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Posted at 4:58 PM ET, 12/ 9/2010

DADT didn't fail. The Senate did.

By Ezra Klein

The bill repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell didn't fail: The Senate did. The bill got 57 votes, not 49. As Dylan Matthews pointed out, a procedural failsafe that's theoretically meant to protect the rights of minorities was just used to restrict the rights of minorities -- which is how it's always been, of course.

The various players are excitedly blaming one another. Anonymous aides to Harry Reid are arguing that Susan Collins's demands would've meant so much conservative obstruction that there wouldn't have been time for a vote. Collins was just on the television saying that if Reid had only given her more time, the bill would've passed.

I don't care who's right. And nor should anyone else. The diffusion of responsibility that comes from deciding law through complex parliamentary gamesmanship rather than simple majority-rules votes is the problem. What happened today is that a majority of the Senate voted for a bill that the majority of Americans support. The bill did not pass. Neither Harry Reid nor Susan Collins are ultimately responsible for that. The rules of the Senate are.

By Ezra Klein  | December 9, 2010; 4:58 PM ET
 
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Comments

I'm sick of Harry Reid getting a pass on this.
Yes, the math of the Senate sucks.

But therein lies the need for a strong majority leader who's able to cut deals and strong-arm members when necessary.

The biggest travesty of the election to me, frankly, was his re-election.

I'm not naive to think tons of progressive legislation would magically pass under Majority Leader Dick Durbin or Chuck Schumer, but at this point I'd take a 52-vote majority over a 53-vote majority led by Harry Reid any day.

Personality matters in politics, and I simply cannot imagine that man winning over a single vote when push comes to shove.

And this is the man who's setting the agenda. With the incredible, baffling schedule changes and ill-fated votes that make the Democrats look even more hapless, how have Democrats not made a bigger deal about this guy?

Posted by: isaidmoreham | December 9, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

It's appalling that the GOP pulls this stuff day in and day out and doesn't seem to face any consequences for it. During the Bush years all we heard was, "STRAIGHT UP OR DOWN VOTE!!"

I don't know how we fix it, but the senate is broken and I know who broke it. '

Posted by: lcrider1 | December 9, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Folks, this 60 vote rule is getting ridiculous. The GOP has ABUSED the filibuster. I hope Democrats push filibuster reform next Congress.

Posted by: jasonr3 | December 9, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

John McCain deserves the blame.

Posted by: chucko2 | December 9, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Again.

What are the odds that they fix this in the next session? Is Reid even planning a vote on the Merkley plan in Jan.?

The GOP's been beating them with the same stick for 2 years. You would think they would be ready to take it away.

Posted by: bswainbank | December 9, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Voting on people's rights. What a country!

Posted by: tgarahan | December 9, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

"Folks, this 60 vote rule is getting ridiculous. The GOP has ABUSED the filibuster. I hope Democrats push filibuster reform next Congress."

When the filibuster is all that saves health care from an aggressive House? Not likely.

Posted by: Section506 | December 9, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

I want to echo something lcrider1 just said, but slightly differently. One infuriating thing about the GOP's intransigence is not only do they get away with, and not only do they get let off easy, but importantly they get let off easy by *Democrats*. When something like this happens, instead of Harry Reid getting the blame, shouldn't we be tearing our hair and beating our chests over the naked bigotry of the GOP? If our party could just quit the circular firing squad game for 4 consecutive years, that'd do a great deal more for our cause then all the finger pointing at each other could possibly do.

Posted by: reader44 | December 9, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

If the House and Senate can't work out the tax deal before Jan. 1, what are the odds that Harry Reid uses that failure as an excuse to change the filibuster rule so that Dems can muscle through middle-class only tax cuts to avoid increases on every American?

I'd say zero. But it would be awesome, and if the Dems had any guts or skills they'd win the PR battle. I still don't think people understand there is a 60-vote rule in effect, and if Republicans were forced to go out and fight for it they might lose.

Posted by: tfsteven | December 9, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse


Oh shut up Klein you leftist journolist weaseal.

Yes leftist scum like you hate the United States Constitution which plainly states each House determines the rules of its own proceeding.

