Senate to Hold History-Making DADT Vote on Saturday
December 17, 2010
(ChattahBox Political News)–This is it folks. The end of institutionalized discrimination against gay and lesbian service members may finally occur in the Senate on Saturday, beginning with a cloture vote, with 60-votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster. And then, finally a real up-or-down vote on the stand-alone DADT repeal bill, which is a simple majority vote. If this all sounds horribly convoluted, you are right. But, because of the Republicans’ unprecedented abuse of the filibuster rule, a supermajority of 60 votes is needed to pass legislation now. In a sane government, with a functioning majority-ruled Senate, the repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” would have already succeeded, considering that the last cloture vote garnered a majority of 57 votes.
Does the bill have a real chance of passing? The short answer is yes, but the long answer is yes, only if the Republicans who publicly pledged to vote for the bill don’t weasel out and hide behind bogus procedural complaints, like they did the last go-around.
“The repeal measure, approved Wednesday by the House, was originally tucked into a broader military policy bill, which failed when Senate Democrats found themselves unable to break a Republican filibuster last week. Returning quickly with a stand-alone bill seeking repeal, its supporters framed the new measure as a narrow civil rights matter and essentially challenged opponents to impede a vote.”
“By Thursday, Senator Susan Collins, the bill’s one Republican sponsor, had been joined by three other Republican senators — Scott P. Brown of Massachusetts, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Olympia J. Snowe of Maine — in supporting the measure.”
The vote will be close, and there are no guarantees that Republican Sens. Brown, Collins, Snowe and Murkowski won’t withdraw their support at the last minute, after making unreasonable procedural demands.
Tomorrow could go down in infamy as the last best chance to end DADT that was squandered away by Republican obstructionism and homophobia, or the bill will pass, ending the odious discriminatory policy once and for all, and history will be made.
So, stay tuned.