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Posted at 2:50 PM ET, 12/ 9/2010

How Obama can quiet the charge that he's "triangulating"

By Greg Sargent

The White House appears to be very sensitive to the charge that Obama is engaged in Clinton-style triangulation. For the record, as I noted here yesterday, I don't think what Obama is doing compares to the game Clinton played to stage his comeback. But the charge isn't going away.

Thankfully, there's a simple way for Obama to shut down all the talk that he's triangulating: Make sure don't ask don't tell gets repealed. As Nate Silver argues:

[W]hen liberals are scoring Mr. Obama during 2012, his having achieved the goal of repealing DADT would help to reassure liberals that there had indeed been progress made. In some ways, it would represent a nice complement to health care: one piece of economic reform, one piece of social reform. Both policies, also, proved problematic for Bill Clinton during the first two years of his term, and so achieving them would perhaps provide liberals with some sense of closure.

Indeed. But more broadly, this would be a very elegant way to close down all the "triangulation" chatter. Keep in mind the history here: Clinton embarked on his triangulation strategy in order to cope with the backlash that hit him after he first floated gays in the military and launched a failed effort to pass health reform. Obama succeeded in passing health reform, obviously, perhaps helping to trigger the similar backlash he faces today.

Helping get don't ask don't tell repealed now would send a strong signal that Obama is not responding to this year's election results the way Clinton did to the 1994 outcome. It would be a signal that Obama knows he needs to tend to the base, and knows he needs to give them something to call a victory, at a time when commentators are suggesting that he's stiffarming the left in order to reposition himself as a "centrist." It would be a clear signal that his commitment to liberal reform has not dimmed.

Yes, it's not directly up to Obama whether DADT gets repealed. It's largely up to Harry Reid. But with Reid still unwilling to extend the session or make final concessions to GOP moderates, one imagines Obama could be pretty persuasive if he asked the Senate Majority Leader to ensure -- and I mean ensure -- that repeal gets done. And if he did, it would be pretty hard to square that with the "triangulation" narrative, wouldn't it?

By Greg Sargent  | December 9, 2010; 2:50 PM ET
Categories:  gay rights  
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Next: Why Harry Reid decided to move foward with DADT vote

Comments

Greg,

It would not, because Obama will have no real say in how many Senators end up voting for, or against the DADT repeal effort.


The White House should start embracing the myth that Obama is just engaging in triangulation, because that would look better for him, than the fact that he just lost his nerve, and gave Mitch McConnell everything he wanted, and threw in the reduction of estate taxes for millionaires, as a sweetener. Remember; that was not a Bush era tax cut for fat cats. Obama provided a brand new way for them to pay less taxes.

Mitch upped his demands, and Obama went right along with adding a brand new tax cut for the wealthy, in addition to renewing the Bush era failed trickle down tax breaks.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 9, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely! If Obama were to get DADT passed--which is supported by something like 70% of Americans--he would certainly demonstrate his left-of-center credentials.

:)

Posted by: ibc0 | December 9, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

"The White House appears to be very sensitive..."

Its a good thing politics isn't a contact sport. I'd hate to hurt anyone's feelings.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 9, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Liam, the votes are there. All Reid has to do is say, "Susan, you can have your four days of debate."

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 9, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

so when the Senate does something good, Obama gets the credit. but when they fail, well what could he do, it's the Senate's fault. i've worked for people like that. note the past tense there.

Posted by: tatere | December 9, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Greg - You are assuming Susan means what she says.

You should know better.

I'd love for DADT to be repealed and the START treaty signed into law before the end of the year, but I'm not optimistic.

Yes, Republicans and Lieberman are making supportive sounds, but I fear it is naught but political flatulence.

Posted by: HansSolo | December 9, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

HansSolo, it's always possible she will pull away the football.

But: There are only two choices:

1) Don't give Collins what she wants, thus ENSURING DADT isn't repealed; and

2) Giving Collins what she wants, and making it at least POSSIBLE that it will be repealed.

Reid must try the latter, even if success isn't guaranteed. Opting for certain failure is the worse option.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 9, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

"How Obama can quiet the charge that he's "triangulating""

Stop doing it. How's that for a solution?