The Senate makes its own rules. The Senate is NOT run by simple majority rule. Cloture takes a three-fifths vote in the Senate (unless it is a motion to amend the rules in which case it requires a 2/3 majority).

Posted by: screwjob23 | December 9, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

isaidmoreham:
You don't give Reid enough credit for holding together and getting near-unanimity from the diverse Democrats he leads. Until we know otherwise about his leadership, I'll believe Reid's skills and leadership are high.
What you'd do better to account for is the party discipline of all Republican Senators.

Posted by: incredulous | December 9, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse


Silly Dims: The only poll that matters is the nation poll that was taken on November the 2nd. Leftist Dims in Congress lost 63 seats in the House and 6 in the Senate.

Of course you can try again in the next Congress starting on January the 3rd, in the House of Representatives. Good luck with that, Dims.

Posted by: screwjob23 | December 9, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

*The Senate is NOT run by simple majority rule. *

That's true. It is supposed to be a majoritarian body elected by a non-majoritarian apportionment. The Republicans are abusing their privileges. They claim that they want to "keep debating" by voting down cloture. What more do they want to debate before the final vote? Can you explain that one to me?

Posted by: constans | December 9, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

The filibuster is a useful and I think, necessary, tool in the Senate.
.
What needs to change is its seemingly 'no cost' use. If you want to Filibuster, fine. Go to the floor and talk. Nothing else gets done, period, until you either relent or you are granted what you want.
.
It has to *hurt* to use this tool. That makes it so it doesn't get used too often, or if used in such manner it is *very* clear who is stopping things up.
.
The other rule that needs to change is the Anonymous Holds a Senator can place on a bill. This is blatantly *unconstitutional* in my opinion. How can one person, anonymously, prevent something from happening?
.
Surely attaching your name to the hold and an override vote should be allowed at the bare minimum?

Posted by: rpixley220 | December 9, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Solve the tax issue and quit wasting time! Then move on to other issues.

Posted by: sarno | December 9, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

If anyone every had a mandate, it was Obama and the Democratic party after the 2008 election. Since then, we have heard repeatedly from the Republicans that they respect the will of the American people, but they've been thwarting every single attempt to address the will of the majority of Americans from the first day of the Obama administration. Through lies and misrepresentations, Republicans keep overturning every effort to meet the expectations of the public. What is totally mystifying is that the public rewards them for their recalcitrance. To be sure, their supporters in hate groups such as the Family Research Council will be ecstatic about this failure.

Posted by: emmerson | December 9, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

You have to wonder if Reid didn't want the whole thing to fail so he could keep it as a political issue.

If the Dems REALLY wanted to pass repeal DADT why didnt they do it when they had a 61 vote supermajority?

Still, it is kind of pathetic that the GOP would hold up the entire Defense bill due to their pathological hatred of gay Americans.

Posted by: MarcMyWords | December 9, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

It is more than just having a broken system. The entire Senate's atmosphere of civility and respect has been corrupted.

The filibuster was designed during times when it was important that issues that a minority felt really strongly about could be aired completely. A cloture vote is simply a vote to keep talking about an issue, not an up or down on passage. The gentleman's agreement accompanying it was that usually after a vote of cloture failed, and more time was given to debate, eventually everyone would have their mind made up, no more discussion was necessary, and then a up or down vote was held.

It has only become a parliamentary procedure designed to prevent voting altogether in the last few decades. Since the agreements surrounding the rule are no longer honored, the rule needs to be changed.

Unfortunately, it takes a 2/3 vote to change the rules, which means it just will not happen.

Posted by: reussere | December 9, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Congress keeps proving over and over that they are mostly greedy bigoted cowards. I am disgusted with the lot of them, with just a few exceptions. Thank you Bernie Sanders, Peter Welch, and Patrick Leahy for leading in rejecting Obama's cowardly cave in on tax cuts for the wealthy. Too bad about DADT. It's important, though, to have some minority class that it's ok to oppress. I guess those old men in Congress aren't ready to give that up. Ironic of course, considering how many of them are pedophiles.

