Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

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Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby emceng » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:04 pm UTC

If a mod wants to roll this into the previous DADT that's fine, but I kinda thought this deserved a new thread.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_gays_military

Spoiler:
WASHINGTON – Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked legislation that would have repealed the law banning gays from serving openly in the military.

The partisan vote was a defeat for Senate Democrats and gay rights advocates, who saw the bill as their last chance before November's elections to overturn the law known as "don't ask, don't tell."

With the 56-43 vote, Democrats fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance the legislation. It also would have authorized $726 billion in defense spending including a pay raise for troops.

Senate Democrats attached the repeal provision to the defense bill in the hopes that Republicans would hesitate to vote against legislation that included popular defense programs. But GOP legislators opposed the bill anyway, thwarting a key part of the Democrats' legislative agenda.

Now, gay rights advocates say they worry they have lost a crucial opportunity to change the law. If Democrats lose seats in the upcoming elections this fall, repealing the ban could prove even more difficult — if not impossible — next year.

"The whole thing is a political train wreck," said Richard Socarides, a former White House adviser on gay rights during the Clinton administration.

Socarides said President Barack Obama "badly miscalculated" the Pentagon's support for repeal, while Democrats made only a "token effort" to advance the bill.

"If it was a priority for the Democratic leadership, they would get a clean vote on this," he said.

Democratic Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor of Arkansas sided with Republicans to block the bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., also voted against the measure as a procedural tactic. Under Senate rules, casting his vote with the majority of the Senate enables him to revive the bill at a later date if he wants.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine had been seen as the crucial 60th vote because she supports overturning the military ban. But Collins agreed with her GOP colleagues that Republicans weren't given sufficient chance to offer amendments.

Reid allowed Republicans the opportunity to offer only one amendment to address GOP objections on the military's policy on gays.

Collins said she planned to vote against advancing the bill unless Democrats agreed to extend debate so that her colleagues could weigh in on other issues.

Jim Manley, a spokesman for Reid, said the senator would be willing to allow more debate on the bill after the November elections.

"Today's vote isn't about arcane Senate procedures," Manley said. "It's about a GOP's pattern of obstructing debate on policies important to the American people."

An estimated 13,000 people have been discharged under the law since its inception in 1993. Although most dismissals have resulted from gay service members outing themselves, gay rights' groups say it has been used by vindictive co-workers to drum out troops who never made their sexuality an issue.



I think the Democrats screwed up royal on this one. It would have been a fairly easy win on something the majority of the country supports. It looks like they f'ed it up by 1) not allowing any Republicans to fiddle with it, even in a minor way, and 2) attaching it to a huge spending package when the major push in right wing politics is to cut spending. Yes, you can blame Republicans on this, but they've been voting against nearly anything the Dems support, and just being obstructionist. This was something that could have gotten passed despite the obstructionism, but the Dems managed to once again screw things up.
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby Jessica » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:13 pm UTC

And fuck.
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby Briareos » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:17 pm UTC

To be fair, the Democrats didn't think the Right meant to cut military spending.

But yeah, the Republicans were certainly in lockstep on this one.
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby Роберт » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:21 pm UTC

emceng wrote:2) attaching it to a huge spending package when the major push in right wing politics is to cut spending

I know this is status quo for politics, but it still bugs me when things that should be separate bills are put together.
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby Oregonaut » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:32 pm UTC

Well, the sensible thing for the Dems to do would be to go on the offensive about how the Republicans are not supporting the troops because they are refusing to approve a measure that supports troop increases as well as payment for troop morale programs.
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby sophyturtle » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:43 pm UTC

The bill also had stuff about health care for people in the military and their family's (children covered until they are 26 with the college things). And it was going to be a great big everything in one bill because it was the annual great big everything in one bill.

Mostly, republicans did not even want to talk about it. They left without debate and denied the option to vote.

It makes me wonder what other type of job one can have where you can say 'I don't even want to think about doing that work', go home, and still get paid.


