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'Don't ask, don't tell' could divide Republicans

By Ed O'Keefe

Eye Opener

This week's wins by House and Senate Republicans are not slowing efforts to repeal the military's "don't ask, don't tell" law and policy. The issue may in fact divide Republicans when lawmakers consider the issue once again during the upcoming lame-duck session.

President Obama once again voiced support for repealing the ban during his Wednesday news conference, urging lawmakers to keep politics out of the debate.

"This is an issue, as I said, where you've got a sizable portion of the American people squarely behind the notion that folks who are willing to serve on our behalf should be treated fairly and equally," Obama said.

Repeal is still part of the massive annual defense authorization bill that senators are expected to vote on during the session, but Democrats have not yet decided when to hold a vote on it, according to the office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

Securing enough votes to proceed on the bill will require Republican support. Though most of the GOP will vote against repealing the gay ban, the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay rights group suing the federal government to end "don't ask, don't tell," started meeting Thursday with aides to five moderate GOP senators who have expressed a willingness to support repeal efforts.

"It is incumbent upon us now to go back to them to take their temperature," said LCR Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper. He declined to name the five senators because their offices are asking him to keep the conversations private for fear of potential political backlash.

At least some of the five are lame-duck senators set to retire, Cooper said -- meaning he's likely meeting with the offices of Sens. George Voinovich (R-Ohio), Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) and maybe Kit Bond (R-Mo.). Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) is not on Cooper's target list, because she already plans to vote for repeal, he said.

But Elaine Donnelly, executive director of the Center for Military Readiness and a longtime opponent of repealing the gay ban, warned Republicans this week that voting for repeal is a politically risky move that could result in future losses.

She cited Reps. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) and Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), two military veterans who lost their elections Tuesday after strongly supporting repeal of the ban. Murphy was the lead sponsor of repeal legislation in the House; Sestak, who ran for Pennsylvania's Senate seat, also voiced strong support.

"Both candidates tried to disguise their extreme social liberalism with military uniforms they had previously worn," Donnelly wrote in a post-election memo to reporters. "They assumed that their prior military service would make it safe to carry water for the LGBT Left, which is determined to impose the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered agenda on our men and women in the military."

"These results are relevant to incumbents and future candidates who may assume that previous military experience, or support for some veterans' concerns but not social issues of concern to active-duty troops, will guarantee conservative voter support," Donnelly said. "Senators and members of Congress who really support the troops will not vote to impose the LGBT Left agenda on the All-Volunteer Force."

Certainly Murphy and Sestak's losses had more to do with anti-Democratic, anti-incumbent voter furor than "don't ask, don't tell." (Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), for example, a lead Democratic opponent of repealing the ban, also lost reelection.) Regardless, Donnelly warns that any lawmakers who vote to end the ban will face serious political consequences from conservative groups in the future.

So which way will Republicans go on the issue? We should know in a few more weeks.

(Worth a read: The Jewish magazine Moment has an essay in its November issue about how the Israeli military integrated gay troops: "If you tried to enact a law like DADT in Israel today, you'd be laughed out of the Knesset," writes Yoav Sivan. "Whether or not they're asked, Israelis tell.")

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

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By Ed O'Keefe  | November 5, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener, Military  
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Comments

The Teahadists claim a strong libertarian bent. If they're true to their principles (assuming they got any in the first place), they'll support repealing the ban.

Posted by: Garak | November 5, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps Obama doesn't know or understand all he need do is issue a Stop Loss Order and prevent them from being kicked out of the Military.

It would Undermine efforts of Republicans and raise his sagging Popularity among a Majority of Americans.

Posted by: ddoiron1 | November 5, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

What this Elaine Donnelly does not understand is that some of those honorable people serving to protect her butt are LGBT. What she wants is to force these people to lie. It goes against everything our military are suppose to be, HONORABLE. I would suggest to her to try and live her life without sharing a major part of it with anyone. So if she is married or has kids she should decline to ever say anything about her husband or kids. No pictures, no "we are going ..." statements to co-workers. She and others like her should just try it. See how it makes them feel. You can not take them to company parties and when you out in town and are spotted by a co-worker come up with some lie as to who they are. I challenge them to do it for a year. Who ever means the most to you, decline to acknowledge their existence to your co-workers and friends for a year. Experience the horrible turmoil a person experiences when they are force to go against their principles so they can serve their country. How can our country be honorable when it forces people to lie. I can not image why other countries can not trust us when we force people to lie.

Posted by: luvhike | November 5, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Pennsylvania's incoming Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), agreed with Sestak during the campaign to support a repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." Of course he used the excuse that he wanted to see a study of how or if this undermines the military -- as if bolstering our armed forces with patriots might be detrimental.

I'd be interested to know how long this supposed study is going to take and how much money will wasted on it.

Posted by: ssigafoos | November 5, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I wonder how all those gay people who supported the GOP this week will feel if the GOP kills the repeal? You will never learn that the GOP is taking a hard turn to the right, which means they don't tolerate gays.