Posted by: greeenmtns | December 9, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

This is the GOP that we just bent over for on tax cuts. Why in heck didn't we hold the tax cuts hostage until they voted to repeal DADT? If they can do it, why can't we? Because Obama is a weak poser. Even if its true that a compromise on taxes was necessary (which is debatable), why didn't he hold out for more? I am absolutely disgusted with the namby-pamby DNC and the President who has proved time and again that he is far more interested in appeasing biggots than he is in doing what's right. He could have ended the execution of DADT on his first day in office. He hasn't because he doesn't want to take the heat for it. Words cannot express how disappointed in him I am. We might as well have voted for McCain. It wouldn't be any different than it is now.

Posted by: October10S | December 9, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse


Silly Dims the precedence of motions rule, standing rule XXII of the Senate, does not require any senator so keep blabbing on night and day to prevent the bill from coming to a vote. Quite the opposite: It requires a three-fifths majority vote in order to force a bill to a vote.

The inane, facile notion that "nobody is debating at this very moment so we all must vote on it now " is just that ... nonsensical. Either party can force a bill to a vote, but only after they have the 60 votes to go with it.

Posted by: screwjob23 | December 9, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

But let's be clear. This is all Obama's fault somehow.

Posted by: willows1 | December 9, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse


DEMOCRACY IS NOT A SUICIDE PACT

The system is working as the founders designed it. Populations can be reasonable in one season, and practically insane in the next. Welcome to American homosexual insanity. When the herd is being driven over the cliff of self-destruction, called by trumpets driven by the very lips of Satan himself, as it was in this case, the Senate was designed to slow things down. And they slowed things down. Democracy is not a suicide pact you know.

Posted by: GoldenEagles | December 9, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

screwjob23 still hasn't explained to me what more the Republicans want to debate the military funding bill for by refusing to invoke cloture. If he/she can explain that, then maybe we can talk about what the Republican concerns are over. The Senate obviously supports the motion: the Republicans said simply that they don't want to end debate. So what do they want to debate? Tell us.

Posted by: constans | December 9, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse


Barry the incompetent boob of a boob is the one who promised homos that he would repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell for them. Clearly Barry promised something that is far beyond his power to deliver. The only people who would blame Barry for that are those who wanted open homos to be in the military.

The rest of us simple note that Barry's sheer incompetence comes to the fore yet again.

Posted by: screwjob23 | December 9, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

The rules of the Senate are made by the members of the Senate. Susan Collins and Harry Reid are Senators. Therefore, Susan Collins and Harry Reid are to blame.

Posted by: jamusco | December 9, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Ezra,

Sorry, but *everyone* knew the rules before they even got to the floor. PELOSI killed this bill.

Singlehandedly, she could have (and should have, considering the shenanigans of the last two years that has led to her being a LAME DUCK Speaker) brought it to a floor for a vote. It may not have passed, but it looked like Obamas FIRST EVER bipartisan effort was defeated by HIS OWN PARTY!!!

Some of those Senators who voted AGAINST cloture were sticking with principle (backed by 2/3rds of Americans who APPROVED of Obama's) just as much as Pelosi was. They had called out their intentions and clearly so. Obama had dealt in good faith with them (or did he deliberately exclude key Democrats in the House to submarine this?) and secured the deal.

I doubt you considered the system broken when then Senator Salazar and the Gang of 14 were using the filibuster. Back in November of 2005, he indicated in an interview that the filibuster was still a viable option in the Supreme Court confirmation proceedings for Judge Alito. Huh. I'd say that the restraint of the Repblicans with the Nominations from Obama here were more than slightly commendable. So don't act high and holy. You aren't.

The system is *not* broken. I would agree that it is abused at times, and if not for the support of the American Public, I would agree that this was one of those cases, but it is not, because they *did* support it. The Democrats have had their time using this over the past 20 years that is pretty impressive when compared to the fewwer number of times that the Republicans have used it.

So cry about Pelosi, *not* the system. She is THE person who killed the DADT repeal. No-one else could have done as good a job on that as SHE did!!!

;'{P~~~~

Posted by: Clearbrook | December 9, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

This is devastating: if ever a bill should have passed it was this one. The Joint Chiefs of Staff support it, Colin Powell supports it, Sam Nunn supports it, and most important, the American people support it. Everyone recognizes this basic issue of civil rights.