From Rep. Capuano:

"I strongly support extending the tax cuts for everyone below $250,000 and I believe we must extend unemployment benefits for those still struggling to find work. As I’ve reported to you in the past, I am willing to negotiate on the details but negotiation and compromise mean that both sides have to give a little to get a little. That is not what happened here. Republicans basically got everything they wanted in this bill and Democrats simply did not get enough in return. What has been even more frustrating for many of us is that the "compromise" also includes a number of provisions favored by Republicans that weren’t even on the table, such as estate tax exemptions, another provision that favors the wealthy. As you know, I often vote on bills that do not represent 100% of what I want and I am not looking for perfection here either, but the benefits for average Americans in this deal do not outweigh its many costs. Today’s Caucus vote makes it clear that the House will not simply accept this deal without a fight. As always, I will keep you posted as this debate over tax cuts continues. It remains my sincere hope that Democrats, Republicans and the President can work together to craft a tax cuts package that recognizes two important realities: middle class tax cuts and extended unemployment benefits are still necessary because our economy continues to struggle; and we cannot add to our already high deficit by adding provisions that only benefit the wealthy."

Posted by: wbgonne | December 9, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Yea, Greg! It's pretty darn simple:

"The votes are there. All Reid has to do is say, "Susan, you can have your four days of debate."

The votes will be there to pass START next session. DREAM won't pass. We have a chance to repeal DADT this year - don't squander it.

Call Reid's office:

202-224-3542

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a skilled word-smith, while I am a semi literate at best. Still; I was stunned at how ineptly he explained why he did the deal.

Cognitive Dissonant Gibberish?

At his press conference; he said that The Republicans were completely wrong to push for a renewal of the Bush Tax Breaks for the very wealthy, and the polls showed that they American people are overwhelmingly against extending those taxes.

Then he said; that we must immediately give in to the Republicans and renew those tax cuts, that he and the vast majority of the American people do not want extended.

He then went on to promise that he will really really really stand up to the Republicans, should they try to extending them again, in 2012, and he said that he doubted that they would be willing to fight for that extension, since the polls now show, that most Americans are against them.

Say what! Didn't the Republicans ignore all those polls, for the past two years, and keep on holding out for the extension, and didn't Obama ignore the polls now, and give the Republicans even more than they started out asking for, such as the brand new tax break on estate taxes?

How the hell is that supposed to discourage the Republicans from doing the very same thing again, in 2012.

In fact; Obama surrendering without a whimper, will actually encourage Republicans to do more of the same.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 9, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Clearly, if Obama involved the House democrats in the negotiations more, that would help.


It appears that on Monday, Obama was looking to take ALL the credit for the compromise and he didn't want to share much of the credit with the Republicans -


Well that caused Obama to ALSO offend the House democrats -


Anyway.


The triangulation charge is hard to stick - because Obama is TO THE LEFT of the House democrats. Clearly Obama is out-there idealogically. Obama even gave a MARXIST INTERPRETATION of his tax cut Compromise - having already carefully worked out the billions for the rich, billions for the Middle Class and billions for the poor. Obama rattled those numbers off like he memorized them. That is MARXIST ANALYSIS plain and simple.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 9, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Greg - I'd be surprised if Reid didn't do just that; he will give Collins what she wants.

But I doubt she wants the repeal of DADT to pass. I think what she wants is to kill it and then blame it on Democrats. I consider her one of the most two-faced, lying, manipulative Senators in the Republican caucus, and THAT is saying something.

Posted by: HansSolo | December 9, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Liam, the votes are there. All Reid has to do is say, "Susan, you can have your four days of debate."

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 9, 2010 3:04 PM
...............

Greg,

Pay attention. I was responding to your claim that repeal of DADT would help dispel the notion, that Obama is triangulating. My point is; he will have no real say in how the vote goes. He did not cut a deal to get it done.

Now:

I want you to do something for me. See if you can find out if Obama made the tax deal with the Republican Leadership, without bringing the Democratic caucuses on board first?

Did Reid and Pelosi agree to the deal, or did Obama make the deal, and then tell them to get it passed?

It sure would be very weird if he actually made a deal with the minority leader of the Senate, while leaving the Majority Leader of the Senate, and a member of his own party, out of the deal making.

My sources said that is what he actually did. See what you can find out please.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 9, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

"Obama surrendering without a whimper, will actually encourage Republicans to do more of the same."

