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Posted at 4:30 PM ET, 12/ 9/2010

Why Harry Reid decided to move foward with DADT vote

By Greg Sargent

Earlier this afternoon, just before Harry Reid went onto the Senate floor and gave a speech calling for a vote on repeal of don't ask don't tell -- which has now failed -- he turned to a Senate aide and shrugged his shoulders.

"I have to go to the floor, but I'm not going to like giving this speech," he said, according to the aide.

Reid then went to the floor and called for an immediate vote on the defense authorization bill containing repeal, in the full knowledge that it was likely to go down. As Reid knew, he had not agreed to Susan Collins's demand for four days of debate time, giving several Republicans who support repeal an excuse to vote No, dooming the bill to fall short of 60 votes needed for passage, 57-40.

I have now spoken to a senior Senate aide and put together what happened and why Reid did this.

Reid concluded that even if Collins was sincere in her promise to vote for repeal if given the four days of debate, there was no way to prevent the proceedings from taking longer, the aide says. Reid decided that the cloture vote, the 30 hours of required post-cloture debate, and procedural tricks mounted by conservative Senators who adamantly oppose repeal would have dragged the process on far longer.

"It would have been much more than four days," the aide says. "Her suggestions were flat out unworkable given how the Senate really operates. You can talk about four days until the cows come home. That has very little meaning for Coburn and DeMint and others who have become very skilled at grinding this place to a halt."

After spending several hours thinking it over today and consulting with other members of the Dem caucus, Reid decided to push forward with the vote today, the aide says.

The aide rejected the claim that Reid should have extended the session another week in order to accomodate GOP procedural demands, as Joe Lieberman and others had asked, arguing that extended debate would actually have dragged the session into January, what with other things on the Senate to-do list.

"Why do we need to extend the session?" the aide asked. "Republicans have blocked this bill since February. We've made offer after offer to try to reach agreement on this. Going through those procedural motions along with the START treaty and tax cuts would have taken us until January 5th."

Some critics will point out that Reid decided he could pass on granting Republicans the extended floor debate they wanted and then shift the blame for killing repeal onto GOP obstructionism. After all, Collins did appear to want to vote for repeal, and her demands weren't all that unreasonable by historical standards. But the counterargument is that it would have been folly for Reid to trust other GOP moderates to vote Yes. After all, they (and Collins) had signed a letter vowing to block everything if the tax cut standoff wasn't resolved first.

Indeed, moderate GOPers like Scott Brown and Lisa Murkowsk, who had said they supported repeal, voted No. Also, Reid couldn't be certain conservative Senators wouldn't use the proceedings to foul up the Senate, with time running out on other major priorities.

Is this the end of the road? It's possible that repeal could be brought up again as a stand-alone bill, the aide tells me. But this is unlikely, the aide adds, because such a move would be ripe for all sorts of procedural shenanigans.

And there you have it.

UPDATE, 5:08 p.m.: Harry Reid will co-sponsor a free-standing DADT repeal bill to be introduced during the lame duck session by Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins, an aide confirms.

A second aide says the hope is that Scott Brown, Richard Lugar and Lisa Murkowski will then support it, as it would in theory be voted on after the tax issue is resolved.

By Greg Sargent  | December 9, 2010; 4:30 PM ET
Categories:  Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights  
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Comments

Thanks a lot GOP.

You spit on 9/11 responders.

You spit on gays.

You spit on the unemployed.

You spit on the poor.

You spit on the elderly.

You spit on Hispanics, African-Americans, and Native Americans.

The Republican Party embodies all that is wrong with humanity.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 9, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

"And there you have it."

Thank you, Harry Reid (he said sarcastically).

@Greg: Is it fair now to call both parties equally hypocritical and cynical?

He wouldn't even give it a chance...

Most of the time I don't let politics get me down. Today, for the first time in a long while, I am truly sad.

But I am also angry.

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

@Greg: Also note that someone is trying to fool the peasants into thinking that reid agreed to four days. Over at TPM:

"Collins had said she wanted time to debate and amendments, and apparently she got what she wanted."

No, guys, she didn't.

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

"He wouldn't even give it a chance..."

By "it", of course, you mean allowing Jim DeMint to kill the remaining session. Your beef is with him, sbj, and your socially conservative brethren. You know who I'm talking about right? The ones who hate you because you're gay.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 9, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

@ethan: Reid wouldn't even give it a chance. He wouldn't agree to four days of debate. He wouldn't move to settle the tax issue before holding this test vote.

