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Tilting at Windmills

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December 16, 2010

BROWN BACKS DADT REPEAL.... There's no longer any question as to whether the votes are there.

Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown today voiced his support for a stand-alone repeal of the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, bringing the bill one vote over the 60-vote threshold that it will need to reach if and when the Senate votes on the measure in the coming weeks.

"Sen. Brown accepts the Pentagon's recommendation to repeal the policy after proper preparations have been completed. If and when a clean repeal bill comes up for a vote, he will support it," said Brown spokesperson Gail Gitcho.

The use of the word "clean" is pretty important -- Brown doesn't want to see a bunch of amendments added to the legislation, which puts him entirely in line with what proponents of repeal want, too. In other words, this is exactly what we wanted to hear from him.

Just to recap, last week, repeal garnered 57 votes. Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) was at the dentist, but she'll be on hand for the next vote, and she'll support repeal. That's 58.

Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) said she'd oppose repeal until after the vote on the tax deal, but now that the Senate has approved the policy, she announced yesterday she's a "yes" on this, too. That's 59.

And Brown's announcement this morning makes 60. The ABC report added that Alaska's Lisa Murkowski is also on board, and while I haven't seen official confirmation of that elsewhere, her vote would presumably be the 61st.

At this point, it appears the only thing standing between the repeal effort and success is the leadership finding time to bring this to the floor.

However, Reid has warned that bringing the bill to a vote in the Senate is not an issue of support, but rather of time. With just over a week before Christmas, the Senate is only now kicking off debate on the START nuclear treaty and a massive $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill. It will likely be early next week before the Senate wraps up work on those two measures - and numerous GOP senators have voiced stern opposition to both bills, preferring instead to fund the government into early next year and go home for the holidays. That leaves little time for the Senate to pass the Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal.

If this effort falls short because of a crowded calendar next week, and senators' desire not to work the week between Christmas and New Year's, the response will not be kind.

Steve Benen 11:25 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (23)

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Comments

Blanche Lincoln was at the dentist? You know that reminds me, the toothbrush was invented in Arkansas..........If it was invented anywhere else, it would be called a teethbrush.

Posted by: RollaMO on December 16, 2010 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

Arkansas exists just so the population of Rolla, MO, can feel superior to somebody. Does anyone have a link to the roll call of yesterday's House vote on DADT repeal?

Posted by: Lifelong Dem on December 16, 2010 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

Reid should just say, "sorry, we're staying in session until we vote on this thing, and if that means on Christmas eve, too bad"

Posted by: fourlegsgood on December 16, 2010 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

Lifelong Dem:

Roll call on the house vote is here:

http://politics.nytimes.com/congress/votes/111/house/2/638

Posted by: sue on December 16, 2010 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

i'm confused. i thought Reid was the Senate Leader. maybe i was mistaken.

if the DADT repeal has military support, Presidential support, a supermajority support in the Senate, House support, and huge public support, explain to me again how this unknown force (referred to solely in the passive voice) may keep it from happening in time?

Presumably the calendar and what is on it is ultimately the call of one or more particular human beings? perhaps the ones we call "Leader"?

But clearly I'm missing something.

Posted by: zeitgeist on December 16, 2010 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

Why are our Armed Forces always the "laboratory" for idiotic left-wing ideology????

Right... like the idiotic, left-wing idea of racial desegregation.

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on December 16, 2010 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Um, increasing the supply of potential recruits does help the military do its' job more effectively. Allowing current military personnel to serve with integrity and honesty also improves effectiveness. Sorry, Tom, thanks for playing.

Posted by: danimal on December 16, 2010 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

zeitgeist -

Reid is saying that keeping the government running and the START treaty have priority over the DADT repeal that the House just passed. And if Republicans choose to gum up the works with pointless procedural idiocy to run down the clock on those two items, they might not get a chance to vote on the DADT repeal at all.

I may not agree with those priorities, but those are the priorities he's set.