Yup. That's how bullies work. The GOP has taken Obama's measure and found him laughably wanting. Estate tax cuts in the face of a monstrous national debt. Are you f-ing kidding me?! We all know what the GOP is setting up: a cry of national poverty that will be answered by skewering the Middle Class.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 9, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

The votes in the Senate are NOT there. Any talk in the Senate about Dont Ask was CONDITIONED on the tax issue being taken care of first.

The House democrats halted that Compromise - and as they did that today, they also halted the repeal of Don't Ask.

The clock is ticking. Congress is set to leave in 8 days, which can be extended. However, if this is what an extension would look like, Congress is likely to leave next week.


It almost appears that the democrats have lost their calendars.

It is clear they forgot there was an election last month.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 9, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

"...the most two-faced, lying, manipulative Senators in the Republican caucus..."

Watch out, Hans is gonna blow!
You'll realize leftists weren't the problem after all.

You either fight these people all day every day, at every turn on every point or you lose to them. Obama does not realize that, I can't figure out why.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 9, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

NEWS ALERT


As soon as Charlie Crist pardons Jim Morrison, it will be safe for him to come out of hiding.


You didn't really think he was dead this whole time, did you?


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 9, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

They don't want to be seen as "triangulating" because that might imply they're negotiating with both the left and right, from a centrist position. Clearly that's waaaaaaay to liberal for this Administration.

Ironic that Nancy Pelosi is the only person in Washington with blls. Tragic that she's the only Democratic leader to be losing her position in power.

Posted by: Bullsmith1 | December 9, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I doubt Susan Collins cares much one way or the other if DADT gets repealed. She does know, though, the Left REALLY wants this and she is in the position to demand the moon and the stars and probably get it.

If you want it bad enough, pay the woman.

Posted by: sold2u | December 9, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I think this is an intriguing post, Greg.

But, I don't like the notion of putting the potential failure of DADT repeal on Obama's shoulders. By every account (including many that have been reported here) of what's gone on during the lame-duck session, the Obama administration -- from the President himself to the VP to advisors to the Pentagon -- has been fully engaged in getting the repeal through Congress.

The holdup seems to be between Sens. Reid and Collins, with no one really knowing what the real issue is between the two.

So, posts like this specifically perpetuate the notion that there is actually something more that Obama can do to advance repeal efforts, even though that assertion seems to be contradicted by the accounts that you and other news sources have provided about the negotiating between Reid & Collins.

Also, generally speaking, this post furthers the notion that Congress must have the President hold its hand to get anything done, and that the failure or success of a bill is directly proportional to the amount of babysitting a president is willing to do.

Look, again, I understand that the President will be held accountable on these issues. But, I'm tired of seeing things like this happen, where the President is fully engaged (as he was on the tax issue), the bill fails, and then he gets all the blame for "not fighting hard enough," while the people in Congress -- the ones who actually kill the bills -- get away scott-free, or relatively so.

As long as Congress is able to scapegoat the President, they will continue to do so.

We need to keep a laser-like focus on who's killing these initiatives. And right now, all of the attention needs to stay on Collins and Reid.

Posted by: associate20 | December 9, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Four days of debating, buys time for The Christian right to arouse the right wing base to pressure Senators not to vote for repeal.

Susan knows that.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 9, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Few liberals care about DADT anywhere near as much as tax cuts. I think you're right that this is Obama's plan, but it will fail.

The real way Obama can get right with liberals is to argue LOUDLY for filibuster reform at every opportunity. If he says "I got 53 votes for my preferred tax plan and 68 percent of people agree with me, but all of that means nothing because of an obscure rule requiring a supermajority for everything in the Senate, which is why we must seriously reform the filibuster"...if he says that, liberals would let him get away with nearly anything.

Posted by: michaelh81 | December 9, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

@associate: "The holdup seems to be between Sens. Reid and Collins, with no one really knowing what the real issue is between the two."

Um, no - the hold up is Reid. He won't agree to four days of debate. We *know* what Collins wants.

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

OT:

GOP to 9/11 Responders: "SCREW YOU!"

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/12/democrats-aghast-over-gop-standing-in-the-way-of-911-responder-bill.php

There's some patriotism for ya. Billions upon billions for the richest 2%... But NOTHING for 9/11 responders who are sick and dying because they rushed to save their fellow Americans on the worst day in American history.

