The votes to break the filibuster had previously been lined up, but last week Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid decided to use an uncommon procedural privilege on the bill that eroded support for breaking the filibuster and guaranteed the vote's failure. Intense lobbying and public pressure over the past week proved not to be enough to force either side to back down. The Senate will not likely take up the defense authorization bill again until after the mid-term elections in November.
Why that one? C.I. was told last week by a Democratic Senator (who supports repeal of DADT and voted for its repeal today and is a man but I better not say more other than he is in today's news cycle) that Harry Reid was screwing up the vote and that people telling Reid he was screwing up -- other senators telling Reid face-to-face -- were being blown off.
In the end, the repeal failed by four votes. One of those four is Reid (who voted against for 'procedural reasons' which will let him bring the bill back up). So he needed three more votes. Blanche Lincoln made it clear that she supports the repeal (a point Pam of the House Blend appears to miss) but, like Susan Collins, she did not support the process (see the excerpt above) Reid was pushing re: amendments and promises. So if Reid had done it straightforward, the voters were there. He refused to listen to his colleagues last week. He lost Democrat Blanche Lincoln as a result and he lost Republican Susan Collins.
If he hadn't done that, he would have had their votes and his own for a total of 59. They only needed 60.
That's not to let Barack off. He should have been pressuring and lobbying for this. It's his damn campaign promise, the cheap little hustler.
This is not a minor issue to me. My brother is gay. It would be an issue to me regardless because it comes down to fairness. But growing up with a gay brother made me very aware, especially growing up in a Black church that originally wanted to bury its head when it came to the FACT that they had gay members. (My church -- I'm referring to back home in Georgia, not here in California -- worked very hard to become LGBT friendly and now welcoming to all.)
And DADT repeal went down in flames on the same day that Barack attempted to promote another homophobe. From the snapshot today:Barack is backing Gen James Amos to be the new Commandant of the Marine Corps because Barack and James Amos see eye to eye, that's why he nominated Amos. And Amos appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee today.
Message received indeed. And if you're straight, you really need to be vocal. This is about equality and the easiest thing to do is to put it off on the LGBT community and expect them to fight and fight alone. I'm Black. I know the Civil Rights Movement needed every one on board. And that's true of today's equality movement. Equal rights are about equal rights for all and that is battle every American should take part in. Especially if you're straight because you have nothing to lose. In some places, a gay person advocating could become tagged "gay" and he or she could be fired for that. In other places, they could be beaten up in a homophobic attack. It takes a lot of courage for people -- especially those not in a major metro area -- to come out and to advocate for LGBT rights. Those of us who are straight have nothing to lose by adding our voices to the struggle but we have everything to gain because we are engaging in the battle for equality and fairness.
Again, my older brother being gay made this a very important issue for me before I was ever even in high school. I see achieving full equality as the most important domestic battle of the 21st century. I don't know where you'd rank it on your own lists but I hope you will become part of the battle if you aren't already. Again, that is especially true if you're straight. It sends a message that homophobia will not be tolerated. This is a battle we can win. We had a huge setback today but we can win it.