I read that Lieberman is going to introduce a stand-alone, up or down bill on repealing DADT and Reid will expedite it under Rule Something-Or-Other. And it will still fall short of the infernal 60-vote onus.

If anyone is doubting why Obama had to step in to negotiate a deal on the tax cuts, this is why. Harry Reid doesn't seem to be able to negotiate his way out of a paper bag, and he claims to have been a boxer at one time. Now he may have to step up and do what he doesn't want to do (and which will not put an end to this): issue an executive order not to enforce the "law" (read: gotcha game) of the United States Congress. That will not settle things in the end. We'll still have a law called DADT. Next stop: our really disappointing Supreme Court.

Posted by: JJenkins2 | December 9, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

*The system is *not* broken. I would agree that it is abused*

Since abuse has become the norm, that is why it is broken.

I don't know what your thing about Pelosi is, though: there is no filibuster in the House. Perhaps you are confusing DADT with the tax and unemployment benefits deal.

Posted by: constans | December 9, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Let's face it. We live in an ignorant country.

Posted by: John991 | December 9, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Republicans bash gays. I don't see how you can blame Senator Reid or any other Democrat for that.

Posted by: esch | December 9, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

now we have to get the senate tO throw this dream act out the window and into the garbage pile like they should have done with N.A.F.T.A.I WANT EVERYONE TO KNOW THAT ADMIRALS,GENERALS AND MR.GATES DO NOT HAVE TO LIVE WITH THE GAYS.. ON A us navy ship everything is very confined.

Posted by: SISSD1 | December 9, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Why is anyone surprised. The Republicans wouldn't even allow room for a DEBATE when efforts to repeal this were made in September. Of course, you've got a bunch of nutjobs who are not only homophobes and bigots, but trying to pass blame over to Democrats. If it weren't for the Democrats we would not have seen any momentum whatseover. The only reason several moderate Republicans are even giving their empty lip service to the issue is that the Democrats have tried to gain momentum on this repeal. But the Republicans are intent on stalling and then striking it down. We know who is against this - the same disgusting hypocrites who were pounding their fists over family values while their RNC Chairman stayed hidden hin the closet. What a bunch of venal bigots.

They, and their merry band of tea-tards, are throwing our country back into the stone-age, but the issue won't go away.

It's disgusting how these John Birch Society hacks and their followers have gained hubris - what else did you think would stop momentum but "conservative virtues" - including Boehner's - the man who had the audacity to hand out bribes on the floor of congress.

And if you didn't vote during the mid-terms what did you expect. Did you expect anything more than a hijacking? If you didn't try to run the Republicans out on a rail and vote to vanquish one bigot's vote, then you have only yourself to blame.

Posted by: jakrdy | December 9, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

@constans:

McConnell said NOTHING was going through in this Lame Duck Session until the Bush Tax Cuts were extended. HIS caucus backed that move in the Senate. Obama figured out that they Meant It (there were test votes in the Senate to try the waters that most people here don't seem to follow or understand) and used his bully pulpit to broker a deal to get things moving.

Collins KNEW that this would not move forward without the TAX CUT that 2/3rds of Americans Supported according to the last Poll Done by Gallup. BTW, in another recent poll, although others will say that repealing DADT is something they support, they don't think it is important at all, really. Certainly not as important as the TAX CUTS and Unemployment Benefits.

Pelosi and HER Caucus decided to "call their bluff" as many rabid repeal mongers here were telling her to do. She listened to you. Stupid Move. McConnell had the stones to back up what he said. Reid waffled and fell down. But Pelosi Killed Obamas FIRST BIPARTISAN EFFORT, and it is going to have to be bipartisan from here out, and the ones out in the cold are likely to be the Extremeist Democrats who have had their way for far too long...

;'{P~~~

Posted by: Clearbrook | December 9, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Once homosexuals are allowed openly to serve in the military, I see no reason why other mentally ill people mayn't also enlist - pederasts, schizoids, cannibals, necrophiliacs, the whole list! After all, if the country has resolved on absolute decadence, why waste time?

Posted by: LeePefley1 | December 9, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

I've just read through the existing comments, and, Screwjob, I doubt you are even old enough to vote. If you are old enough, you probably aren't even registered. If you are registered, you probably don't know which voting district you live in. If you do know, you probably can't fill out the ballot. If you can fill out the ballot, you spilled chewing tobacco drool that dribbled out of your slack-jawed gap-toothed maw, you inbred rhubarb.