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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby Oregonaut » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:53 pm UTC

I'm pissed for obvious reasons. Military spending bills, while bloated in some places, contain things that keep my "kids" alive. Beside the fact that I want DADT to go the way of the Dodo, I want my kids to have what they need to keep breathing.
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby pheonixduprese » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:57 pm UTC

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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby sophyturtle » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:58 pm UTC

Well, I am sure the armoring for vehicles was less important that making a political statement.
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby Oregonaut » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:05 pm UTC

Of course it was. And the 3.2% pay raise? Not really that big. I mean, food stamps already takes care of those service members with families who are E-4 and below. Why do we need to make sure that their job can provide for food, right?

Oh, and all those critical-need jobs that go unfilled because we can't have "them queerboys" doing "real men's" work, yeah. Not too important.

IED countermeasures, logistics systems that need modernization, aircraft parts that are impossible to find as it is, training, uniforms, weapons (as in the ones strapped to people's backs) upgrades, personal armor, helmets, healthcare that comes at least something CLOSE to third world for family members. Nah. Not important.

Political statement > all of that.
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby Dark567 » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:15 pm UTC

Well I don't want to sound like I am taking away blame from the Repubs(its their fault), but the Democrats were stupid to have combined the spending into what was almost certainly going to be a failed bill if it was that important to them.
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby Oregonaut » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:18 pm UTC

Well, it has provided them with ammo for the upcoming elections. I'm not excusing it, but at least now they can thump the Republicans with something tangible. At least, they could if they could develop the cajones for it.
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby Dark567 » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:24 pm UTC

Wouldn't that make the spending just as much of a political statement for the Dems? I mean we can blame the Repubs for voting against spending as a political statement against DADT. But at the same time if Dems inserted the spending for the sole purpose of being able to use it as ammo against the Repubs because of its failure, that is also using the spending to make a political statement.(Granted to a lesser extent)
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby podbaydoor » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:24 pm UTC

I have to wonder why the Democrats aren't gunning for all they're worth and battling back in the image war. Why are the Republicans and Tea Partiers making all the accusations and blocking everything and getting all the attention? Where's the push? Why are the Democrats falling apart the way everyone thought the Republicans were 6 months ago? What happened?
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby Oregonaut » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:28 pm UTC

Democrats = herd of cats.
Republicans = lock step.

Individual repubs may disagree with the main body, but they vote as a bloc. Democrats couldn't follow directions with a gun to their head.
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby jesseewiak » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:44 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:Well I don't want to sound like I am taking away blame from the Repubs(its their fault), but the Democrats were stupid to have combined the spending into what was almost certainly going to be a failed bill if it was that important to them.


Um, that was sort of the plan. The whole point of attaching it to the defense omnibus because it made it more possible to pass DADT repeal. Unfortunately, as usual, the DNC underestimate the GOP ability to be asses.

But yes, it's hard to organize Democrats because they're a party of liberals, moderate liberals, moderates, and moderate conservatives. The GOP is a party of conservatives. Remember, Susan Collins who is a "moderate" in 2010 was considered a rock solid middle-of-the-road Republican during the Republican days.

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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby podbaydoor » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:50 pm UTC

Perhaps the only good thing that may come out of this is that the Onion will write another hilarious article. Cold comfort, though.
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby Dark567 » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:50 pm UTC

jesseewiak wrote:
Um, that was sort of the plan. The whole point of attaching it to the defense omnibus because it made it more possible to pass DADT repeal. Unfortunately, as usual, the DNC underestimate the GOP ability to be asses.


Wait, so your saying that the dems tried to bait the GOP into passing DADT, and then complaining that they didn't take the bait?(Well, okay I am complaining too, but it should certainly have not been expected, the GOP isn't baited into stuff very easily)
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby Oregonaut » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:51 pm UTC

Well, it is a tough position for the Republicans to be in now. They voted against the troops. That's good fodder, as I stated.
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby sophyturtle » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:53 pm UTC

I guess it was asking too much to have the republicans compromise. And does it really count as baiting to get them to do what 80% of Americans think should happen?
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby Oregonaut » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:54 pm UTC

Sophy, I love you to bits, but...you DO know this is the Republicans we're talking about, right? The men and women who at the moment would vote against Capitalism if it was in a bill drafted by a Democrat?
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby podbaydoor » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:56 pm UTC