F the Republican Party. Disgusting slime.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 9, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Special for Ethan:

"Why the Senate keeps holding votes on bills everyone knows will not pass"

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2010/12/09/why-the-senate-keeps-holding-votes-on-bills-everyone-knows-will-not-pass/#ixzz17e6LAefl

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

This is the wrong time to change the Senate Filibuster rules, because The Republicans will most likely take charge of both houses, and the White House in 2013, so why make it easier for them to repeal everything that we had to get sixty votes to pass.

We are going to lose the Senate in 2012, so we will need the sixty vote requirement, in order to block repeal of health care reform, and more massive tax cuts for the wealthy.

I see no reason to make it easier for Republicans to cut social programs, and privatize social security.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 9, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

OT:

Republican senators blocked Democratic legislation on Thursday that sought to provide medical care to rescue workers and residents of New York City who became ill as a result of breathing in toxic fumes, dust and smoke from ground zero.

The 9/11 health bill, a version of which was approved by the House of Representatives in September, is among a handful of initiatives that Senate Democrats had been hoping to approve this year before the close of the 111th Congress. Supporters believe this is their last real opportunity to have the bill passed.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/nyregion/10health.html?_r=1&hp

h/t Benen

Posted by: HansSolo | December 9, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

"F the Republican Party. Disgusting slime."

Watch it, don't be anti-Obama, he wants us all to find points of agreement and build out from the center. If you realize we have to fight the Republicans all day every day on every point, any venue...you just might be a leftist.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 9, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Special OT for SBJ:

~Social Conservatives Threaten CPAC Boycott~

Several socially conservative organizations have threatened to boycott one of the largest gatherings of conservative activists of the year if a group of gay Republicans is allowed to serve as a participating organization at the event.

Social conservatives, including the National Organization for Marriage among others, staged a walk-out at a meeting of board members of the Conservative Political Action Conference, according to multiple board members, to protest CPAC's decision to allow GOProud to join the event as more than just a vendor organization.

http://hotlineoncall.nationaljournal.com/archives/2010/12/social-conserva-1.php

But it's Democrats who are the problem, right sbj? Put down the Quaaludes and wake up to the reality that your own ideology hates you.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 9, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Republican Deficit Hawks, now go into full deficit reduction mode, by refusing to pay for treatment for stricken 9/11 workers.

Meanwhile; Republicans and President Obama, join in a full court press to make sure that the fattest cats in the land continue to be obscenely pampered, by adding another trillion or more to the national debt.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 9, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

OT - Interesting tidbit of the day: Only 6% of scientist are Republicans.

I'm so not shocked.

http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2010/12/where-are-republican-scientists

Posted by: HansSolo | December 9, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Breaking News.

Republicans just voted to block cloture on repeal of DADT.

Susan Collins voted for cloture, so there goes that excuse from the likes of SBJ.

His beloved Republican Homophobes, will never agree to stop treating him like a sub-human, and he will continue to send contributions, and a vote for Republican homophobes.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 9, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

@ethan: "Put down the Quaaludes and wake up to the reality that your own ideology hates you."

Let's see, GOProud is a conservative gay group. I am conservative and gay. You seem a bit confused, ethan.

Does anyone still take quaaludes?

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Liam, that is harsh. Learning the hard way is one thing...

Posted by: shrink2 | December 9, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

From TPM.

"the Senate GOP just blocked a cloture vote on the defense spending bill that includes a repeal of the military's ban on openly gay servicemembers. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), the focus of the negotiations, voted in favor of cloture while Republican Sens. Scott Brown (MA) and Lisa Murkowski (AK) voted no. Freshly-elected Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) also voted no.

The final vote was 57 for cloture, 40 against it, just shy of the 60 Democrats needed.

The bill could theoretically be brought up again before the end of the lame duck session, but a Democratic leadership aide tells TPM that negotiations are basically at an impasse. Collins had said she wanted time to debate and amendments, and apparently she got what she wanted. But Republicans like Brown and Murkowski who also wanted time to debate the bill apparently were not satisfied. "
//////////////////////////

Posted by: Liam-still | December 9, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

"Republican senators blocked Democratic legislation on Thursday that sought to provide medical care to rescue workers and residents of New York City who became ill as a result of breathing in toxic fumes, dust and smoke from ground zero."

