Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 8, 2010

MOVING ON DADT TONIGHT.... Given the very crowded lame-duck schedule, the concern has been that the Senate would wrap up for the year without setting aside time for the defense authorization act, which includes a provision on repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." I've been pushing for the Senate to stay in session, and to keep working on this, until it's done.

It came as quite a surprise, then, to learn that the issue is set to move tonight.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will offer a motion to reconsider a Defense Authorization bill that includes a repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell "this evening," Reid said this morning.

That bill appears likely to be successfully filibustered by Senate Republicans, however, several congressional aides said. GOP moderates have insisted on an open amendment process, which Reid appears unlikely to grant. Defeat of the bill could open the door to move a "stripped down," version of the measure without the repeal of the law on gays in the military, said one source familiar with talks on the bill.

Reid's decision to move on this may or may not be good news.

The optimistic scenario: Reid has talked to some GOP moderates and finally secured the votes needed to overcome the Republican filibuster. He's acting tonight because he found a window of opportunity, and he doesn't want to let it slip away.

The pessimistic scenario: Reid doesn't have the votes. He's starting the process tonight, but Republican objections will be insurmountable, and that will be that.

I guess we'll see soon enough. Tonight's motion to reconsider effectively starts the clock that could, in theory, lead to a final vote over the weekend. But procedurally, a lot would have to fall into place in order to make that happen.

For what it's worth, Sen. Mark Pryor (D) of Arkansas, a conservative Dems who's long opposed DADT repeal, announced this morning that he will do the right thing and "accept the Pentagon's recommendations."

Pryor isn't necessarily known for sticking his neck out on progressive issues, so I'd like to think this is a good sign.

Steve Benen 10:50 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (8)

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If only Reid had fought harder, the republicans would support the repeal.

Posted by: Holmes on December 8, 2010 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

Whatever Mitch wants Mitch will get. About McConnell's own military "service", DADT.

Posted by: walt on December 8, 2010 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Meanwhile, the Senate has been diligently pursuing an IMPORTANT matter- burning the midnight oil last evening, and opening early this morning, for the impeachment trial of a federal judge.

Posted by: DAY on December 8, 2010 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

Until the republicans pay a political price for their obstructionism, this type of thing will continue to happen. But with today's media willingness to parrot the right's narratives, I don't see it happening.

Posted by: Holmes on December 8, 2010 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

Repealing DADT will give the phrase "I've got your back" a whole new meaning

Posted by: Al on December 8, 2010 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Only in terms of your limited understanding AI

Posted by: Michael on December 8, 2010 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

Al, at least it wouldn't change anything on the front lines.

Posted by: exlibra on December 8, 2010 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

Guess I was wrong, because I thought this whole tax deal would screw dems chances of getting to DADT.

Posted by: Chuck on December 8, 2010 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK
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