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Posted at 11:38 AM ET, 12/ 9/2010

Is DADT repeal in trouble again?

By Greg Sargent

The behind-the-scenes debate in the Senate over don't ask don't tell has had more ups and downs than a roller coaster ride, and it appears that this morning we may be on another downward plunge.

As you know, things were looking up yesterday afternoon. Talks were said to be progressing between Harry Reid, Joe Lieberman, and Susan Collins, who has emerged as the key to getting repeal passed. Last night Collins even made a final offer that didn't seem all that unreasonable: She said she largely accepted Reid's offer of 15 amendments, but added she needed four days of debate on them.

Guess what: Reid has yet to respond to her offer, according to a spokesperson for Collins. "As of this morning, Senator Collins has not received a response from the Majority Leader," the spokesman, Kevin Kelley, tells me.

This is potentially bad news. Word is that the Senate may vote today on the defense authorization bill containing DADT repeal. It seems likely that if Collins' every demand isn't met, she's prepared to stop the defense authorization bill from proceeding, and other moderate Republicans who generally support repeal may also vote No.

What's more, on the Senate floor today, Carl Levin called for an expedited vote, but talked about DADT repeal conditionally. He said that the only way Dems can get repeal done is to hold the vote this week, "assuming we continue to keep it in the bill."

The Senate being the hall of mirrors that it is, we can't be too sure what these latest developments mean. Perhaps Reid has simply decided to call Collins's bluff by holding the vote now without responding to her latest offer, in the belief that she's not negotiating in good faith and needs to be forced to vote and show her cards. But if Reid doesn't meet Collins's demands, it seems likely that repeal will fail.

Of course, in the Senate, things can always rapidly change, so all this could be moot within the next hour. More when I learn it.

UPDATE, 12:20 p.m.: An informed Senate aide emails, ominously: "It appears that the leadership is moving forward without the votes."

Reid himself just said on the Senate floor that a decision on whether to hold the vote -- apparently without Collins's support -- is imminent. It's also possible that if today's vote fails, future votes could be in the cards.

By Greg Sargent  | December 9, 2010; 11:38 AM ET
Categories:  Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights  
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Next: House Democrats' last stand

Comments

Reid: What a phenomenal jerk.

“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.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46167.html#ixzz17dHe3t61

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Q: Is DADT repeal in trouble again?
A: Is today Groundhog Day again?

Posted by: shrink2 | December 9, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Q: Is DADT repeal in trouble again?
A: Is today Groundhog Day again?

Posted by: shrink2 | December 9, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

More like being in an insane asylum (no offense, Shrink).

Posted by: wbgonne | December 9, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Kurtz at TPM: "Sen. Susan Collins lays out what she needs to allow DADT repeal to come to a vote. On its face, her demands can probably be met by Harry Reid without too much sweat...

"Collins has finally made her demands concrete and public. And they are not outrageous. At one point she wanted or was said to want two weeks of debate. Now she's asking for a manageable 4 days...

"This much is clear: the day... ends with a very plausible way forward to 60 votes in the Senate in this lame duck session."

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2010/12/is_that_your_final_answer_1.php?ref=fpblg

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"UPDATE @ 12:13 PM: On the Senate floor, Majority Leader Harry Reid stated that he will make a decision "in the next little bit" on whether he will move to reconsider vote on Defense Authorization legislation (which includes the DADT language.) Reid said, "As for future votes, stay tuned."

http://gay.americablog.com/2010/12/sargent-is-dadt-repeal-in-trouble-again.html

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

WOW


Anna Mahjar Barducci of Hudson New York writes:


Iran is planning to place medium-range missiles on Venezuelan soil, based on western information sources[1], according to an article in the German daily, Die Welt, of November 25, 2010. According to the article, an agreement between the two countries was signed during the last visit o Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to Tehran on October19, 2010. The previously undisclosed contract provides for the establishment of a jointly operated military base in Venezuela, and the joint development of ground-to-ground missiles.


_________________________

If this is true, it is pretty serious. AND Obama should respond.


http://www.hudson-ny.org/1714/iran-missiles-in-venezuela

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 9, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Obama has "always triangulated"


I would say "depends on the shape of the Triangle"

Obama is to the far left - and Obama has not really sought agreements with the Republicans over the past few years. So, not sure how any of that adds up to triangulation - by definition three parties holding three different positions.


.