Posted by: jakrdy | December 9, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

If I wanted to talk about DADT, I would never have left Greg Sargent's column where he has made about 25 blogs on the subject in the last week or so.

Posted by: 54465446 | December 9, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

@jakrdy,

Your "...their RNC Chairman stayed hidden hin[sic] the closet." sounds very MUCH like a bigoted (racist) comment. I find it ammusing that you are frothing at the mouth and calling others hypocrites when you are obviously the pot who is calling the kettle black...

What kinds of clowns tollerate that in their midst and expect such is going to further their cause? It is the fundemental flaw of the LGBT Agenda: The LOUD & PROUD and BULLY THEM UNTIL YOU GET IT strategies have played themsleves out. You won't get any more capitulation out of it. Change to reasonable tones, and someone *might* eventually listen. Keep frothing at the mouth like a rabid dog and calling the people you are trying to get to support your cause names and you are going to get more of the same -- NOTHING!!!

;'{P~~~

Posted by: Clearbrook | December 9, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Gee Ezra. Can't seem to find ANY articles by you lamenting the Dem senators when they used the arcane senate rules to slow or stop Repub legislation. ROFLMAO @ hypocrite.

Posted by: illogicbuster | December 9, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

I don't care if a person is homosexual and is in the Armed Services. Nearly every woman in the Army was gay when was in the service it is none of my business.

Just serve as a homosexual, do your job and go home an have all the homosexual sex you want. No one needs to know your business.

This is not new.

Here is news:

How about when the military industrial is stealing hundreds of millions every years; or the fact that we are fighting 2 illegal so-called wars.
You think I care about a gay issue or abortion issue. Not!

South of our boarders a Gang of Mexicans are running mad because of the Drug War. We have what 2 million people in Prisons today.

Government has run amok and I am worried about gays in the military? Not!

Let's get some real news from the Post, this my friend is not news, it's totally stupid.

Did anyone report how the Federal Reserve gave there friends 3.3 Trillion Electronic Dollars. Or maybe how the rating agencies committed fraud by assigning triple AAA on those garbage "Derivatives?" Or Did anyone go after the Heads of Fanny or Freddy for cooking the Books? Not! Or how about the one that cooked the books is now an Obama Economic Adviser that stole millions of taxpayer money. Not!

Our phony media reports basically nothing anymore. Thanks Washington Post for nothing.

Posted by: urscrewed | December 9, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Erza Klein, you are a far left ideologue. You are of touch with the American people. You are in the minority. You are on the margin.


While America worries about our economy, and whether we will be attacked again by those who hate us, you and the Democratic Party are worried about whether you can squeeze one more liberal policy through before your repudiated congress is thrown out!


Goodbye Democrats! Goodbye!

Posted by: FormerDemocrat | December 9, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

It's absurd that Senators don't have to actually filibuster. If politicians, Republican or Democratic, want to prevent democratic, majority rule, they should at least have to pull an all-nighter.

Remember this, GOProud/Log Cabin. The Majority of the country and the military favor the repeal of DADT. This just goes to how beholden Republicans are to far-right extremist groups and special interests.

Posted by: RJ24 | December 9, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Folks, this 60 vote rule is getting ridiculous. The GOP has ABUSED the filibuster. I hope Democrats push filibuster reform next Congress.

Posted by: jasonr3

Amen! Already, with red states like Wyoming getting as many votes in the Senate as blue states like California, a distinct minority of Americans can comfortably block the will of the majority. And the filibuster rule accentuates that effect even more. I don't care about the fine old rules of senatorial courtesy. Time to abolish the filibuster rule, and then to begin working on a constitutional amendment to require "one person, one vote" in electing members of the Senate.

Posted by: AdrianMole | December 9, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse


Silly Dims, this is a message board not a chat room. I write what I have to say and move on. I am not having a conversation with any of you -- never have. You might as well be debating one of the ads.

Posted by: screwjob23 | December 9, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

And precisely what qualifies this juice-boxer little snot to opine about military matters? We're not talking about cap guns and GI Joe dolls here.