At this point, I don't think the GOP strategy is to unify the country or, you know, represent what the citizens want. I wonder, do the politicians in D.C. compartmentalize their jobs or do they legitimately hate the other side?
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby Oregonaut » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:58 pm UTC

They, as all politicians eventually do, love power. Nothing more, nothing less. They don't have power, and they know a good strategy to get one is to polarize the debate. I hate them to a man, but the strategy is effective.
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby sophyturtle » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:00 pm UTC

Oregonaut wrote:Sophy, I love you to bits, but...you DO know this is the Republicans we're talking about, right? The men and women who at the moment would vote against Capitalism if it was in a bill drafted by a Democrat?
*sigh* I guess this is just part of the problem. The other part is that there are still people who support them for some reason.
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby Oregonaut » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:04 pm UTC

They support them because the men and women on the 24-hour mass produced Republican Information Network FAUX news tells them that Democrats want them all to catch the gay. Fear, rage, indignation, Light I do love humanity.
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby N1ghtmare » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:05 pm UTC

Just to shed some light on the situation, it's not Republicans fault, it's Harry Reid's. He added an abortion amendment and the DREAM act to the legislation which no Republican could stomach, and a few Democrats couldn't either. If those weren't there you could say that Republicans were to blame, but Harry's decided to use this bill as a political weapon.

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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby podbaydoor » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:08 pm UTC

To be fair, Fox News only does that because they'll get the ratings and advertising dollars from their audience. It's sort of a self-feeding cycle.
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby Briareos » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:09 pm UTC

Of course, if there's one other thing Democrats are horrible at, it's bashing Republicans over the head with politically-charged issues. I kind of expect the majority to do a massive shrug here. "We tried! Oh well!"
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby jesseewiak » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:23 pm UTC

N1ghtmare wrote: the DREAM act to the legislation which no Republican could stomach


You mean the same DREAM Act multiple Republicans used to claim to support? And I haven't heard anything about an abortion amendment, so I don't quite buy that.

Also, all bills are political weapons. That's why they're bills. :)

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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby sophyturtle » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:27 pm UTC

I think this might be in reference to lifting a ban on service women using their own money for abortions, but I was not sure that was in this bill. If it is it certainly was not as central as Dream or DADT, which have been the main things I see people complaining about.
Which is pretty ridiculous actually, since both of those things would increase the number and strength of our military.
Which republicans say they support.
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby El Spark » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:40 pm UTC

All I know is, reading this article made me a pretty sad Spark. =(
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby Not A Raptor » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:45 pm UTC

Republicans support wars, not the military.

It's the difference between supporting gun manufacturers and other parts of the military-industrial complex (as well as the tattered remnants of manifest destiny) and, you know, the troops themselves.
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby Malice » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:47 pm UTC

podbaydoor wrote:I have to wonder why the Democrats aren't gunning for all they're worth and battling back in the image war. Why are the Republicans and Tea Partiers making all the accusations and blocking everything and getting all the attention? Where's the push? Why are the Democrats falling apart the way everyone thought the Republicans were 6 months ago? What happened?


What happened is that the Republicans successfully turned public opinion against the only major Democratic victories of late--stimulus and health care. Both of those will eventually pay off in the long term, but for now all people see is the price tag. The Democrats can get up there and say, "The Republican party is obstructionist, hypocritical, and the same people who got us into this mess in the first place," but they have no good answer to the question "What's so great about you?" Their only message right now is "We're not doing much, but the other guys suck worse," which is the opposite of inspiring.

podbaydoor wrote:At this point, I don't think the GOP strategy is to unify the country or, you know, represent what the citizens want. I wonder, do the politicians in D.C. compartmentalize their jobs or do they legitimately hate the other side?


One source of political animosity today is probably that, because of the way Congress's work is scheduled right now, the politicians no longer actually spend time with each other outside of working hours. They show up, vote their ideals, and leave... which is a problem when you're in a system that requires sharing and compromise in order to get anything done.
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby Dark567 » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:57 pm UTC

sophyturtle wrote: And does it really count as baiting to get them to do what 80% of Americans think should happen?


