Homophobes Win, GOP Filibusters DADT Repeal Vote AGAIN
December 9, 2010
(ChattahBox Political News)—The homophobic Republican Caucus in the Senate blocked repeal of the discriminatory policy of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” AGAIN. Despite a Pentagon survey of the troops supporting repeal, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen supporting repeal and a majority of Americans supporting an end to the odious policy, 40 Republicans either could not get past their bigotry or were too cowardly to do what’s right for the country. The only Republican to break ranks, was Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME). Republican Sens. Scott Brown (MA), John Ensign (NV) and Lisa Murkowski (AK), whom all came out with statements supporting repeal of DADT, decided at the last minute to block the procedural cloture motion to bring the bill to a floor for an up-or-down vote. The GOP not only killed any chance of repealing DADT, but they filibustered a Defense Authorization bill during a time of two wars. It was a shameless display of rabid partisanship, bigotry and obstructionism. And even more frustrating in this dysfunctional Senate, a majority vote of 57-40 loses. Because with the GOP filibustering everything, making a mockery of democracy and majority rule, a supermajority of 60 votes is needed for even the most mundane of measures. It’s a travesty.
One Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin crossed sides to vote with Republicans to filibuster the Defense Authorization bill, because of the DADT amendment. You may recall Manchin’s controversial campaign ad, in which he brandished a rifle and literally shot a hole in a copy of the Cap and Trade bill, while vowing to repeal “ObamaCare.”
After the failed DADT vote, Sen. Collins complained that Republicans needed more time and more amendments, and so on and so on. Sound familiar? Delay, obstruct, delay, delay. This is exactly the same obstructionist nonsense the so-called moderate Republicans displayed during the health care negotiations. They demand changes, amendments, concessions, whine about procedure and process, but in the end they vote no.
Although Collins ended up voting with Democrats, she was no profile in courage today. Steve Benen of the Political Animal reported that she waited until the last possible moment to cast her vote, when it no longer mattered.
Now it appears the DADT measure will be stripped from the Defense Authorization bill, leaving repeal of DADT to be brought up in a separate measure, which is unlikely to get anywhere in a lame-duck session with a jammed calendar, and Republicans demanding hours and hours of debate.
“In a press conference after the vote, Sens. Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins announced that they will introduce a stand-alone bill to repeal “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and that Senate Majority Leader Reid has promised to support it. Reid told Lieberman that he will bring the legislation up for a vote before the end of the lame duck session, the Connecticut lawmaker said.”
‘“We’re not going to give up,” Lieberman said. “We’re going to keep fighting until the last possible minute in the session.”’
There you have it. Our great deliberative body in action.