I'm disappointed that you won't accept or understand what happened here.

What was true yesterday is true today:

"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 4:52 PM | Report abuse

The GOP was NEVER going to let it through Congress. Ever.

Collins, Brown, Murkowski, all their calls for time was just a way to stall Congress and kill the bill without having to take responsibility for killing the bill.

The only way the Dems will get the repeal of DADT through is if they attach a large tax credit for people like Paris Hilton to the bill. Or maybe they could attach an amendment giving purchasers of yachts costing more than ten million each a free condo in the Bahamas. That would work.

That is why I'm okay with the tax deal. Our economy is too fragile right now and the unemployed are to desperate right now for us NOT to do something. I want all the tax cuts to expire, but I hurt when I think of the poor and needy left without a safety net' especially at Christmas.

This country is better than that, even if the Republicans in Congress are not.

Posted by: HansSolo | December 9, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

sbj, I go back and forth. I generally agree that Reid should have schedule the time, as I've been saying. But I suppose it's not unreasonable for them to have worried it would have taken much longer than that.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 9, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Now the Democrats will look like complete weaklings if they pass the Republican Bush Tax Cuts extension for fat cats, and the new estate tax gifts for those same fat cats.

Make the Republicans pay as they go, for their gifts to their anonymous fat cat backers.

Wake up President Obama; The Republicans are playing smash mouth offense all the time, while you keep trying to have them play a nice game of patty-cake with you.

If you do not have the stomach for the fight; have Biden resign, and make Pelosi VP. Then you resign, so that we can have someone who is willing to fight for us, as President.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 9, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

sbj: "I'm disappointed that you won't accept or understand what happened here."

Sure ya are. Nobody cares, least of all me.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 9, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I'm angry at the GOP, as well. I always have been but, don't be angry at *Democrats* who, by and large, support repeal.
Be angry at social conservatives who throughout history are fine and dandy with with keeping people down.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | December 9, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Gays subhuman status in this country is a result of the GOP, period.

If it weren't for Dems and liberals, there would be zero rights for gays in this country. End of story.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | December 9, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

The Wisdom and Wit(well half) Of SBJ

Harry Reid should resign because he did not provide enough leadership in the Republican caucus on the repeal of DADT issue.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 9, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

I am going to write Harry Reid and thank him for holding the vote instead of letting the Republican Party destroy the rest of the session.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 9, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

@Greg: "sbj, I go back and forth. I generally agree that Reid should have schedule the time, as I've been saying. But I suppose it's not unreasonable for them to have worried it would have taken much longer than that."

Nothing is gonna happen until they settle the tax issue anyway. So why did he schedule the vote for today? (I'll tell you - because if he had gotten Brown and Murkowski on board then the fault would lie with a Democrat - Manchin!)

Reid didn't even try. Did you forget your own point about if they don't agree to terms then there is NO chance of a vote?

If it was taking too long they could have pulled it. And taking too long for what - their vacation?

You shouldn't let the Dem party off the hook. They prance about harping about how vital this is to pass but then scuttle the vote merely based on some vague worry.

That's letting them off a bit too easily, don't you think?

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Collins and the Republicans have been clear, consistent, and on the record about this since the start of the lame duck session.

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

If the Democrats wanted a deal, they could have gotten one.

I'm starting to believe that everything else is going to fall apart and there will just be a continuing spending resolution through the first part of next year. The more of the remaining agenda items for the Democrats that get voted down, the less likely they are to go along with the tax plan put forth by President Obama and the Republican leadership.

Posted by: jnc4p | December 9, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

sbj, you're a pathetic joke.

You're barking up the wrong tree.

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

Damn right SBJ. I am with you on that.

Harry Reid should have been able to get at least 70 Democratic Senators to vote for repeal. After all; Republicans did all vote for it, right?!

Posted by: Liam-still | December 9, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

"...I am truly sad...But I am also angry."

sbj, just smash the mirror.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 9, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

All, see the update. Important.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 9, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

@jnc4p: Apparently it can't be said often enough:

"If the Democrats wanted a deal, they could have gotten one."