I don't think the popularity of a bill or a tactic changes what the tactic is. If you add a bait to popular bill so it passes, it is still a bait. If you add a poison pill to a unpopular bill to see that it fails, it is still a poison pill.


podbaydoor wrote:To be fair, Fox News only does that because they'll get the ratings and advertising dollars from their audience. It's sort of a self-feeding cycle.

Quite frankly I think a lot of people get the Fox News & Conservative information causality wrong. It seems to me to be more of Fox New being popular because people believe those things, than those beliefs become popular because of Fox News.

EDIT: Or at least that side of the causality gets played down too much.
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby Lucrece » Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:05 pm UTC

Everyone's at fault.

Reid for invoking his little privilege at a bad time.

Republicans for uniformly being against repeal. In the House, Republicans voted 99% against it; even if concessions were made in the Senate (as if the bill needed more concessions than it already had), it still would have been a hard vote to 60.

McCain has made several ireelevant addidionts to defense bills all the time, but since he's on a reelection campaign, he's hypocritically latching onto things like the Dream Act and DADT to yell and scream to increase his conservative cred.

And then there's also controversial legislation like the Dream Act. In fact, DADT wasn't the main point of contention-- it was the Dream Act, which makes me sad. It makes me sad to see politicians balking at a bill that basically allows illegal children who've managed to excel in academics and those willing to enlist in the military to gain path to citizenship. It pisses me off that politicians would rather squander potential talent for an offense that is nowhere near something like a DUI, and yet a DUI doesn't get you deported.

They wanted to keep the Dream Act, and so closed off amendment debate, and that killed DADT repeal in the process.


Right now the only hope is that Obama directs the DOJ to not object to a permanent injunction against DADT by that recent court case that ruled it unconstitutional. Again, the ball is on the president's court.
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby Diadem » Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:22 pm UTC

I'm sorry, but this one is entirely the democrats fault.

Attaching several unrelated things into one bill is a horrible horrible practice. People who do this should be shot on sight. But quite apart from that, it is a form of blackmail that no self-respecting senator will fall for. Forcing someone to vote for somethin he's against because otherwise many things that everybody wants will be ended is simply blackmail. Standing up against this is a good thing, and spinning this as 'Republicans voted against our troops' is fox-level bullshit. It's the democrats that took a stand against the troops by abusing much-needed army expenditures to try to sneak a DODT repeal in.

I am NOT a republican. In fact I hate them. And I am in favour of a DODT repeal. But above all I'm in favour of conscientious politics. And blaming the Republicans when a Democratic scheme to abuse the workings to government backfires is simply wrong. Even if what they are trying to do is right.

Also. If I'm not mistaken the democrats still have a majority in the senate. Republicans should not be able to block legislation at all. "They blocked it" is the worst excuse ever if you have an absolute majority.
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Oregonaut
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby Oregonaut » Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:32 pm UTC

They don't have a super-majority. 59 to 41. They are one vote shy of a super-majority. Right now they have a limp-majority.
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False! We sacrifice our card catalogues to him in the name of Job Security!

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Okita
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby Okita » Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:38 pm UTC

Oregonaut wrote:They don't have a super-majority. 59 to 41. They are one vote shy of a super-majority. Right now they have a limp-majority.


Which basically means Democrats aren't filibuster-proof. Which is why we should bring back having to actually give the damn speech instead of just saying that you are going to filibuster. If you're going to try to stop bills you damn better show how much you care by giving a speech about lentils for as long as you can.
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby Lucrece » Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:42 pm UTC

People complain about filibusters a lot, but don't stop to consider the implications of what a simple majority could do. Under a Republican majority a lot of nasty crap could get through if there wasn't a filibuster. Meaningful change should require wide consensus, even if makes causing change to be harder. Because if change is so easy and fickle, you get the shit that is the California system.

I do agree with the person who said Fox is merely a market for an audience. They don't brainwash-- they simply peddle bullshit to confirm the biases of their audience. It's just that people like to think that the kind of people who watch Fox are some loony fringe instead of a very sizable portion of the American population.
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Re: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal failed in the Senate

Postby mmmcannibalism » Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:54 pm UTC

Just to throw something out there; did the democrats actually think they could paint the GOP as anti military by doing this?
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