Posted by: NonyNony on December 16, 2010 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

OT Housekeeping comment follows.

My comment (and Zorros) were in response to a comment that was subsequently deleted (moderated). I don't like troll-infested comment sections, but I really don't like the automatic removal of dissenting voices. As long as they are somewhat on-topic and civil, why delete comments from people with alternative POVs?

[The comment in question was not deleted, but "unpublished" while we check out the IP. We suspect that the comment came from someone we have previously banned. If this is not the case, it will be restored. --Moderators]

Posted by: danimal on December 16, 2010 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

It ain't over 'til it's over!

We still have a chance to stick it to Obama again!

I do agree with NonyNony that sticking it to Obama over DADT is a higher priority than sticking it to Obama over keeping the government running or START; but who says we can't have all three.

- No fags in the foxholes!
- No nuke inspections of the Russkies!
- Government shutdown!

What a great country...

Posted by: RepublicanPointOfView on December 16, 2010 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

I think Joe Lieberman has been thinking about how he wants to be remembered in history.

Posted by: Mike on December 16, 2010 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

I agree, civil rights have always been 'left-wing ideology'; and they've largely been achieved despite the right wing in this country and around the world fighting to prevent it.

Posted by: Holmes on December 16, 2010 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

Reid did remind them that this congress is in session until January, causing the Republicans to complain. Someone should let them know that the rest of us have to work the week between Christmas and New Year's.

Posted by: Gretchen on December 16, 2010 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

@ Miike: I think Joe Lieberman has been thinking about how he wants to be remembered in history.

You are assuming LIEberman thinks...

Posted by: Stevio on December 16, 2010 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks for the link to the roll call, sue. As I suspected, my Congressworm (John Shimkus) voted No.

Posted by: Lifelong Dem on December 16, 2010 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

Easy for Scott Brown to do the right thing after he fell in lockstep and followed GOP orders not to vote for anything or allow anything to proceed to an up or down vote until he helped vote-in the tax cuts for millionaires. He voted to block the vote on 9/11 responders' health care also last week. Can't wait to help vote him out of MA in two years. He's a phony, his votes are based on when it helps him, not on what is the right thing to do for his state or the rest of the country.

Posted by: Jan on December 16, 2010 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

The United States is so far behind on this issue. Almost every civilized western nation allows homosexuals to serve openly in the military. The list is too long to conveniently post. But here are just a few of the countries that don't allow it:

Saudi Arabia
Iran
North Korea
Yemen
Egypt
Pakistan
Syria
Zimbabwe
Guyana
Uganda

See a pattern there? I do. Repressive regimes, corrupt military juntas, backwards-ass states. What thinking American wants to be lumped in with that group?

Posted by: trex on December 16, 2010 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

If this effort falls short because of a crowded calendar next week, and senators' desire not to work the week between Christmas and New Year's, the response will not be kind.

Democrats will blamed (with justification).

Posted by: kc on December 16, 2010 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

Repressive regimes, corrupt military juntas, backwards-ass states

Hey, as far as our friends on the right are concerned, those are exactly the sorts of countries we should emulate.

Posted by: Doctor Whom on December 16, 2010 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

See a pattern there? I do. Repressive regimes, corrupt military juntas, backwards-ass states. What thinking American wants to be lumped in with that group?

Ah, but you contradict yourself.

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on December 16, 2010 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Do our troops get the week off between Christmas and New Years?

Posted by: Ron Byers on December 16, 2010 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

If and when a clean repeal bill comes up for a vote, he will support it," said Brown spokesperson Gail Gitcho.

Of course, that statement leaves Brown (not to mention Presidents Collins and Snowe) room to once again vote lockstep with a Republican filibuster to prevent a repeal bill from coming up for a vote.

Posted by: Gregory on December 16, 2010 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

The MA Tea Party has to be loving THIS.

Posted by: jea on December 16, 2010 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK
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