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

They prance about harping about how vital this is to pass but then scuttle the vote merely based on some vague worry.

~~~~~~

Wow, you really haven't been paying attention. The GOP has been stalling on this since February. They were never going to allow it through, they just wanted to find a way to block it without having it hurt their more "moderate" Senators.

You should look up the word "vague." I don't think it means what you think it means.

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

@Ethan2010 "I am going to write Harry Reid and thank him for holding the vote instead of letting the Republican Party destroy the rest of the session."

What's your basis for believing that the rest of the session isn't going to be "destroyed" anyway?

I don't see the Republicans going back on their stated position of not voting for cloture on any remaining bills in the lame duck session until the tax cuts and government funding bills are resolved to their satisfaction.

They are perfectly prepared to go to their "Plan B" and deal with these items as their first order of business in the new Congress if nothing else gets done in the lame duck session.

Posted by: jnc4p | December 9, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

A drop of the auld snark, just to keep from crying.

Imagine how much more income , and estate tax reductions Mitch McConnell cut have squeezed out of Obama, if the guy was not such a dyed in the wool European style, Muslim Socialist, from Kenya!

Posted by: Liam-still | December 9, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

"...it would in theory be voted on after the tax issue is resolved."

Sublime.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 9, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

SBJ is like the frequently battered wife, who keeps blaming the police, instead of the guy who keeps beating her up.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 9, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Nice, thanks for the update Greg.

Harry Reid is doing some serious juggling here. And as usual everyone is quick to attack him at the jugular, but I think he is doing real yeoman's work in managing an incredibly complex set of circumstances.

I only wish there were more transparency as to what is going on behind the scenes and why...

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 9, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

@mike

sbj and I disagree far more often than not but he's deserving of more regard than I think you're giving him.

@sbj

You really are aiming your guns in the wrong direction here. The campaign against DADT has its origins and rationale in deep homophobic tendencies of the modern movement AND in strategies to obstruct and disallow Obama from achieving anything that might be perceived as a "victory". That Reid didn't pull this one off and may have tried to salvage as much of a political victory as possible hardly makes him the correct target. And you really should be far more honest about these two things.

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

Harry Reid is the master of disaster.

Next up for hapless Harry: The DREAM ACT.

Another AMNESTY scheme designed to fatten the Democrat voter rolls at taxpayer expense.

It's a dream for Democrats and outlaw "immigrants" but a nightmare for everyone else.

Go get 'em Harry!

Posted by: battleground51 | December 9, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

@ jnc4p: "What's your basis for believing that the rest of the session isn't going to be 'destroyed' anyway?"

No basis. Obviously they are going to try. But I commend Leader Reid on his work in trying to hold everything together in light of those facts.

This whole scenario actually reveals to me just exactly how bad of a move it was for the Democrats not to hold tax cut votes before the election. Now the Democrats have NO leverage, and if they want anything done in lame duck they have to pass the tax package first, which they don't want to do. I don't know whose call it was to skip the pre-election vote, but it was a real doozy.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 9, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I hope Harry Reid and the rest of the Dems in the Senate "wake up and smell the coffee" and realize that you have toxic members of the Senate on the other side of the aisle, literally the American Taliban.
They only care about their tribe, with not one ounce of civic responsibility in their "everyman for himself" world , yet they will wave their little flags on the 4th of July in a giant display of hypocrisy and cynicism.
DeMint , Coburn and McConnell represent states where about 75% of the populace are chromosome damaged. Why don't they just secede and leave the rest of us alone?

Posted by: filmnoia | December 9, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

@bernie: "That Reid didn't pull this one off and may have tried to salvage as much of a political victory as possible hardly makes him the correct target."

Four days, Bernie. Just four days of debate. He knew he wasn't going to get Brown or Murkowski without resolving the tax issue first.

And I don't hold social conservatives or Republicans in general blameless. Far from it. One reason I am a Libertarian. But we had a real chance here - you know it - and Reid prevented even the chance. If there was ever a time to force the other side's hand then this was it. I don't think he ever intended on getting this to a vote.

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

There are only two ways I can see Reid's free-standing DADT repeal passing:

1) Democrats come out against it strongly
2) It gives tax breaks to billionaires

Barring that, it is dead in the water. The GOP will never allow it because, as Greg pointed out earlier, it would increase Obama's chances of reelection.

My guess (though I may be off on this one)is that START fails for the same reasons.

If you are trying to game out what the GOP will do on any given legislative item the first thing you need to do is totally ignore the policy implications. Today's Republican Congresscritter couldn't care less about policy. Then look to see what would hurt Obama and the Dems most; that is what they will do.

They are Mayberry Machiavellis.

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

UPDATE, 5:08 p.m.: Harry Reid will co-sponsor a free-standing DADT repeal bill to be introduced during the lame duck session by Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins, an aide confirms.

A second aide says the hope is that Scott Brown, Richard Lugar and Lisa Murkowski will then support it, as it would in theory be voted on after the tax issue is resolved.

...........................
All that means is that Republicans were never going to pass the defense budget, while the repeal of DADT was attached.

The Republicans have killed DADT, and "hope" is just a placebo being offered to divert attention away from that reality.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 9, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Time to call out the majority of the GOP for what they are: Bigots.

If the cap fits, let them wear it. Time to stop tip toeing around the truth.

Posted by: Alex3 | December 9, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Pretty sad and par for the American course that we have to make deals for civil rights.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | December 9, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

A subtle change, to bring President Obama's rallying chants up to date:

Yes They Can. Yes They Can.

Burned Out. Ready To Yield.

Burned Out. Ready To Yield.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 9, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

@sbj: "we had a real chance here - you know it - and Reid prevented even the chance"

SBJ, read this:

"There isn't enough time left in the calendar year to debate the bill without restrictions, because it requires a bunch of unanimous consent resolutions and senators like Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who vehemently disagree with DADT as a matter of policy, would object to all of them."

See that? Unanimous consent agreements? Do you get it? Reid's block wasn't Collins -- as I've been saying for the last 48 hours at least -- but your friends the bigoted anti-gay Republicans DeMint and Coburn. You're probably best served sending your complaints to the offices of those two disgusting fools.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 9, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

"Time to call out the majority of the GOP for what they are: Bigots."

Seeing everything that they vote against, calling the GOP "bigots" is much too mild a word. I'd use the word that starts with "T" and ends with "R". It covers more territory.

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

Can you imagine if Democrats delayed for ten months, then blocked, a defense authorization bill at a time when we were in two wars?

Posted by: HansSolo | December 9, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

I would not call them bigots. They are worse than that.

They are Cynical Hate Mongers, for political gain. Bashing gays turns out votes for them, especially when they put anti-gay rights referendums on the ballots.

The Republicans will never pass any legislation that might erode their opportunities to play the gay bashing card, in elections.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 9, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

@ethan: Who demanded debate without restrictions? Reid wouldn't even agree to four days.

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

It appears that the Senate Democrats have a different approach to the DREAM act than DADT.

"Senate Democrats shifted strategy Thursday on legislation that would provide a path to citizenship for some people who were brought to the country illegally as children, calling off a vote that was nearly certain to fail and announcing that they are determined to pass a different version later this month."

"In a statement, the White House said it favored the Senate's decision to delay. "Eight Republicans voted together with Democrats to approve this important bill in the House last night. It should get bipartisan support in the Senate as well, and in light of the vote in the House, this is the right way to move forward to get that," the White House said.

Though the legislation's prospect remain uncertain, a Senate vote Thursday would have almost certainly failed. Republicans have uniformly said they would act on no legislation until an agreement on extending the George W. Bush administration tax cuts is reached."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/08/AR2010120805209.html?hpid=moreheadlines

Perhaps this is a higher priority for Senator Reid.

Posted by: jnc4p | December 9, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

SBJ,

Make up your mind. You recently said that Republicans voted against closure on repeal of DADT because they wanted the Tax extensions bill passed first. Now you are back to claiming that it was because Harry did not agree to four days of debate on the issue. Make up your mind. Which is it?

Posted by: Liam-still | December 9, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Going into the lame duck session there was only one item on the GOP agenda-extending the tax cuts for the top 2%. They weren't going to give on anything else. To offer back extension of unemployment benefits and the few other tax breaks were crumbs they could afford. They just want the whole loaf for their Wall Street buddies.
Too bad there aren't going to be enough Dems in the House to vote against the Obama/McConnell tax bill.

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

@liam: "Make up your mind. You recently said that Republicans voted against closure on repeal of DADT because they wanted the Tax extensions bill passed first. Now you are back to claiming that it was because Harry did not agree to four days of debate on the issue. Make up your mind. Which is it?"

It's both you maroon.

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

jnc4p - The Dream Act will fail regardless, and for the same reasons the DADT repeal failed.

If it passes it gives Obama and the Dems a victory, and the GOP can't have that. End of story.

Mayberry Machiavellis

Posted by: HansSolo | December 9, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

@sbj: "Reid wouldn't even agree to four days."

He would have agreed to four days if "four days" meant four days. You are mentally blocking yourself from seeing what is right in front of you. You have a Jim DeMint in your head.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 9, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Gay Americans take a backseat to illegal aliens when it comes to Dems in the Senate. Thanks, Harry.

"Senate Democrats shifted strategy Thursday on legislation that would provide a path to citizenship for some people who were brought to the country illegally as children, calling off a vote that was nearly certain to fail and announcing that they are determined to pass a different version later this month."

"In a statement, the White House said it favored the Senate's decision to delay. "Eight Republicans voted together with Democrats to approve this important bill in the House last night. It should get bipartisan support in the Senate as well, and in light of the vote in the House, this is the right way to move forward to get that," the White House said.

Though the legislation's prospect remain uncertain, a Senate vote Thursday would have almost certainly failed. Republicans have uniformly said they would act on no legislation until an agreement on extending the George W. Bush administration tax cuts is reached."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/08/AR2010120805209.html?hpid=moreheadlines

Perhaps this is a higher priority for Senator Reid.

=======

That should make it crystal clear for anyone who still doesn't "get" it. Reid could have delayed the DADT vote - just like the DREAM vote - but he chose not to. He preferred failure. He wanted something to bash the GOP with.

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

@HanSolo "jnc4p - The Dream Act will fail regardless, and for the same reasons the DADT repeal failed."

Then why is Reid handling them differently?

The same arguments for not bringing up DREAM today were just as valid for DADT. Reid's different treatment of the two bills implies that one is more important to him than the other.

Posted by: jnc4p | December 9, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Benen:

"For senators like Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), it's about putting procedure above people. They'd like to do the right thing, but it's more important to get a certain kind of legislative debate.

These Republicans' message to gay servicemen and women, who volunteer to put their lives on the line to protect the rest of us, in effect, is, "We'd like to protect you from pointless discrimination, but Senate procedure matters more."

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 9, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

SBJ,

So the four days debate, would not have got it done either. You just admitted that, because you admit that Republicans will not allow a cloture vote, until after their tax extensions, and new estate tax breaks are passed. Of course, I do not believe for one minute, that Republicans will ever allow a cloture vote on the repeal effort, and that is why you keep trying to convince people that it is the Democrats who are to blame. You poor lost soul.

So with regard to all your whining about not allowing the four days of debate, since you admit that alone would not satisfy Your Republican Hate Mongers, stop using the four days phony excuse.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 9, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

He preferred failure. He wanted something to bash the GOP with.