Posted by: thebump | December 9, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

jasonr3 says, "Folks, this 60 vote rule is getting ridiculous. The GOP has ABUSED the filibuster. I hope Democrats push filibuster reform next Congress."

This is rather short sighted. When the Republicans hold the majority the Democrat minority will benefit from these rules. What goes around comes around. And what comes around goes around. And what goes around comes around. And so forth.

Posted by: GoldenEagles | December 9, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Why can't the Post do a thorough article that criticizes the anti-democratic nature of the FILIBUSTER?

IMO, they should always be using the word 'filibuster' instead of 'block' when describing how these bills can not even make it to the floor for discussion.

By using more precise language like 'filibuster', the public would become more aware of this anachronistic flaw in our Senate procedures.

Posted by: JamesCaroll | December 9, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Our system is set up to demand strong presidential leadership. The President could have pushed this early and got it. He could have had an executive order. Instead he set it up to fail. Does anyone really think he wanted to close Gitmo (or at least take any criticism on it)? Does anyone believe it was the Democratic House that stopped it? They did what the President wanted. Obviously he could have raised taxes on the rich by leading. All he had to do from the start was threaten to veto any bill without it, and the Republicans would have had to cave. He either is quite conservative or he has no courage. As he said in his autobiography, he wants to be a mirror that people can read themselves into.

Posted by: jhough1 | December 9, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Way to go, Congress. You have the American and most of the military behind you on this bill.

Posted by: tonyjm | December 9, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Way to go, Congress. You have the American and most of the military behind you on this bill.

Posted by: tonyjm

Not according to any poll that I've seen. And the 57 Senators who voted for cloture represent a substantial majority of American voters. The GOP has become the last refuge of bigots, (closeted) homophobes, and other creepy losers. Demographics, and changing attitudes among the young, mean that the GOP's primitive bashing of gays, immigrants, etc. is headed for the dustbin of history ... but, unfortunately, not soon enough.

Posted by: AdrianMole | December 9, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

The Senate Rules are not responsible for this. They are are rules and like any rules they are subject to abuse. And so, once again, the Republican Party, this time in the person of Susan Collins, has chosen to abuse them and to thwart the will of the majority instead of doing the people's business as she was elected to do.

For those are the Right, who believe they have been well served by the way the Republicans have done business over the course of the last two year and who applaud the abuse of the filibuster, just remember that at some point the shoe will be on the other foot.

Posted by: seldoc1 | December 9, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Let's face it. We live in an ignorant country.

Posted by: John991

-----------

Correct. What now? Things are getting worse, not better.

Posted by: johng1 | December 9, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Once again, the 60-vote super majority procedure has failed the senate. This is not how it was supposed to work. No one senator is supposed to have this kind of power. One can argue that it's unconstitutional. Restore the old filibuster rule. Let any senator who wants to obstruct a bill talk on the floor until he drops.

Posted by: pspox | December 9, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Re: Sen. Susan Collins asking for "more time."

She ALWAYS asks for added time-- and delights in keeping
everyone waiting. Then , of course, she votes no!

It's like Charlie Brown with the football. Guess who is Lucy
and what sap is Charlie? Ba-humbug....

Posted by: srwinc | December 9, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Our Senate does nothing but fail - it's terminally broken and needs to be replaced with something sane. Consider AZ: two Senators, just like NY or CA, elected by a couple of hundred thousand folks and either one can stop everything in it's tracks. McCain is dotty and should be in a home and John Kyl belongs in an orange jumpsuit. Our Federal taxes pay both six-figure salaries and we give them gold-plated health care and we get excrement.
Once upon a time this system may have made sense but it's now a mockery of democracy.

Posted by: michael5 | December 9, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Dear Members of the U. S. Armed Forces:

We appreciate your service and all, but we consider you inferior in professionalism and ability to the services of Albania, Australia, Austria, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Columbia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Phillipines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Bermuda and Uruguay.

All these countries were somehow able to make this work (many of them years ago), but we don't think you are professional enough to hack it.

Sincerely,

America's Conservatives
Long Live the Taliban, Allahu Akbar

Posted by: B2O2 | December 9, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

screwjob23; your handle fits you like a glove. Please get out of our country you blood-filled parasite. We should be putting you in a public stockade.