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

What it means is that the Mitch McConnell, when saying that the Tax Cuts needed to pass before anything else did, was talking in a way more straightforward and honest way than *anyone* on the Democratic side has been talking. I sympathize with your pain, since you hang everything on Pelosi, Reid and Obama, and they have not got a clue what to do and keep changing their tune in a vain attempt to manueuver around something they most likely can't get around. They want to have their cake and eat it, too. And why not? That is what they were able to do for the past two years of saying that what they said goes. The concept of "Lame Duck" is entirely beyond their thinking, and the Agenda that You want, and the Agendas that many other Liberals want as well, are going to be sacrificed on the alter of Democratic Stubborness and Stupidity in the Congress. The Stubborness of the Republicans is understandable. In a couple of months, it is a NEW GAME. The Stubborness of the Democrats is not. In a couple of months, it is a NEW GAME. I think someone has not read the memo that was issued in November Yet...

;'{P~~~

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

"It seems likely that if Collins' every demand isn't met, she's prepared to stop the defense authorization bill from proceeding"

Hey Greg,

Do we know what all of her demands were?

We basically know about the number of amendments and the length of debate... but are there other factors at play?

It sounds like we don't know the half of what is happening here and I'd love it if you can let us know more details about her demands (and specifically if there are more demands than just the number of amendments and the length of debate). Thanks.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 9, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

OT, why did George W. Bush stiff 9/11 responders?????

~Senate Republicans Block U.S. Health Aid for 9/11 Workers~

"""The vote was a crushing blow to the bill’s sponsors, who mobilized a network of allies across the political spectrum to lobby on behalf of it, including New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Ms. Gillibrand, the chief sponsor in the Senate, even reached out to former President George W. Bush. But her aides say Mr. Bush did not respond to her entreaties."""

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/nyregion/10health.html

Shameful.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 9, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

If Demleaders had EVER wanted to repeal, it would have been done within a month of Obumbler taking office. I know that truth, drives libs nuts.

Posted by: illogicbuster | December 9, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Please call Reid's office and tell him he's a jerk:

Phone: 202-224-3542

@Greg: Does this bit of rank cynical politics at all make you question your past support of Reid?

This is freakin' unbelievable.

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

ALL,

Politically, the democrats are on really really thin ice with the American People if after losing an election, they are going to try to push through any of the liberal agenda.

Already, just the talk over the past month has been massively damaging to the democratic party.


The American People simply do not trust the democrats to do what they say they will do. Pushing through a liberal agenda after losing an election is simply OFFENSIVE TO DEMOCRACY ITSELF.


And yet, all this talk.


The liberals are wrecking the democratic party right now. The ship is sinking and the liberals are still taking sledge hammers out and smashing holes in the sides of the ship.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 9, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"It sounds like we don't know the half of what is happening here."

Keep tryin', Ethan. Eventually you'll figure it out! (LOL)

Here's a clue: "Reid is trying to check off a box so that he can blame Republicans on a possible loss."

Reid is playing political games with civil rights and your head would probably explode if you were to accept that fact.

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

@ sbj-

"@Greg: Does this bit of rank cynical politics at all make you question your past support of Reid?

This is freakin' unbelievable."

This is coming from someone who supported Sharron 'Sharia Law in FrankforttheGhosttown, Texas' Angle. Gimme a break.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | December 9, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

From TPM

"Former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-GA), who led the fight to block President Clinton's efforts to allow gays to serve openly in 1993, now says Congress should overturn DADT and allow gays and lesbians to serve openly. "
......................

Even John McCain's wife and daughter oppose him, on this issue, yet SBJ refuses to call McCain and demand that he vote to repeal DADT.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 9, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

@chuck: The thing is, my friend, is that we have right in front of us, right now, at this minute, a clear opportunity for repeal. We have a very good chance but Reid is going to scuttle that chance for political reasons. Dems and liberals, if they stand for anything, should be outraged. By attacking me instead of addressing this unbelievable ploy by Reid, you are showing all of us exactly what your priorities are regarding civil rights and partisan politics. You would deny a discriminated group their rights for the sake of a campaign commercial. For shame. This isn't about me.

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

"Reid is playing political games with civil rights and your head would probably explode if you were to accept that fact"

Give it up. Harry Reid can't pass gas without Mitch McConnell's permission. If we've learned anything over the past couple of years it's that. Why don't you stop supporting homophobes instead of playing partisan games?

