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Posted at 2:43 PM ET, 11/29/2010

Dear moderate GOP Senators: Moderate GOP voters want DADT repealed

By Greg Sargent

As you've heard by now, the fate of Don't Ask Don't Tell rests in the hands of a few moderate Republican Senators. With Senator John McCain continuing to threaten a filibuster of DADT repeal, only support from a handful of moderates, such as Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Dick Lugar and possibly John Ensign, will be enough to make repeal a reality.

Maybe someone should tell these moderate GOP officials that according to the internals of the new Pew poll, moderate Republican rank-and-filers strongly favor DADT's repeal. Indeed, the only group that opposes repeal are conservative Republicans.

The Pew poll finds that Republicans overall are closely divided on DADT repeal, 40-44. But the breakdown of Republicans is striking. It finds that "moderate" and "liberal" Republicans strongly favor repeal, 62-26. The only reason Republicans are closely divided at all is because conservative Republicans oppose it, 28-52.

This becomes even more pronounced when you factor in Republicans and Republican "leaners." It turns out that this group favors repeal of DADT, 44-39. And the only subset of this group who oppose repeal are those who support the Tea Party: They are against repeal 38-48.

By the way, independents overall also strongly favor repeal, 62-23.

Over the weekend, Senator McCain, who used to be described as "independent" and "moderate" and a "maverick," said DADT is "working" and denounced the proposal as a "political promise made by an inexperienced candidate for President of the United States." Too bad independents and moderate Republicans disagree.

Self-described moderate GOP Senators have a choice: They can support repeal, siding with large majorities of moderate Republican voters, independents, and the American people overall, not to mention the nation's military leadership. Or they can oppose repeal, siding with Mitch McConnell, who wants to deny the Dems a victory at all costs, John McCain, who has put his quest to refight the 2008 election over his own previous vow to go along with the military leadership on this question, and a small but very vocal and reactionary Tea Party minority.

By Greg Sargent  | November 29, 2010; 2:43 PM ET
Categories:  Senate Republicans, gay rights  
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@Greg: Has Reid yet agreed to normal debate and amendment process for the defense authorization?

Posted by: sbj3 | November 29, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

sbj -- nope. not yet. there is a great deal of pressure on him to do it, however.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 29, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

But it is like everything else. The people who care about keeping DADT really, really care and the rest are opposed but don't care as much. Serious homophobes like McCain and the social conservatives hate it, and of course gays care about seeing it lifted, but the rest are mostly opposed but not violently so, so the squeaky wheels get the attention. No punishment for a vote against repeal, severe [punishment for a vote for repeal. The only hope is for people like Lugar to decide that they are ok with this being their last term, and that country really is more important than party or personal pique or prejudice.

Posted by: Mimikatz | November 29, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Let's remember one of the main problems of Obama: His spinelessness.

There's no need for Congress to end DADT. The President is the Commander in Chief and could order its end if he truly wished. However, as with Clinton, he wanted Congresses' cover for the decision. He's a politician and can't do what's "right" unless it's "politically expedient".

Posted by: groucho42 | November 29, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

groucho, what happens when the GOP wins the presidency?

Posted by: BGinCHI | November 29, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

"Dear moderate GOP Senators"

How many of them remain in DC? Isn't that a specie about to be extinct?

Posted by: grosmec | November 29, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

"Dear moderate GOP Senators"

Isn't that a political specie on the verge of extinction?

Posted by: grosmec | November 29, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Calling all RINOs! Calling all RINOs!

The Lame-o-crats want you to join hands with them to show solidarity with them and more of their losing agenda items.

#1 on the loser list is repeal of Bill Clinton's greatest triumph in bi-partisan compromise, DADT. To fix the greatest military force the world has ever known, knowing full well that it is not broken.

Just open this pandora's box and see what flies out, in your face, and knowing you can never put it back inside.

Sure, the French and Canadians have homosexualized their militaries but nobody respects the French or Canadian militaries anymore. They are washed up and hanging out to dry.

Let's keep the Marines safe for "A Few Good MEN"

Not a few "gay" men.

Posted by: battleground51 | November 29, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

It's so obviously logical that repeal SHOULD happen ... and so politically probable that it won't.

Posted by: S1VA | November 29, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

John McCain "moderate" or "independent"?? not bloody likely.

oh, and battleground51 - you forgot the Israelis!! everyone knows that those guys are a bunch of sissies. Oh wait, they aren't?

BTW, the marines aren't just "a few good men" anymore. They're many good men AND good women.

Your sexism and homophobia has no place in the modern world. Take a hike.

Posted by: lcrider1 | November 29, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

@ lcrider1 @ 3:33 PM

(wiccan stands and applauds with feeling)

Well said!

Posted by: wiccan | November 29, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Liberals continue to say that all America is totally down with the military version of the "gay" agenda. They rely on a few biased polls to make their claims.

The only poll that matters is the mid-term, smack down of everything liberal and Democrat.

It was a resounding NO.

It still is.

Posted by: battleground51 | November 29, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

The "party of no" got a resounding "yes" from America's vast majority.

Democrats are still trying to figure that out.

Who says they're so smart??

Not me!

Posted by: battleground51 | November 29, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

"The only poll that matters is the mid-term . . ."


Hmmm . . . I guess I missed the referendum on my ballot about opposing the repeal of DADT. Was it on your ballot? Didn't think so.

If you think the midterm was a referendum on DADT, you are braindead. If you think the midterm was an endorsement of every bit of the wackadoodle conservative social agenda, you are braindead.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | November 29, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Ahem. "Moderate" GOP senators have a single function in today's Republican party and that is to enable the excesses of their radical party leadership. May as well get used to it.

Posted by: CalD | November 29, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Let's keep the Marines safe for "A Few Good MEN"

Not a few "gay" men.

Posted by: battleground51 | November 29, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Have you ever heard the expression "latent homosexuality"?

Posted by: wbgonne | November 29, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

battleground is so clearly a repressed, self-loathing, closeted homosexual that it's almost sad. Almost, but not quite -- battleground is still a joke, albeit a pathetic one.

Posted by: Observer691 | November 29, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

All, pretty interesting numbers on health reform repeal:

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 29, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

So, anyone opposed to repealing DADT is a "latent homosexual"?! What did that make BILL CLINTON who signed it into law?

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 29, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

As a conservative I support gays serving openly. The question I have is how or when do you start implementing the change? If you just do it without some thought, there will be problems.

Posted by: WiseCow | November 30, 2010 6:52 AM | Report abuse

For McCain this is all about revenge on Obama for beating the pants off in him 2008. McCain could care less about the troops gay or not, this is all about his giant ego.

Posted by: MarcMyWords | November 30, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

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