~~~~~~

Oh give me a break. Just today the GOP blocked funding for 9/11 responders. Reid and Democrats have a LOT to bash the GOP with. The repeal of DADT isn't even in the top 100.

Posted by: HansSolo | December 9, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Yep, as I said. If Reid, et al had wanted DADT to be repealed it would have been done in Feb. '09. They don't so, it won't be.

EOS

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

@Liam: It's been understood by virtually everyone here (you excluded) that there was no need to mention the tax issue as it was a given! The GOP distributed a letter signed by 42 Senators stating that they would object to debate on any bill before the tax cuts issue. (Collins didn't stick to her guns.)

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

LOL

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 9, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Benen:

"For senators like Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), it's about putting procedure above people. They'd like to do the right thing, but it's more important to get a certain kind of legislative debate.

These Republicans' message to gay servicemen and women, who volunteer to put their lives on the line to protect the rest of us, in effect, is, "We'd like to protect you from pointless discrimination, but Senate procedure matters more."

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 9, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Bad move by Brown. This will hurt in MA. If the Democrats get their act together (big if) they should take that seat notwithstanding Brown's Palinesque qualities. This vote, I think, was the first stupid political thing Brown's done. Maybe his luck is running out.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 9, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Why does the GOP hate the Defense Sec'ry?

Apparently, they care more about taxes than national security.

At this point, about all I'm willing to credit the GOP for is Emancipation and the Reconstruction Amendments. Its been downhill since then.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | December 9, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are not going to ever buck the Tea Party on Gay Right issues.

From TPM

"Recently disclosed financial forms from the campaign of unsuccessful GOP Senatorial candidate Christine O'Donnell reveal some of the Delaware Republican's last-minute staffing changes, including the addition to her campaign of the executive director of a conservative group that crusades against same-sex marriage.

