Why Can’t we Get Rid of DADT ?

After the Pentagon reported showed that removing the DADT policy was really a no-brainer, you’d think almost every sane congress critter would just do it and get it over with.  Well, I’m not sure if ‘sane’ is the operative modifier here, but it seems we just can’t easily get rid of this discriminatory policy.  Nearly every one thought that the vote would happen this evening but it’s just an on and off again farce.

Here’s the latest list of “demands” from Susan Collins.  One of the few Republicans that isn’t ought to sabotage the U.S. for partisan gain.

“The majority leader’s allotment of time for to debate those amendments was extremely short, so I have suggested doubling the amount of time, assuring that there would be votes, and making sure that the Republicans get to pick our own amendments as opposed to the Majority Leader.”

“If he does that I will do all that I can to help him proceed to the bill. But if he does not do that, then I will not,” she added.

Late this evening, per Collins’ request, Reid delayed a test vote he’d planned to hold tonight.

“Everyone on the Republican side wants to see the tax package completed first,” Collins said.

Collins reminded Reid that Republicans don’t want to debate anything until the tax issue is resolved. “I have urged the majority leader to postpone the vote…so that we could get the tax bill considered first — which I believe could be on the floor tomorrow — and completed by Saturday, and then move immediately to the DOD bill, but under a fair agreement.”

So, once again, we have a Republican willing to hold every one–including the Pentagon and our troops–hostage to tax cuts for millionaires.  It’s just simply unbelievable that any one could support this kind of black mail.  The Washington Post reports that even Lisa Murkowski is going to vote for repeal.  Again, she’s holding out for ‘procedural’ demands.

GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski has decided to support repeal of don’t ask don’t tell, her spokesman tells me, potentially adding another crucial GOP vote to the Yes column and putting 60 votes within reach.

“Her vote will depend on how free and open the amendment process is, but she has reached the decision that don’t ask don’t tell ought to be repealed, provided that proper preparations are implemented,” Murkowski spokesman Michael Brumas tells me.

With the Senate set to vote tonight on DADT repeal, this statement does not guarantee that she will vote Yes. Murkowski has given herself some wiggle room here by insisting on a “free and open” amendment process.

But this is nonetheless a step foward. Murkowski had previously been hedging on whether she supports repeal; now she does. What’s more, Murkowski is saying nothing about the failure to resolve the tax deal leading her to vote No.

Also, it seems likely that if Susan Collins, the lead negotiator for GOP moderates in talks with the Dem Senate leadership, pronounces herself satisfied with the procedural offer Reid makes, Murkowski, too, could accept it.

The U.S. Senate is becoming an bastion of egotistical, partisan, billy goats who will do anything to get pork, attention, and speaking time in front of cameras.    Also waiting in the wings is the START Treaty which is damned important. Republicans are stalling on issues that are important to national security and pentagon policy.  This is absolutely partisan politics at its worst.

So what kind of things is Collins looking for?  Again, we have some information via WAPO.

The Maine Republican has negotiated for more than a week with Reid and Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) on terms of an agreement favorable enough to win her vote to move forward on the defense bill, plus the support of Republicans, including Sens. Scott Brown (Mass.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and John Ensign (Nev.).

In a key concession, Reid promised Collins an opportunity for Republicans to introduce 10 amendments to the defense bill, with Democrats introducing up to five. Collins also asked for four days to debate the bill and amendments.

“If he does that I will do all that I can to help him proceed to the bill. But if he does not do that, then I will not,” Collins told reporters.

In an effort to shore up support, President Obama called several senators on both sides of the aisle to discuss the defense bill and other pending legislation in the last two days, the White House said. Collins said she spoke with Obama on Tuesday regarding several pieces of pending legislation.

Despite Obama’s outreach, supporters of ending the gay ban urged Reid to move first on tax cut and government spending bills to stave off a potential filibuster by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and other GOP critics during the lame-duck session.

McCain, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, wants the panel to hold hearings with frontline military commanders and senior noncommissioned officers before voting to repeal the law.