Posted by: wbgonne | December 9, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

@sbj: "Keep tryin', Ethan. Eventually you'll figure it out! (LOL)"

What are Collins' demands?! (LOL)

Is 10 amendments for the minority party and 5 for the majority "normal order"?! (LOL)

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 9, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

SBJ voted for John McCain, George W. Bush, and send several campaign donations to that raging homophobe, Sharron Angle, yet he wants us to believe that he is sincere about repealing DADT.

He supports all the Republican homophobes who are the only real obstacle to ending discrimination against gay people.

Regardless of how the vote turns out, I will guarantee you that the vast majority of votes cast for repeal, will be from Democratic Senators, yet SBJ will continue to kiss the arses of the Republicans who will continue to treat him like a sub-human.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 9, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Ah, yes Liam, continue to attack me even though Reid is the one who seems determined to scuttle the chance to repeal DADT. This isn't about me and McCain is not the one who is preventing a cloture vote per Collins' reasonable terms. (FWIW: I will not defend McCain's position and I have contacted McCain's office.)

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Repeal of DADT is DOA.

Bury the thing now.

It stinks!!

Posted by: battleground51 | December 9, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

They are using Collins to push the rest of Obama's agenda into the next legislative session. Namely, START. I bet they are going to use START as their means of killing health care reform. They are trying hard to push all other legislative items into the next session where they can extract more from the president for passing his legislation...

Posted by: soapm | December 9, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Ethan2010 :What are Collins' demands?! (LOL)"
-------------------------------------------

What were they in '09? Oh, RIGHT! It wouldn't have mattered at all; because, if Obie and Dem leaders had wanted to repeal DADT no one could have stopped them.

ROFLMAO @ brain dead lib voters.

Posted by: illogicbuster | December 9, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

All, my take on the big House Dem vote on the Bush tax deal:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/12/house_dems_flex_their_atrophyi.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 9, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

ethan/wb/liam:

Sincere question:

Do you understand that all Senate Dems have to do to give us a chance to repeal DADT is ratify Obama's tax deal and then agree to four days of debate on Defense Authorization?

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

sbj:

"deny a discriminated group their rights"

I probably made this point a while ago, but if you are referring to a right to serve, I don't think anyone has such a "right". People are denied the chance to serve all the time, mostly for medical reasons, but also for other reasons. It simply is not a "right" that anyone enjoys.

BTW, do not mistake this as a brief for either keeping gays out altogether or for DADT. It may well be a dumb idea and bad national security policy to keep openly gay people out of the military. But dumb ideas aren't necessarily rights violations.

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 9, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

@scott: You are probably correct, I was loose with my terms.

And it *is* a dumb idea to keep openly gay people out of the military.

Don't wimp out - Let's hear your opinion.

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

SBJ,

You knew that Sharron Osborne was a raging homophobe, yet you send her several campaign donations. Hypocrite.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 9, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

SBJ,

You knew that Sharron Angle was a raging homophobe, yet you send her several campaign donations. Hypocrite.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 9, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010 "It sounds like we don't know the half of what is happening here and I'd love it if you can let us know more details about her demands (and specifically if there are more demands than just the number of amendments and the length of debate). Thanks."

The only other demands that I know of are that the tax bill and the government funding bills be completed first. These were clearly stated by McConnell's letter back on 11/29, so it's not a surprise at this point.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/opinions/pages/PrioritiesLetter.pdf

I suspect Reid is dealing with a revolt of his caucus here over the tax deal that Obama struck, leaving aside the issues with the House Democrats.

If DADT, DREAM and START are priorities for the Senate Democrats, they will find a way to get these done. If not, then they won't.

Posted by: jnc4p | December 9, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

sbj:

"Let's hear your opinion."

I am hesitant to voice one, because I have never been in the military, have had virtually no experience with it, and so I don't really have an informed opinion on whether it would matter or not to fighting effectiveness. I am content to defer to the military brass. If there is a consensus within the military itself that DADT is dumb and is harming military effectiveness (or its abolition would not harm military effectiveness), I have no objection to its removal. But I confess that I don't see it as an imperative demanding immediate action.

Sorry if you think this is wimping out, but it is an honest answer.

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 9, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

@scott: I do think you are wimping out. I expect better and more from you. I know you have an opinion and it seems that you really don't want to voice it - you're just hiding behind a deference ploy.