The GOP also just blocked a cloture vote on DADT (57-40).
When is some Dem Senator going to take the damn gloves off, and forget the gentleman's club BS, and tell it like it is - "these people don't care about this country. They are in it for themselves and their fat cat donors." Impugning someone's integrity is different than telling it like it is.

Posted by: filmnoia | December 9, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

OT - Interesting tidbit of the day: Only 6% of scientist are Republicans.

I'm so not shocked.

http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2010/12/where-are-republican-scientists

Posted by: HansSolo | December 9, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

And just 6 of the 50 "smartest" cities in the country are in the South. Because the GOP is all about education and accomplishment.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 9, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

@liam: In case you were unaware, the GOP has been very clear that they would block debate until the tax issue was resolved. We were lucky to get Collins.

Reid has just effectively killed any chance to repeal DADT in 2010. I'm disappointed that you don't understand that. Greg, Lieberman, gay activists, and so on have been trying to make it clear for days now.

I think the Dems may be surprised to find that gay people are not so easily fooled as the liams and ethans and wbgonnes and bbq chicken madnesses of the world.

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

He could always argue that he's ovulating instead.

Thanks, folks, I'll be here all week!

Posted by: willows1 | December 9, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Liam, that is harsh. Learning the hard way is one thing...

Posted by: shrink2 | December 9, 2010 4:17 PM |
.......................

Shrink,

SBJ has been playing the blame Democrats for not emancipating gay people like him, for the past two years. Yet he always votes for Republicans who are openly homophobic.

He knew that Republicans were not going to let repeal come to a final vote, and that is why he spent the last two days trying to divert the blame onto Harry Reid.

Susan Collins voted for cloture, so there goes that phony excuse that SBJ was using to put the blame on Harry Reid, who voted for cloture. I guess Harry did not get the message that he was not supposed to vote that way, because of his religion(Snark)

Posted by: Liam-still | December 9, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Now SBJ is changing his excuse for why his Republicans hate him, for being what he is.

Now he says; they voted against cloture, because they want to pass tax breaks for their fat cats first. Until the vote was cast, SBJ kept telling us, that it was because Harry Reid did not give Susan Collins what she wanted. Turns out Harry did, and Susan voted for repeal; so of course SBJ had to pulled another lame excuse out of his arse, once he extricated his head from it.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 9, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

The bigots won. Congrats bigots. At least we now know who you are.

I guess the courts will take care of it, but this is a sad day for America.

Posted by: Alex3 | December 9, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

@sbj: "Let's see, GOProud is a conservative gay group. I am conservative and gay."

Yeah, and members of your own conservative ideology -- people you support like Sharron Angle -- HATE YOU because you're gay.

And yet I'm the one who's confused. Mkay.

@liam: "Susan Collins voted for cloture, so there goes that excuse from the likes of SBJ."

Hahaha! Just pathetic.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 9, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

"Dems may be surprised to find that gay people are not so easily fooled..."

Ok, I see what you mean, sheesh, what can you do about that...even a 2x4 doesn't leave a mark.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 9, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone really believe the GOP ever had any intention of letting the repeal of DADT get through Congress?

They just nixed health care assistance to the 9/11 responders. For goodness sake, they spent years using the 9/11 responders as political props and then threw them under the bus. Why? Because that would reflect positively upon the Obama administration and Democrats. And, I suppose, because none of those 9/11 responders are super rich.

I don't expect the GOP to allow anything through Congress unless it redistributes money to the Paris Hilton's of America.

Posted by: HansSolo | December 9, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

"I suppose, because none of those 9/11 responders are super rich...I don't expect the GOP to allow anything through Congress unless it redistributes money to the Paris Hilton's of America."

Another leftist...Biden says stop whining.
Remember, don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Keep chanting until stupid...

Posted by: shrink2 | December 9, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

@sbj,

I'm trying to wrap my head around your points about DADT. You are a gay Republican, I take it. You blame the Democrats for failure to pass DADT repeal, but the Democrats support repeal. You do not blame the GOP, although many if not most of the GOP wants to keep DADT. You claim there is some kind of byzantine plot by the Democrats to defeat their own repeal effort.

Do I have that right?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 9, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

"Does anyone really believe the GOP ever had any intention of letting the repeal of DADT get through Congress?"

No. Not really. I felt all along it was just game playing to run out the clock.

Posted by: Alex3 | December 9, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

"Congrats bigots. At least we now know who you are."