Andresen Blom, the executive director of the anti-gay marriage group American Principles Project, was paid $13,000 dollars during the period running from Oct. 14 through Nov. 22, according to a recently disclosed campaign finance report reviewed by TPM."

Posted by: Liam-still | December 9, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Blah blah blah whatever.

As long as we need a supermajority of 60 votes, we're not going to get anything accomplished that's more difficult than naming a freaking post office. Once it became okay to filibuster everything, the Senate became a joke. A national farce.

FIFTY SEVEN freaking votes should be enough to pass a bill, okay? It should be enough with six to spare.

We are not a banana republic, and it's shameful that the US Senate is trying to make us one.

Posted by: theorajones1 | December 9, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I haven't heard your response to my points that Obama has to drastically alter his stimulus to the Middle Class - because too much of that money is leaking to China.


Obama's stimulus money is actually in a "debt spiral" Obama borrows once to give the money to people - then when they spend the money on foreign goods, we have to borrow the money again to finance the trade deficits.


This is making the problem WORSE - not solving the problem. The problem with the economy right now IS THE TRADE - we are not solving anything - we are simply accelerating the borrowing and debt spiral.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 9, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

@sbj - I'm afraid I simply cannot fathom your optimism re "four days" here. Any procedural slow or stop that could be imagined and tossed into the works, would be tossed into the works. Any vote that could be influenced by pressure would receive pressure. That's the game being played.

The bigger picture is, of course, that one party is using homophobia across the boards wherever and whenever they believe that fostering such hatred might have positive electoral consequences for them. Or because the member of that party believes that people like yourself are repugnant or sinful or both. And certainly, less than equal.

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

Anybody else wondering if Collins and Lieberman struck a deal with Reid to hold this vote today so that DADT repeal could become free-standing?

Something about this just seems off to me.

It's curious that Collins voted with Dems for cloture. If she didn't get what she wanted, what motivated her to do that? Anyone all so sure we KNEW what she REALLY wanted?

Anyone??

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 9, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Will this be the same fate for the Dream (Nightmare Amnesty) Act?

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 9, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

You will like the sixty vote rule, in 2013, when the Republicans take over, and Democrats will have to use the sixty vote rule, to keep them from repealing health care reform, granting more tax cuts to the fattest cats in the land, and slashing social programs, while privatizing social security.

Now is no time to change the rules, and make it too easy for the Republicans in 2013, to pass everything that they want.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 9, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

The democrats refuse to consider the truth: the repeal of Don't Ask is just BAD POLICY


.

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

@sue: "Anyone all so sure we KNEW what she REALLY wanted?"

She REALLY wants to get re-elected in 2012. That's why she is taking the hard line on the "four days". Republiscum street cred while showing her "support" for repealing DADT.

Talk about triangulation.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 9, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

I think that Collins is up for re-rejection in 2014, not 2012.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 9, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

The blocking of help to 9/11 responders (of all people) is paradigmatic.

My ex-wife gave three years of her life working four days a week (with a significant commute from mid Long Island into the city) volunteering with ill 9/11 responders. She is apolitical and just gave a damn.

I am so deeply disgusted with the modern Republican party and its affiliates that there really aren't words adequate.

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

@bernie: "I'm afraid I simply cannot fathom your optimism re "four days" here. Any procedural slow or stop that could be imagined and tossed into the works, would be tossed into the works."

Okay. So?

"Any vote that could be influenced by pressure would receive pressure."

Yes. So?

"That's the game being played."

Yes, so play the game.

I guess your objection is that these slowdowns would have prevented the Dems from moving to other matters? Even though you are well-aware that no other matters will move until the tax issue is resolved?

I'm not contending that DADT would have been repealed. I'm contending that this was our best chance. Reid didn't even give us the chance - why can't you understand? We *might* have been able to repeal DADT. We had already gotten three members of the GOP on record supporting its repeal.

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Ethan,

Collins voting with the Dems today, and then immediately offering free-standing legislation to repeal does not square with her re-election bid. She's probably going to draw a primary challenger just on what she did today.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 9, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

bernielatham, I agree that your words are not adequate. Please reconsider taking a real break from posting here.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 9, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/12/happy_hour_roundup_144.html

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

@Sue, you're right.

Clawrence is right too, she isn't up until 2014.

I still think she "took one for the team" by holding to the "four days" which she knew full well would kill the rest of the session.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 9, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

LOL.

Four days would kill the session but two days (Reid's offer) would have been fine and dandy.