Senator McCain is just looking for an excuse these days to way lay the vote.  So are many of his colleagues. We have a defense bill just sitting there waiting with troops sitting in battle zones.   These Republican prima donnas are pulling the same damn things they’ve criticized Democratic Senators of for years.  It makes no sense.  It’s highly hypocritical.  They all need to hear immediately from their constituents that were tired of Senate games.


39 Comments on “Why Can’t we Get Rid of DADT ?”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Rachel Maddow is going to interview the author of the Ungandan “kill the gays” bill in a couple of minutes.

    • bostonboomer says:

      That was extremely weird. The law initiated and supported by The Family.

      • That was such an utterly bizarre interview. I admire Maddow deeply for being able to maintain her patience and keep her cool while forcefully confronting this lunatic.

        • Pilgrim says:

          Read all about it in “C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to Amercian Democracy.”

          I mentioned this week or so ago here but there was no response because, perhaps, the claim was so outlandish.

          (But it’s true.)

          The claim is that American fundamentalist politicians connected with C Street, are over there in Uganda, supporting what they can’t achieve here: death for gay people.

          I know Boston Boomer knows about this, and has written about “The Family.” I believe she is now reading, or has read, “C Street: the threat”.

          I had not read “The Family.” Heard about it from her, and ordered from Amazon, reading it now. It’s a well-written book, better than C Street, although I’m not too far into it yet.

        • bostonboomer says:

          She was amazingly calm and professional.

  2. Minkoff Minx says:

    This is so ridiculous. All these politicians are so greedy, heartless, conniving, hypercritical, sleazy…it makes me sick.

    • Sima says:

      I can barely stand to read about it, nevermind watch it.

      I remember once, years ago, in the mid-80s, slimey Slade Gorton was a Repub Senator from WA state. He voted down funding for the disabled time after time. He actively worked against such funding in the state, in some cases.

      My sister’s workplace was trying to get funding to hire more disabled. They do cleaning, trash sorting (ever wonder who sorts the recycled trash bins?), once upon a time they did jump rope making and other things like that. Anyway, they had this big upgrade, needed funding. Gorton worked against it.

      They got funding anyway. They had the open house to celebrate, and unannounced slimey Slade shows up, news crew in tow, to steal the limelight and the thunder and take all the credit. My jaw literally hit the ground at the audacity. It still makes my blood boil. Grrrrrrr.

  3. Pat Johnson says:

    The GOP is in the arms of the Religious Right.

    The 2012 election is going to find many of these asshats fighting for their revered and profitable seats. By opposing this vote they can go back to the fundies and show them come election time that they took a stand backed up by the bible or whatever Brothers Grimm book they are referring to.

    The other half of the equation is that by forestalling this vote until the next session they can easily count on the Tea Bag nutjobs to back them up and give Obama and the Dems another black eye. What President Indifferent will do after that remains to be seen but my guess is that he will just shrug it off and place the blame on the Repubs who don’t give a rat’s patootie anyway.

    So they will continue to send these people off to war, possibly die or become permanently injured as a result, and then deny them adequate healthcare, jobs, and any form of compensation due to the “budget” without feeling any remorse by withholding their human rights in favor of “the bible”.

    This is where our nation is heading. Right into the arms of the fundies, the nutjobs, and the corporate pigs feeding from the trough.

    This is also the blowback to the “message” some insisted on sending the Dems in November that was to correct this insidious group from enacting any form of legislation that would serve as a reason to be hopeful.

    • dakinikat says:

      I’ve been thinking about looking at the John Birch Society again and their renaissance recently. Much of this has to do with the same folks that were just plain nuts during the cold war too.

      • DK, that is terribly important. I’ve long argued that the JBS was far more significant than most would say.

        But you have to look at the early days. The JBS was founded in large part by people who had been pro-Hitler, or at least pro-America First, in the run-up to WWII.

        You should also look into the connections between the JBS and what I call the Angleton cabal.