Was there some sort of question in this regard? I must have missed something. You can't seriously be surprised or disappointed, can you? I mean haven't you been reading my posts?

Sometimes I wonder why I bother, buncha slow frikin' learners, that's for sure.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 9, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

12BB: you forgot the part that he actively supports the likes of Sharron Angle...who thinks he's sick and a sinner...

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 9, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

"I guess the courts will take care of it, but this is a sad day for America."

Yes, it truly is sad. It's pathetic. But, yeah, the courts will take care of it at some point. Hopefully sooner rather than later. And that will not give the military a thrill up their leg for the GOP.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 9, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Does the military have to wait for the courts? Can they just change their own rules?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 9, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse


12BarBluesAgain
You said -
"I'm trying to wrap my head around your points about DADT. You are a gay Republican, I take it."

What you have to realize about people like sbj is that he(we) are all anonymous. He can say he's a gay right winger, as easily as someone can say I'm black and I think Obama is a Muslim and non -citizen. We all can spew out any BS we want, without having to prove we are who we claim. More likely sbj is a GOP operative fully funded by the RNC just to infiltrate this board and exacerbate the discussion.
It's a GOP form of guerilla theater.If I were you I'd pay him no mind.

Posted by: filmnoia | December 9, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

@filmnoia: I am a gay Libertarian.

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

"@filmnoia: I am a gay Libertarian."

Yeah sure, and I'm a monkey's uncle. Now where's my banana?

Posted by: filmnoia | December 9, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

If I were you I'd pay him no mind.
--------------------------------------------
Perhaps you're right. I tend to take people at their word until proved otherwise. Old fashioned that way.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 9, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

@12bar: The military can change its own rules but congress codified DADT. It's the law - military can't change that.

"I'm trying to wrap my head around your points about DADT. You are a gay Republican, I take it."

No, I'm a gay Libertarian.

"You blame the Democrats for failure to pass DADT repeal."

No, I blame Reid for pushing the test cloture vote now when he knows it will not pass. Reid knows that he needs to resolve the tax issue before the GOP as a whole will allow votes on anything else. Reid also knows that he needs to allow four days of debate on the defense auithorization.

"The Democrats support repeal."

Only, apparently, until there is a real chance to vote to repeal it - then they schedule a test vote knowing it will fail.

"You do not blame the GOP, although many if not most of the GOP wants to keep DADT."

I certainly do blame the GOP. It's one of the reasons I am not a member of the party.

"You claim there is some kind of byzantine plot by the Democrats to defeat their own repeal effort."

Let me point you to a quote from Politico by a gay activist:

"Right now, the [National Defense Authorization Act] is headed for failure...” “The fact that the bill is being brought up today, with no certainty on the outcome, feels more like Reid is trying to check off a box so that he can blame Republicans on a possible loss."

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

@sbj,

To wrap it up, then, how would you apportion blame since you hold both the Democrats and the Republicans responsible for failure to repeal?

I'm still stunned that you SEEM to place the blame on the shoulders of those who support repeal, and you SEEM to look the other way at those who openly support discrimination against gays.

You make the distinction that you are a libertarian, not the GOP. However, the only way that libertarians wield political power is through the GOP, right? I fail to understand how your distinction makes any practical difference, in the real world of Washington.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 9, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

@12bar: One thing I do is vote for Libertarian candidates.

"To wrap it up, then, how would you apportion blame since you hold both the Democrats and the Republicans responsible for failure to repeal?"

Recent history? 80% conservative, 20% Dem party

Older history? 55% conservative, 45% Dem party

This particular chance? 100% Harry Reid.

"I'm still stunned that you SEEM to place the blame on the shoulders of those who support repeal, and you SEEM to look the other way at those who openly support discrimination against gays."

Well you're wrong about that.

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

If only there was a period of time, in the last two years, when there were 60 votes in the Senate Democratic caucus. That would've avoided the whole "obstructionist Republicans" problem. Pity.

sbj3, for some here, you're a heretic and therefore worthy of stoning. I'm sorry the claws are out for you and the insults are personal. For what it's worth, I called my Senators, Cornyn and Hutchinson, to tell them to vote for repeal. I'm one guy, but I made sure they knew who I was, that I donated to candidates, and that I am a veteran.

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

@troll: Thanks for the kind words. I can handle the personal insults, no problem.