Posted by: michael5 | December 9, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse


Using Standing Rules of the Senate to your advantage is called Politics, Dims. Yes any of the top ten GOP senators run rings around Harry the horse's asp Reid's knowledge when it comes to thorough understanding of the rules. The Republicans in the Senate are better parliamentarians than the Dims -- so what else is new?

Posted by: screwjob23 | December 9, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Want to abolish the filibuster rule Dims? All you need to do is elect 67 Democrats to the Senate and have them all vote to amend Senate rules. After you lost six last month and Scott Brown in January for seven now you only need to gain 14 senate seats in 2012 and then you can change whatever rules you like.

Posted by: screwjob23 | December 9, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Today the United States Senate couldn't muster up the courage to match that of the gay men and women willing to give their lives in our defense.

Now that's queer.

To the front lines of Afghanistan with all of them.

Posted by: tslats | December 9, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Change is what they promised. Nobody said it wouldn’t be mindless, thoughtless, unnecessary and unwanted change, just that it would be inevitable change. So it now turns out that the only thing that was inevitable is the liberal screaming, whining and recriminations and that is no change at all.

Posted by: droberts57 | December 9, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry Ezra, but the Senate rules aren't going to change anytime soon (much as we wish they would). In this particular instance, Reid had the opportunity to work out a deal with Susan Collins that would give other moderate GOPers cover to vote for cloture. Instead he essentially told them to take the deal and shove it. Why? I don't buy his line about it possibly taking too long-as it is, the standalone will take as long or longer with potentially more opportunities for the those who think like McCain to delay and block.

Posted by: BruinGirl2001 | December 9, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

screwjob23, you sure picked the right moniker for yourself - a hate filled, insulting whackjob neo-nutzi who doesn't mind showing the world what a truly hapless dimwit looks like - oh, and I'll bet you consider yourself "Christian" (I seriously doubt that God agrees with you on that one) - you're pathetic--

Posted by: southernbutnotstupid | December 9, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Enough.

The problem is the filibuster. End the filibuster and this problem goes away.

Aside from a few very specific instances (for instance, ratification of treaties, constitutional amendments), there is nothing in the US Constitution that gives to either legislative body the right to deny the majority. Yet that has what has developed in the Senate.

Since the Senate seems to be incapable of ending this arcane process, it is up to the people to fix it.

This can be done in a couple of different ways: through the state legislatures, or through a Constitutional Convention convened on behalf of the public.

It seems to me that the better way to remedy this problem is for the citizens to hold a Constitutional Convention for the purpose of determining the rules under which the Congress shall operate--on behalf of the public. Yes, both houses can make their own rules, but the fundamental purpose of both houses is to represent the will of the people. When the internal rules violate the greater purpose, then the Constitutional "safety valve" must be employed. The only purpose of this experiment is to advance the interests of the people.

It is unfortunate that it has come to this, but the recent history of the Senate would seem to leave the public no other choice.

The Senate is disfunctional, and the country can no longer afford to tolerate it.

Senate majority leader Harry Reid had 4 years to correct this, but he failed.

Now the public should take control of their own legislature so that it functions in the interests of the public, and in the continuation of the Constitution to generations that will follow us.

Posted by: wireliner | December 9, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse


Barry the incompetent boob Obama never once had the votes in the Senate get DADT repealed. Not even when there were 60 Democrat senators in 2009. Never once. Riddle me this Dims: Why didn't Barry bring this to a vote his first 100 days in office? Because Barry did not wany a defeat so soon.

The chance of getting this repealed in the lame duck session is zero. One week to go Dims until the Senate adjourns and nobody knows what his income taxes will be in three weeks but Barry is still trying to get this albatross jammed through Congress. Hilarious Dims.

Miserable failure Obama

Posted by: screwjob23 | December 9, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Did you not hear the testimonies of the Army, Air Force, and Marine chiefs last week lil' boy klein?
Those of us who actually served are sick and tired of the likes of you, odumbo, and his out-of-touch extremist lapdogs like mullen and gates trying to perform social experimentation with the military for political payback. MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!!!

