manchin (WV) are against DADT Repeal.

I think it's being stripped from the NDAA this week. I don't see Harry Reid trying to do the LGBT Community any favors, either - not after the way we treated him, including calling him a "pussy."

After Bill Clinton was elected President the powers that be, including the military, accepted the idea that it was simply a matter of time until Gays could serve openly in the US military.

It is my understanding that there were meetings going on after he was elected as to how the policy would be done within the military.

Then we were all "blindsided" to say the very least!!

RE: Lisa Murkowski

"The proposal before the Senate in September would take the repeal decision away from Congress and transfer it to the president. I think the decision if and when to repeal should remain with the Congress."

October 25, 2010


That statement is complete nonsense. Especially the "if" part. The timeline of a repeal - assuming the study is certified - is pretty much determined by established legislative procedures.

What it underscores once again is the stupidity of having the study end after the elections.

Rick Sutton | November 9, 2010 1:30 PM

I know Lisa was wrapped up in a heated Alaska Senate race at that time, Andrew, but I read her parsed words carefully.

How delightfully inconsistent, that Republicans, well most of them anyway, want to separate powers so cleanly between the branches. They never want "activist" judges to have power, either. And they, of course, omit Scalia, Thomas, Roberts et al from that demand.

I can't think of a single military personnel decision the Congress gets to make, outside Senate confirmation of certain high-level appointees. Even then, they didn't make the innitial hiring decision. But they want to make this decision?

The President is the Commander in Chief, not 535 members of Congress. I believe in other areas of life, if the GOP were consistent, they'd call Lisa's suggestion meddling.

But far be it form me to point out inconsistencies.

This may be a little off topic but....

There are detailed lists of the skill sets/professions in which Gays who have been terminated occupied in the military. They begin with Medical, under which are number of the doctors, surgeons, and dentists separated. Of course, since most of these are so highly educated and in demand they are probably immediately employed after separation.

What a senseless brain drain from the military.