        • dakinikat says:

          I think what the Koch brothers have been up to is part of the conversation. I’m also positive JBS has a lot to do with the Tea Party and many things that seem simply libertarian. Hitchens has some thoughts up in the lastest issue of VF.

        • dakinikat says:

          Btw, have you seen how Glenn Beck is pushing Skousen? Skousen’s writings are pure Facism.

          • Oh yeah. Hell, I was a Skousen-watcher way before Beck heard of him. Real goosestepper stuff.

            It’s one of the characteristics of modern-day fascists that they try to push the idea that there was no real difference between communism and Nazism. That’s a big part of Beck’s shtick.

            If you look around the right-most parts of the internet, you’ll find that some tea-party sites are resurrecting the old idea that the Sino-Soviet split was a fake. That was pure Angletonian bullshit — and it is still alive in this day and age.

            You should look at some old issues of American Opinion (the JBS journal) from 1963 — the coverage of the anit-Castro Cuban efforts. It quickly becomes clear that the JBS-ers were getting inside info from the Angleton cabal.

        • bostonboomer says:

          That sounds like it would be up my alley!

          • mablue2 says:

            I agree. I’m already smelling a momentous post on this. Lemme just go ahead and call the Smithsonian.

      • Valhalla says:

        The Cold War really held the focus and attention of a large number of the Republican crazies. They were against all the same things they are now, but their activism wasn’t as virulent on a bunch of non-military issues because being anti-communist sucked up most of their negativity (and craziness). A lot of the same energy got transferred onto opposing gay equality, women’s equality, for “patriotism”, and being militantly (and foolishly) for tax cuts, inter alia.

        • dakinikat says:

          I’m researching how the JBS is still pushing some of the same bugaboos they had back then –income taxes, the Federal Reserve System, the UN, Civil Rights legislation, etc. The piece will be up in the morning.

  4. Minkoff Minx says:

    Dak, Sky Dancing is up top again with this post on Memorandum…

    • dakinikat says:

      Yup, we’re becoming part of the bigger conversation. That’s good! 🙂

      • Pat Johnson says:

        Dak, you have to feel good about this. Only a month has gone by and your success is being spotlighted.

        Good for you!

        • dakinikat says:

          Thanks but really this is such a team effort!! I could’ve landed over here in the file cabinet as a solo voice in the wilderness but every one who had similar feelings and ideas about what a blog could and should be and what it means to be a liberal discussing issues in an open forum really is creating the haven we see here. I’m just glad that I seem to be part of a crowd! That means why heck, we could be come a movement or something!!

  5. Minkoff Minx says:

    Dak, do you remember that article I posted a day ago about Trojan Horses being used in this Tax Deal? It was a link to a Naked Capitalism post. Well Cannonfire has dissected it.

    Cannonfire

    The original link to the story:Trojan Horse in Tax Compromise: GOP Plan to Bankrupt States, Break Unions (Updated) « naked capitalism

    • Pat Johnson says:

      The article at Cannonfire is a roadmap to where this new congress is taking us. It is all so obvious.

      • Sima says:

        And how do we fight it? It is going to come to riots, once people have the dots connected for them. It won’t matter how we got there, all that will matter is the reaction.

        • dakinikat says:

          Well, right now I think it’s important to put facts out there. Who knows where this ends? They’re setting up and practicing for class warfare.

        • Pat Johnson says:

          Maybe it is time to consider that this is exactly what “the people want”.

          Time and again the same people are voted back into power. This last cycle showed that they were even willing to back the efforts of Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Joe Miller, Rand Paul and a host of other loons who made it through the primaries and earned a considerable number of votes during the general. Even Michele Bachmann managed to get reelected and they don’t get much dumber or nuttier than this.

          There is a shrinking band of people who actually consider themselves “liberal” and many others have fled into the rank of Independents but this does not discount their votes. They are voting for somebody if my calculations are correct and in most instances have found purchase with the Tea Party candidates, most of whom could be considered certifiable.