Posted by: civilemik | December 9, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

screwjob23, you are the worst kind of commenter--a sore winner. Or I assume you consider yourself a winner. And no, I have no desire for a conversation with you.

Posted by: lowercaselarry | December 10, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

screwjob23, you are the worst kind of commenter--a sore winner. Or I assume you consider yourself a winner. And no, I have no desire for a conversation with you.

Posted by: lowercaselarry | December 10, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

If the bill's good, open it up to debate. House and Senate Democrat leaders keep forcing their members along. It's hard to see why Reid and Pelosi were reelected. Oh wait, voters got rid of all the Democrats except those socialists and far leftists in protected seats.

Posted by: cprferry | December 10, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

You guys should stop complaining because, one the health care we have now isnt as good as it was supposed to be. also the law has just been signed so give it some time. so if u want to say u have the right to choose tell that to ur congress men or state official. If you do not have insurance and need one You can find full medical coverage at the lowest price check http://ow.ly/3akSX .If you have health insurance and do not care about cost just be happy about it and trust me you are not going to loose anything!

Posted by: williamdawson | December 10, 2010 3:14 AM | Report abuse


The votes Dims, the votes. Everything else is irrelevant.

Does Barry the inept bungler have the votes to repeal this law? No.

Posted by: screwjob23 | December 10, 2010 5:01 AM | Report abuse

What part of the 42 signatures that said NOTHING will get passed until the budget and tax bills get handled, does Harry Reid or even Ezra don't understand?

This was Speaker Reid's fault that it was brought up yesterday. Just as the Dream Act will die if he brings it up.

Do you think he does this on purpose? I do.

Posted by: robc1 | December 10, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse


A Great Victory has Been Won
Over the Forces of Homosexuality

With the DEFEAT of the effort to repeal the DADT policy in the U.S. Senate in the late afternoon of December 9, 2010, a Great Victory has Been Won Over the Forces of Homosexuality.

Every American who understands the mortal danger that America faces to her very survival with each advance of the homosexual agenda, they can breathe a great sigh of relief at this victory, for the thin blue line held, and the nation stepped back, for a moment, from a head long plunge into the abyss of self-destruction.

However, now is NOT the time to lay back, and bask in the afterglow of a victorious campaign. Now is the time to muster the troops anew, and to carry the battle forward, in pursuit of the retreating, cowering, and fleeing forces of darkness. Let our trumpets of victory ring out, that never again, could the forces of darkness come so close as to battering down the very gate of the American castle of truth and moral sanity. Summon now the forces of heaven, for they alone are up to the final task of delivering our nation into a new day of hope, and purity.

To that end, let this prayer be on the lips of every patriot.

O God, my Dear Heavenly Father, I Am That I Am, indeed, whose precious child I am, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, please send legions of Holy Angels now, marching triumphantly, to cast out all homosexuals from the U.S. Military, from all positions within our National Security Establishment, and from every position of responsibility in whatever department of American life they have entered with their corrupting spirit, especially throughout the educational institutions of our land, and in every department of the mass media, and throughout all government institutions, local, state and federal. Deliver our nation O God from the horror of this dark shadow of moral insanity. Fully accepting the promise of the Lord Jesus Christ, that that which I ask of you, in his name, that you will do. I therefore accept it done right now with full power. Amen.

Every person, indeed every patriot, who is interested in the survival of America as a free and prosperous nation, should say this prayer every morning for the rest of their life. When your eyes open in the morning, reach for the paper that this prayer is printed on, and say it. In this way, will we never again have to face the prospect of so closely dodging such a fatal bullet, dripping with the poison of sinister intent, aimed at the very heart of our nation.

Posted by: GoldenEagles | December 10, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Correction, Mr. Klein, the Senate did not fail. Rather, the Senate did not want to repeal.

Posted by: dougmatt | December 10, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I thought you are a business/economics writer, WHY are you stepping into DADT?

Stick to what you know- the senate DID their job. The nation as a whole and a large majority of current serving military DON'T WANT DADT (ONLY 8% were positive). We know the gay activist want to ram this down America's throats.

Just look what happened with the gay intelligence officer that gave all those thousands of secret cables to Weakileaks. Talk about unstable... we don't need that in our military

Posted by: xtracare13 | December 10, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

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