Jarrod Chlapowski

DADT Repeal in Lame-Duck is On! (Kind Of)

Filed By Jarrod Chlapowski | November 18, 2010 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: DADT survey, Don't Ask Don't Tell, Lame-duck, Levin, military, NDAA, Pentagon, Reid, Senate, Servicemembers United, Study, White House

In case you missed it:nervous reid.jpg

  • 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.

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Reid will (probably) put it up for a cloture vote and it will get only 55 votes. There are no "leaning" Republicans. McCain will continue his filibuster.

The new House is already planning hearings on DADT repeal in February to "review the Study."

LGBT non-profits are pretending we can get 5 Republican votes or that Obama has a magic wand, but neither is true.

We need 60 votes. That's how the Senate works.

Lieberman announced yesterday that he had the 60 votes now.

To make sure that all these Senators hear us loud and clear go to http://site.umbrella-q.net/issues.html where you can tell them on Facebook Twitter email phone & fax & keep pressuring the White House to keep pressuring the senate to do it right and get DADT repealed.

Oh, the pressure of faxes, emails and calls. Apparently, Republican Senators are suggesting they need only 27 million calls/emails, so let's get busy.

You're a real pip, Andrew.

That's good news about the 60 votes, Bil. Although I'll believe it when I see it.

I have this little devil sitting on one shoudler, yelling at the angel on teh other shoulder:

"Why are you so damned concerned about DADT? What about the other issues which affect almost all of us? Gay military is such a small fraction of who we are."

From the angel's perspective: it's a bellweather issue. It's easier because of the worldwide examples of military cohesiveness among our allies. It's a small victory on which to build other victories.

But damn it all, we're having to roll around in the dirt and crawl like reptiles to get this small but important victory.

And we have to endure asshats like John McCain flipping so fast he's a human pinwheel.

And we have to endure those in our ranks, like Andrew, who piss in our cornflakes hourly.

Overall, I want the bashing of my life and my friends to stop. The hate is primarily from the far-right, but there are Democrats who do it, too...or, more accurately, they stand aside while DOMA and other harmful laws get enacted state-by-state.

The angel on my shoulder tells me to work this 'til its done, one way or another. But the devil tells me, and history validates, that I'll probably be disappointed. Again. It's not like I'm unfamiliar with losing these issues.

Still, I'll work 'til DADT is dead or gone. Incramental victories are good for the soul, I guess.

And I'm grateful to those who work much, much harder than I do, like Jarrad, HRC, the Servicemembers and others. Good karma to them.

But at some point--and for me, this is coming sooner, rather than later (maybe it's just fatigue)--I want to hold the line. Go down swinging and cursing, shaking my fist at the opponents. Calling them out.

We're good at righteous indignation, aren't we?

We need 5 Republicans to reach 60 votes. I don't know how that is "pissing in your corn flakes," it's just the reality. Snowe and Collins are possible, but doubtful.

I don't believe Lieberman and I'm not sure why anyone does. They must not know him.

The "hate" and "bashing" or your life are from religious zealots and they are Republicans and Democrats.

No, Andrew, it's not from religious zealots...kindly allow me to identify hate directed at me.

And FWIW, I'm relatively well-involved in GLBT and Democratic Party issues, so I think my evaluation below could apply to a broader audience.

Its 80-85% Republican, about 50% religious,90% stupid and 100% sad.

I fear you're right about Lieberman. He's stuck his neck way out on DADT and the nuclear treaty this week, which put him squarely at-odds with his friend McCain. Maybe he finally relaized what we all know: McCain has truly become the old man on his front porch shouting at kids to get off his lawn.

As for the sour reality you try to peddle, let's just say you're Bilerico's buzzkill. Maybe you think it's your mission, and that's fine. I choose to take it with a grain of salt. Or several grains.

And I cannot fathom what it's like to wake up that, well..sour. Or you'd probably call it "real." Whatever.

Save your "I told you so" until after this DADT vote, OK? I happen to know that more Republican senators, including my own, are welcoming calls and opinions on DADT this week and next.

If you want to consider accountability a "buzz-kill," that's fine. It doesn't help our chances by refusing to hold tactics, strategies and methods accountable.

If you look at the "religious intensity" of republican you'll find more accurate numbers than your guesses.

60% of Republicans are against anything LGBT, while 60% of Democrats are supportive to LGBT-issues. Both parties have their share of religious zealots, while Independents may have the greatest share of support for our community - typically more than two-thirds.

Suggesting our problem is simply "those Republicans" misses the opportunity to make progress. But, it must make you feel better, so enjoy yourself.

In my opinion, and this is simply my opinion, your comment is very well written and contains alot of extremely timely points.


Make it stop! Please?

Andrew: Don't twist my words. It's unseemly. I'll stand by my numbers. And it's not just a Republican problem--I never said that.

It's mostly a Republican problem. We Dems are willing conspirators.