Posted by: lddoyle2002 | November 5, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

"all those gay people who supported the GOP" = "Jews For Hitler."

Posted by: cllr | November 5, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

How about instead of Dems bullying gays who voted GOP, Dems actually stop stabbing gays in the back and give us a reason to support them?

Posted by: uh_huhh | November 5, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

How about instead of Dems bullying gays who voted GOP, Dems actually stop stabbing gays in the back and give us a reason to support them?

Posted by: uh_huhh | November 5, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Blacks have been fully integrated into the military. They sleep, bathe, and dress in the same areas as whites. Women have not been fully integrated into the military. They do not sleep, bathe, and dress in the same areas as men.

Historically, the military has found it efficient to billet together soldiers who have no capacity for becoming sexually or romantically attracted to one another.

DADT has always existed to preserve the privacy rights of heterosexuals. It's illegal to force an employee at work to be naked in front of anyone who could become sexually or romantically attracted to him or her. This priciple was articulated when women began suing factories to build seperate changing areas so women could work the same jobs as men. Businesses sometimes prohibited women from the workplace by not building facilities for them (just as communities prohibited integreation by not building schools near black neighborhoods).

To repeal DADT, supporters must assure the privacy rights and equal treatment of all soldiers. It isn't enough to bully and ridicule opponents into silence. The repeal must accompany a mandate to build private sleeping, bathing, and dressing areas for each individual soldier. Halliburton can build it. Congress can add it to its deficit.

The days of billleting soldiers on the cheap are ending.

Posted by: blasmaic | November 5, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse


Barry the inept bungler could not get it done when he had 60 senators. He could not get it done when he had 59 senators. Now, immediately after the election he has 58 senators (since the new GOP senator from Illinois must be seated immediately). Barry is not going to get this done during a lame duck session. On January the 3rd the Dims will have 53 Senators. The bill will dies in the Senate in the lame duck session.

Then in the new Congress, Dims have to start all over again in the House. Good luck with that.

Rep. Patrick Murphy the Democrat fool who originally introduced this legislation in the House, was VOTED OUT OF OFFICE on Tuesday.

Posted by: screwjob22 | November 5, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse


Barry the inept bungler could not get it done when he had 60 senators. He could not get it done when he had 59 senators. Now, immediately after the election he has 58 senators (since the new GOP senator from Illinois must be seated immediately). Barry is not going to get this done during a lame duck session. On January the 3rd the Dims will have 53 Senators. The bill will dies in the Senate in the lame duck session.

Then in the new Congress, Dims have to start all over again in the House. Good luck with that.

Rep. Patrick Murphy the Democrat fool who originally introduced this legislation in the House, was VOTED OUT OF OFFICE on Tuesday.

Posted by: screwjob22 | November 5, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse


Silly Dims, Judd Gregg is not going to hand you anything. Judd Gregg is a conservative Republican. Judd retired from the Senate in a contest he could easily have won.

Kelly Ayotte who is firmly against repeal of DADY, was elected in New Hampshire against leftist Dim weasel Rep. Paul Hodes in a 60 to 37 slaughter. A 33 point landslide for Kelly Ayotte. That is a mandate from the voters of New Hampshire if ever there was one.

If you saps thinks that Sen. Gregg is going to vote to repeal DADT you have rocks in your head.

Posted by: screwjob22 | November 5, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm
a REAL ISSUE
that the GOP
cannot talk their way out of.

Going to love hearing all the double talk blather in the Republican Party.

Their long time recruitment of the Log Cabin Republicans
competing against
the Social Conservative GOP Camp
is going to be interesting.

I can hear the BIBLE THUMPING NOW !!

THE THUMPING will be
the sound of the Xian Right
hitting beating the Gays
with their BIBLES
until the GAY and Lesbian
attitudes change.

Oh what a fight..

ISA

ISA

Posted by: vettesport | November 5, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Silly Dims, Judd Gregg is not going to hand you anything. Judd Gregg is a conservative Republican. Judd retired from the Senate in a contest he could easily have won.

Kelly Ayotte who is firmly against repeal of DADY, was elected in New Hampshire against leftist Dim weasel Rep. Paul Hodes in a 60 to 37 slaughter. A 33 point landslide for Kelly Ayotte. That is a mandate from the voters of New Hampshire if ever there was one.

If you saps thinks that Sen. Gregg is going to vote to repeal DADT you have rocks in your head.

Posted by: screwjob22 | November 5, 2010 10:57 AM
__________________________
Do you realize that it's not the Dems talking to Gregg, but the Log Cabin REPUBLICANS? Do you understand that the Log Cabin REPUBLICANS are NOT Democrats?

Or is that concept too complicated for you?

Posted by: luridone | November 5, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Now that the GOP is trying so hard to get back in power, there will be more wars.

This means more young men and women going to battle and losing their lives.