          So perhaps it is just a small contingent of us out here who actually pay attention and follow the trends while a whole other group are casting ballots for the most radical among us for reasons that escape me other than that they actually agree with them to a large extent.

          We may be offering them too much credit by talking ourselves into believing that this last election cycle was based primarily on “sending a message” to the Dems. It may very well be that this end result was due in large part to a certain agreement with those we consider Fruit Loops.

          How else to explain a majority of congressional newbies who are about to ascend on DC creating the havoc that has been promised through campaign slogans and positions?

          Maybe we are the minority of the minority these days when the Lunatic Fringe is about to take their seats and begin their brand of terror through governing.

          • dakinikat says:

            When people are insecure and frightened about losing things, they turn to people who have easy answers. Unfortunately, most of those folks and their easy answers do not have the best interests of every one in mind.

          • Sima says:

            Dak’s right on the mark here.

            When people are insecure and frightened about losing things, they turn to people who have easy answers.

            And hence some of the worst periods in history. Maybe some of the best too, when the leaders turn out to have the right stuff to lead and the depth to grow and change and care.

          • Dario says:

            But the “compromise” give away is being passed by a lame duck Democratic super majority, not the newly elected TP candidates. The Democrats are stabbing Americans in the back, and for some reason, the Republicans are being blamed. I cannot blame the Republicans. Sure Obama compromised with them, but it’s the Democrats who hold the majority and the ones that will have to vote in great numbers to get thing thing passed. The bill cannot wait until next congress because it’s poison. The Republicans will blame the Democrats and Obama when trickle down economics fails. Everyone knows it will fail. It’s a bad stimulus bill. In 2012 the voters will kick out more Democrats in congress and Obama will be a one term president. Mission accomplished.

  6. paper doll says:

    anything moving as quickly as this tax “deal” ain’t good…. these are the folks who took over a year to give the health care industry just what it wanted…Let me repeat : This isn’t January. But this what we are serviced up while the Dem still have all three branches?? …. God help us

  7. Dario says:

    So, once again, we have a Republican willing to hold every one–including the Pentagon and our troops–hostage to tax cuts for millionaires.

    Does anyone find it odd, as I do, that when the Republicans object, the Democrats do what the Republicans want, but when the Democrats were a minority, the Republican leaders of the senate or the house didn’t care one bit and kept their agenda?

    My view is that the Democrats and the Republicans are putting on a kabuki theater for the American people, but both are in the end working towards the same goal. There’s no other explanation. It’s the good/bad cop game we’re all familiar with, but are loath to believe that those who for years told us that they are on our side have sold out, and all that’s left is talk.

  8. kk says:

    ive been really enjoying the blog… but “loons”& “tea baggers” not so much

    • dakinikat says:

      We don’t use the pejorative ‘tea bagger’ label here.

      • kk says:

        i stand corrected …. i meant “tea bag nutjobs” as pat johnson, the loon… wrote above…

        • dakinikat says:

          Are you saying that Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Joe Miller, Rand Paul, and Michelle Bachman aren’t out there in John Birch Society territory or is your problem with the verbiage? Because I will say that I feel these people are so far right as to fall off any normal political ruler other than that used by the John Birch Society which definitely has Fascist roots. Its viewpoints were beaten back for a number of years by mainstream conservatives. Glenn Beck is another one who has completely reinvented American history for his use.

          This is basically a liberal blog and I don’t think you’ll find any frontpager or most of the community that doesn’t fall into that category or close to it. Some folks are more leftist and some more moderate, but I doubt any one doesn’t find that group of people to be so far right that they’d find little comfort any where in American up until recently where the extreme right wing has moved in to to preempt populist right anger.

          And, while I don’t mind folks calling public figures name, I’m working hard to ensure that commenters don’t call each other names here. So, please, try to abide by that.

          • kk says:

            i was talking about the use of the words tea bag nut job.. a perjorative… as far as the word loon… i understand you find that okat… thats all