"For what it's worth, I called my Senators, Cornyn and Hutchinson, to tell them to vote for repeal."

It would have been nice if Reid had given them the opportunity to vote one way or the other.

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

@sbj,

Thanks for that. That is helpful. I won't argue about Reid, since he is one guy and whether or not he personally is engaging in some kind of game isn't that important (to me, anyway).

I am interested in your support for libertarian candidates. Excuse me, but the libertarians I can think of are Sharron Angle and Rand Paul. Aren't both of these people against gay people?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 9, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

A local USA economy = economic growth and new wealth for the USA!

Food for thought: The war is killing the economy not medicare, Social Security, public education or food stamps!!! In 2008 it has been determined the cost of war is at $3 trillion. What the media and politicians are not revealing is the estimated 35,000 disabled
troops and their families that we taxpayers must support and rightfully so. The cost could well be $5 trillion in 2011.


1. The U.S. health care system is typically characterized as a largely private-sector system, so it may come as a surprise that more than 60% of the $2 trillion annual U.S. health care bill is paid through taxes, according to a 2002 analysis published in Health Affairs by Harvard Medical School associate professors Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein.

2. Social Security adds to the deficit Reality: It's not just wrong—it's impossible! By law, Social Security's funds are separate from the budget, and it must pay its own way. That means that Social Security can't add one penny to the deficit.

3. Benefit cuts are the only way to fix Social Security. Reality: Social Security doesn't need to be fixed. Baby boomers were being planned for decades ago.

But if we want to strengthen it, here's a better way: Make the rich pay their fair share. If the very rich paid taxes on all of their income, Social Security would be sustainable for decades to come. Right now, high earners only pay Social Security taxes on the first $106,000 of their income. But conservatives insist benefit cuts are the only way because they want to protect the super-rich from paying their fair share.

4. Politicians forget to tell the news media privatizing Social Security will add $700 billion to the deficit annually for the next 20 years.

5. Letting tax cuts for the top 2 percent—which were never meant to be permanent—expire as scheduled would pay down the federal debt by $700 billion over the next ten years.

6. Medicare is NOT free. Millions of people using medicare insurance STILL pay into medicare insurance every month.


7. The military industrial complex requires 60% of every tax dollar.... way tooo much money. REDUCE THIS BY 50%!


Food for thought: The war is killing the economy not medicare, Social Security, public education or food stamps!!!

Posted by: rheckler2002 | December 9, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

@12bar: Sharron Angle and Rand Paul are Republicans, not Libertarians.

Rand Paul was a Libertarian, and he holds libertarian views on some things, but he ran as a Republican. When I wrote that I vote for Libertarians I meant just that - I vote for members of the Libertarian Party.

I am conservative so I do agree with the GOP on a lot of things and I do prefer them to the Democratic Party. But I disagree with most of the GOP when it comes to social policy. I believe there is a large and growing number of like-minded persons.

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

@sbj,

Who ran as a libertarian party candidate? This is a chance to become educated on these candidates. Honestly, I don't remember one name.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 9, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Sbj3,

I know you can handle yourself fine, I just don't want you to get discouraged from all the "tolerance" our leftie friends are spewing today. I enjoy your comments on the day shift!

And 12bar, at least for Angle, she was a Conservative, not a Libertarian. FTR, Libertarians come in all stripes, from the legalize dope Californians, to the Objectivist Law Professor Glen Reynolds to the Kookie end the Fed Ron Pauls. Libertarians are a pretty tolerant bunch as well.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 9, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

@troll,

what is your point about the libertarian party? That they are tolerant?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 9, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

I vote in California and before I step into the ballot box I have no idea what their names are or even if one is running for a particular office. If one is running then I usually vote for them. If one isn't running then I usually don't vote for that office. Some of the time I vote for the Republican. I have voted for Democrats.

I don't really care who the candidate is because I am voting for a third party knowing full well that they don't stand a chance of winning. But I'll be darned if I attach my name to one of these other two political parties when they both consistently give the shaft to me (and I don't mean that in a nice way).

GAIL K. LIGHTFOOT ran for Senate.
DALE F. OGDEN ran for Governor.
PAMELA J. BROWN ran for Lt. Gov.

And so on.

http://www.voterguide.sos.ca.gov/candidates/statements/

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

@sbj,

I could swear that you were the person who was sending donations to Sharron Angle. Wasn't that you?

