In case you missed it:
- Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) announced his intention to bring NDAA back to the floor after the Thanksgiving recess, a period which starts on November 29 and could potentially (but likely won't) continue until Christmas Eve.
- SASC Chairman Senator Carl Levin's (D-MI) response was that he would push to see repeal of DADT through and do his damnedest to prevent a filibuster, and mentioned that he also requested Reid hold off on the motion to proceed until panels looking at that notorious DOD work study group are completed. He expects the panels to happen "the first few days of December."
- Earlier in the day, the White House specifically stated they called Levin's office to "reiterate their commitment" to seeing repeal of DADT this year, and vaguely referencing calls to other Senate offices (offices that evidently don't include Lieberman and Collins, if Gibbs is to be believed).
How to interpret all this, after the jump.
First, timeline (bullet heavy post, I know): White House calls Levin's office, Reid announces NDAA going forward, and Levin references panels contingent on a study being released. Chances are very good that Levin's early December timeframe for knocking out these panels in the SASC is sanctioned by the White House, meaning there's expectation that the study - set to land on Gates's desk December 1 - will be made available to at least the SASC very soon after Gates receives it. This is collaborated with Gates's own push to see repeal this year. So basically the study will be released to the Senate very quickly.
Second, also timeline: Assuming Reid goes forward on a motion to proceed and McCain remains a douche and continues to push for a filibuster, we're looking at a lot of extra hours to accommodate McCain's bloviating. If there is too much time taken by the panels, there will be incentive to rush through the actual process of voting on NDAA beyond achieving cloture on the filibuster. In other words, it will be very tempting to Reid to use a procedure that limits the amendment process on NDAA, which by necessity may alienate the Republican party, which would only create a repeat of September.
So, what's next? Two things (sorry): use both sticks and carrots with Reid until he commits to an equitable amendment process. We cannot let there be a repeat of September. Other than that, focus on the swing senators in Arkansas, Massachusetts, Ohio, Indiana, Alaska, New Hampshire, Maine, to make absolutely sure - in a friendly way - that they'll be there if that equitable process is utilized.
Whew. OK. I know this is exhausting, but this should put a little wind under your wings. Let's keep going.