I cannot help but think that maybe this is God's plans to teach the bigoted heteros a lesson. For every gay man and women who will not be allowed to serve, that is one less hetero bigot allowed to die to make the world safe for the hetero bigots.

SO Mr Congressman, are you willing to send your child to be killed just because you are a bigot.
Poetic justice I think.

Posted by: racerdoc | November 5, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

"Don't ask don't tell' could divide GOP"

Hint, don't smoke crack then write a column.

This "issue" isn't even a blip on the GOP radar and won't cause more than a 30 second conversation amongst members.

Posted by: illogicbuster | November 5, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Warning: Put down crack pipe before beginning column.

Posted by: blasmaic | November 5, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Do you mean like it is dividing the Democrats and the Obama Justice Dept.

Posted by: sam51 | November 5, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

This "issue" isn't even a blip on the GOP radar and won't cause more than a 30 second conversation amongst members.
Posted by: illogicbuster
===============================
DUDE
the GOP can ignore it all they want.
Just like the National Debt..

BUT
they are all coming anyway and real soon.

You bought the GOP ..
Now you are going to pay the price..

ISA

Posted by: vettesport | November 5, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

DADT …..Gays in the Armed Forces

About 17 years ago Bill Clinton, pushed by his "Left" on the subject of Gays in the service managed to sedate both sides with a mandate allowing gays to continue serving in the Armed Forces. Basically it required leadership to end inquiries to determine sexual preferences, on the one hand, while requiring those other than "Straight" to keep it to themselves. For Clinton, it was perfect. It satisfied folks on both sides of the issue, it appeared he was a statesman (?) …and the problem debate disolved ...for most.

I've never been either L, G, B or T, so my views, experience and opinions are those of a Straight, Male, now Senior Citizen (retired) who served honorably in the Marine Corps for 4 years from 1958 thru 1962. During that period I never knew of a single Homo-sexual or Lesbian Marine. Personally, that lifestyle is repulsive to me and I would never have enlisted in the Corps,or in any other organization if I'd known there would be gays sleeping, showering or living in the same barracks or squad bay. We are now told that this opinion categorizes me and anyone else with similar feelings as Homophobes.

The term … "Homophobe", certainly wasn't coined by those of us who are honestly repulsed by a lifestyle that, by it's nature, includes Sodomy, monstrously elevated levels of HIV AIDS, and other STD's, and practiced by Biblically and Religiously conflicted folks that won't be satisfied until the other 90-percent of the world caves in.

My message to the LGBT community ….it isn't Phobia ….it's DISGUST.

We're inflicted with an administration of ex-lawyers and lawyers, President Barak Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, and prodded now by California Circuit Judge Virginia Phillips (who'd have guessed it), none of whom I'll hazard has ever worn the uniform of the Armed Forces and who now will hold-forth on this profound change bearing down on over a million people and their families that make the service their careers. It's driven now by the Liberals at the extreme Left fringe that wants their piece of the spoils ….the hell with the rest of us.

There's no lawyer that doesn't understand the term "STANDING". It's when you're opinion has merit, by virtue of "having been there and done that", or at least having studied the issue and stand ready to push forward with a decision …that serves the best interests of the majority.

Posted by: lavellemh | November 5, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: ajdfhdfgtsdgasd | November 5, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

"It is incumbent upon us now to go back to them to take their temperature," said LCR Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper.

With a rectal thermometer, of course.

Posted by: paddyofirnacher | November 5, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

The Teahadists claim a strong libertarian bent. If they're true to their principles (assuming they got any in the first place), they'll support repealing the ban.

Posted by: Garak
===

They are social conservatives from the GOP. There is NO way they, or any other GOPer will support the end of DADT.

And Obama, the two-faced one will say "I'll end DADT, but let me do it the right way..."

DADT will not end until the current Supreme court loses one of the teahadist judges

Posted by: HumanSimpleton | November 6, 2010 3:01 AM | Report abuse

"I've never been either L, G, B or T, so my views, experience and opinions are those of a Straight, Male, now Senior Citizen (retired) who served honorably in the Marine Corps for 4 years from 1958 thru 1962"
===

Well, you did not. Bigots cannot serve honorably, and you dishonor those who do.
Go find a truck and smash head on into it.

Posted by: HumanSimpleton | November 6, 2010 3:04 AM | Report abuse

The director of Military Readiness, Elaine Donnelly, clearly needs to be FIRED! Her views and bigoted stance on Gays in the military is not only offensive, it's archaic. Gays are already serving in the military -- always have, always will. How dare ANYONE expect that someone who is willing to die for their country should have to do that while living a lie. Shame, shame, shame on anyone who would vote against repealing DADT.

Posted by: ToddScottsdale | November 12, 2010 1:16 AM | Report abuse

lavellemh, your post sickened me. It is as old fashioned and crusty as you are -- if you're not willing to join the 21st Century, perhaps you should just disappear.

Posted by: ToddScottsdale | November 12, 2010 1:24 AM | Report abuse

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