If you vote libertarian sometimes (which cannot be too often based on the number of candidates) and then you vote for Republicans since they are closer to your ideology, I still fail to see why you aren't essentially hostage to the GOP to enact your ideology. That must make it hard for you to support people who are openly hostile to the gay agenda. And you are responding to someone who is sympathetic to the gay agenda.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 9, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

12 bar,

I was being snide and using it to contrast the "tolerance" sbj3 is receiving today from the lefties.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 9, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

@troll,

I understand.

I'm not being snide and I hope that shows. I'm interested in why people support certain ideologies. I can understand being conflicted about support. I am a prolife liberal feminist with some libertarian tendencies. That probably makes me look insane in some circles, but I think most people are a bundle of conflicts.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 9, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

@12bar: "I could swear that you were the person who was sending donations to Sharron Angle. Wasn't that you?"

Yes, and apparently you never read any of my posts as to why. I won't bother to repeat - silly game you are playing.

"I still fail to see why you aren't essentially hostage to the GOP to enact your ideology."

It's unfortunate that there is much truth to this. But I work with Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud to change things. And things are changing as evidenced by the DADT repeal debate - which now has "many" conservatives supporting repeal.

"That must make it hard for you to support people who are openly hostile to the gay agenda."

I hate to think that there is a gay agenda. Like any other person I set priorities.

"And you are responding to someone who is sympathetic to the gay agenda."

Then you should understand how underhanded what Reid just did is. It's a stab in the back to gay supporters of the party, and it's a kick to the groin for gay people everywhere who, even though they don't support the Democrats, still wanted to seize this opportunity.

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Yes, and apparently you never read any of my posts as to why. I won't bother to repeat - silly game you are playing.
-----------------------------------------------
I'll ignore the insult, and ask again, why did you support Sharron Angle since she is neither a libertarian or supportive of gay rights?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 9, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Because Greg was openly advocating for the election of Reid every single day. This was after he had worked hard to get Lowden beaten. It was a matter of leveling the playing field. I promised Greg that I would send her money so long as he unfairly kept promoting Reid. I felt that he was not keeping to his own goal of being a fair journalist with a point of view. So that's what I did.

(BTW, Greg spent all of that effort defeating Lowden and Angle and supporting Reid and what did it get us? Today Reid destroyed any chance of getting DADT repealed in 2010.)

And even though she is a certifiable whackjob I'm not so sure we wouldn't all be better off with Angle rather than Harry.

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

@sbj,

What is your problem with Reid? It sounds like you have a long standing problem with him that precedes the current situation with DADT. If you were actually willing to support Mrs. Angle who is a whack job to take your assessment (and I would agree), obviously you have a very strong anti Reid stance.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 9, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

SBJ voted for George W. Bush. That guy was some libertarian.

SBJ voted for John McCain, and we all see where he stands on repealing DADT.

SBJ admits that he send several campaign contributions to raging homophobe, Sharon Angle, but apparently he wants us to believe that it was not because he wanted to see that homophobe join the other Republican homophobes in the US Senate. I guess he just wanted to make her feel better, without winning.

Good to know.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 9, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

@12bar: Hey! Am I gonna get paid for this interview?

I don't have a longstanding problem with him. What I have is, actually, quite a lot of "love" for this blog and respect for Greg Sargent. I didn't want to lose either. Greg veered of the rails (IMO) with his outright advocacy for Reid and I tried to influence him in what I thought was a powerful way. I think it worked - his posts became much more fair as the election approached.

If I can half-joke, I don't think the Senate would be any worse than it is now if we filled it with whackjobs. I think a lot of people agree.

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Hi Liam!

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

@12bar: Hey! Am I gonna get paid for this interview?
---------------------------------------------
Maybe you'll get your reward in heaven. :o)

I'm glad you keep answering. Sometimes the Comments are so argumentative and so "gotcha" that someone just asking questions is odd. It just struck me that you must have some real internal conflicts being a GOP supporter and also gay.

I can identify with that to some degree.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 9, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

"It just struck me that you must have some real internal conflicts being a GOP supporter and also gay."

Posted by: shrink2 | December 9, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse


I have posted this already here before 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 believe me you are not going to loose anything!


Posted by: williamdawson | December 10, 2010 3:11 AM | Report abuse

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