Such critical thinking on display!

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

sbj3, you are right and, after four days, he could have called a daily press conference denouncing any further delays or assign a full-time C-SPAN camera crew to shadow her everywhere she went with clock in the corner showing how much more than four days it was taking!

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 9, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

@sbj - As you know, my sympathies here are very strongly with you and with all people who are gay. I just don't think (so well as I can perceive this from such a distance) your "might" has much reality to it. I see no coherent reason why Reid wouldn't have taken this further had he seen any way that it could have happened with any reasonable level of probability.

And on the other hand, if we really wish to work towards full equality for gay men and women, then there's only one way now to get there and that is via correctly communicating to citizens how the conservative movement is using and fostering hatred and bigotry with gay people as the target and the means. To the extent that citizens do not yet perceive this truth and continue to support candidates who are bigots, the nation will continue to manifest that bigotry in their legislation.

DADT was much desired. But it is only one small part of a much larger picture re equality. Further empowerment of this modern movement and party will only result in further demonization of gay people. And there's no "might" there.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 9, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

@clawrence: Just yesterday Greg and TPM and most lefty commentators on the air were saying that Collins' four day request seemed quite reasonable. They were quite astonished to think that DADT might actually be repealed. There was not a peep about how four days could wreak havoc with the calendar.

Today Reid throws out this obvious garbage about endless delays and they buy it. Any port in a storm. They can't bear the thought that the Democratic Party plays the same cynical games as the GOP. In fact, Manchin, a Democrat, would appear at the moment to be the vote that would sustain DADT.

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

sbj3, don't listen to bernielatham. He actually thinks that DADT was much desired!

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 9, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

@bernie: Two possible reasons Reid would not take it further.

He would not be able to use the repeal of DADT to bash the GOP over the head, to rally his base, or to raise money.

The repeal was going to get shot down by a Democrat (Manchin).

"Yes, Republicans could have dragged things out until January...but so what, if ultimately it gets done before the clock runs out? And what exactly is the downside if they try and just can't quite finish?"

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

BTW Bernie - this bit seems silly:

"And on the other hand, if we really wish to work towards full equality for gay men and women, then there's only one way now to get there and that is via correctly communicating to citizens how the conservative movement is using and fostering hatred and bigotry with gay people as the target and the means."

No. No. No.

The way to full equality is for all gay people to come out of the closet. The way to full equality is no special treatment for anyone.

Posted by: sbj3 | December 9, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm new to this blog but I don't need more than a quick reading of the last few entries to see that this sbj person is a troll. He goes back and forth like a pendulum contradicting himself and manages to derail discussion into others pointing this out, thread after thread.

Then he reveals himself as a libertarian, which should be enough to end it right there, yet people go on responding. Why should anyone waste a moment of one's life on a libertarian? They're not worth what you get on the bottom of your shoe after walking across a yard with a dog in it.

I'm blocking the libertarian troll, but if you guys keep filling the blog with responses to it then I'm going to find somewhere else to surf.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 9, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Bernie, you're wrong.

American passion for equality is weak. Maybe a majority believe in fairness but they're not about to work hard for it, nor to give up anythng for it. If equality for gays under law means paying another $10 for a set of tires, gays are going to remain second-class.

And the last thing I read from the troll before I pulled the plug was that if all gays came out of the closet everything would be peachy. That's junk. Everyone knows someone who's gay, demonization is only possible among the inbred filth who comprise the GOP base. We're all Out now. We could not be more public.

Anyone who thinks that voters operate on logic and self-interest is deluded. Were that the case then no Republican would be elected to so much as toilet attendant because there aren't enough billionaires and defense contractors in America.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 9, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

I am enjoying the implosion of the Democratic Party no end, and when the GOP majority in the House comes back in January, it will be even more enjoyable, The complete mess the DemonRats are making of themselves reminds me of Napoleon's dictum:

"When your enemy is busy destroying himself, it's best not to interfere in the process."

Ha ha ha

Posted by: djman1141 | December 10, 2010 12:52 AM | Report abuse

Greg, thank you for piecing this together. All of the other stories were simply claiming that the (R)'s voted no because of the procedural issue of not having four days to deliberate.

Your work here shows that they would have used the four days to simply waste time and give cover to their other (R) colleagues obstructionism.

At least now they've had to put their votes against humanity on the public record.

Posted by: cedric0 | December 10, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

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