My gut tells me that you don't really approve of the gay agenda, and so you are instinctively against repealing DADT. But you're a smart fellow and you know there's really no good reason to leave it in place. So you're not gonna give us an honest opinion because you realize it will be difficult to defend.

Instead of figuring out ways to avoid answering the question, perhaps you should question your opinion (which you no doubt hold) and ask yourself why you can't admit that your opinion has no basis in logic. You can still be conservative and against much of the "gay agenda" *and* support repeal of DADT.

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

@sbj:

"Do you understand that all Senate Dems have to do to give us a chance to repeal DADT is ratify Obama's tax deal and then agree to four days of debate on Defense Authorization?"

No, I don't understand. Because as I've said, I don't think we know the HALF of what is being bandied about here. I bet there is a lot more at stake in these negotiations than just the number of amendments and time for debate.

@sbj to scottc: "ask yourself why you can't admit that your opinion has no basis in logic"

Pretty hilarious, coming from SBJ of all people.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 9, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

@ethan: "No, I don't understand."

Unintentionally hilarious?

"Because as I've said, I don't think we know the HALF"

Basically, you will come up with anything at all to avoid admitting the awful truth.

Here's a quote from one Greg Sargent: "The votes are there. All Reid has to do is say, "Susan, you can have your four days of debate."

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

sbj:

"I know you have an opinion..."

I really don't. When have you ever seen me shy away from expressing an unpopular or politically incorrect opinion here? That's not my style at all, and you should konw that.

Do I personally think gays serving openly in the military will have a detrimental effect on the military? No, I doubt it will. Do I think it is plausible that it could? Sure, I think it is plausible.

Again, I do not see this first and foremost as a civil rights issue. I see it as a military effectiveness issue. And on that I am simply not in a position to render an informed determination.

Sorry if this disappoints you, or makes you think less of me, but, again, it is an honest answer.

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 9, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Well, Pelosi *really* wants the Repeal of DADT DOA, I guess.

If the Senate Republicans don't get what they want, neither does anyone else for now. I think Obama and Reid get that. I think Pelosi had something else going on (Botox injectinos, maybe?) that was more improtant and got her attention. When the new Congress starts, Obama is not likely to get as much credit as he needs and Reid will have to compromise more, and as far as how high most of Americans think the repeal of DADT is, well, lets just say that Reid putting it up now has more of a chance than next year does...

Go Pelosi, GO!!!

;'{P~~~

Posted by: Clearbrook | December 9, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

@scott: "Do I personally think gays serving openly in the military will have a detrimental effect on the military? No, I doubt it will. Do I think it is plausible that it could? Sure, I think it is plausible."

Well, I am happy to hear that you personally don't believe it would be detrimental. Me, too. I'd like to hear more about why you agree it might be plausible - do you have anything specific or just a general feeling that if folks complain they must have a good reason?

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Update:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/09/dadt-repeal-fails_n_794626.html

Sorry about that...

Posted by: Clearbrook | December 9, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

@sj3:

If I am out on the street and absentmindedly stare at a woman's hind quarters which are very much exposed to my view, does it make her a Lesbian to be uncomfortable with that? I am likely thinking about something else, I mean scantily clad women, even in the Winter is pretty Normal here in Urban America.

In the same way, if a guy is absentmindedly looking at another guys butt in the shower, does it make him a homophobe to be uncomfortable with that? If it does, I would expect the majority of Male Americans would be what you would have to call Homophobes.

If gays are allowed to serve openly in the military, that fear is raised to a higher level. Why? Because under DADT, many of them can rationalize their way into believing that no-one around them is gay. When behavior wrecks that illusion, what happens? Lots of trouble! Is this bigoted? In extreme cases, yes, but the normal rank and file does *not* want his/her private parts oggled by someone they don't want oggling them.

That is the root of the problem. It seems obvious, but you ask the question that leads one to believe that maybe if *you* want your private parts oggled by someone of the same sex, that is reason enough for *everyone* to be comfortable with it!

;'{P~~~

Posted by: Clearbrook | December 9, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

@clearbrook: I'm not following this bit at all:

"Because under DADT, many of them can rationalize their way into believing that no-one around them is gay. When behavior wrecks that illusion, what happens? Lots of trouble!"

Harassment is harassment is harassment. There are gay people in the military right now. Allowing someone to be open about their sexuality does not allow them to engage in harassment.

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

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