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Posted at 9:35 AM ET, 12/22/2010

Mitch McConnell's failed bid to kill DADT repeal

By Jonathan Capehart

Yesterday, they -- the folks who want to derail the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" in order to continue discrimination in our armed forces -- were preparing to unveil a new weapon in their bid to defy President Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the will of the American people, as expressed by the polls and by their representatives in the House and the Senate.

According to sources in the repeal movement and confirmed by independent Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman's office, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was trying to move, without debate, an amendment to the defense authorization bill that would have added the military service chiefs to the certification process. Remember, the repeal of DADT is not official until Obama, Gates and Mullen certify that ending the ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military would not impact readiness, recruitment and retention. Given the retrograde and unhinged comments of Marine Gen. John Amos, it was likely that he'd gum up the works if he had more say.

Sources at the Pentagon told me this morning that Gates had made his opposition to the amendment known and that the department was working behind the scenes to block the McConnell effort. Lieberman raised objections to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate armed services committee. His appeals succeeded in stopping the effort. Though this likely won't be the last time that opponents of repeal try to stand in the way.

Eight Republicans joined 57 Democrats to allow gay men and lesbians to serve openly in the military. The people have spoken. McConnell and his ilk need to back off.

By Jonathan Capehart  | December 22, 2010; 9:35 AM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

Beware, Mitch: The day is coming soon when catering to homophobia will be a major liability for the GOP.

Posted by: S1VA | December 22, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

The MSM gave Republicans and their obstructionism a free pass for the last two years. I'm glad you guys are finally calling them out albeit belatedly.

Posted by: NMP1 | December 22, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

McConnell is a really mean old man. He will try to punish those in his party who didn't do what he wanted.

He is having trouble with keeping his troops in lock step on Start, too.

My fear is the retribution he will bring to those who defy him. Unless, unless, we really are seeing some Republicans wake up and see that they also have a responsibility to the nation as a whole, not just to their party.

Are they waking up?

Posted by: amelia45 | December 22, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

My goodness. Mr. Capehart, who demands that everyone be able to hear HIS opinion, says this: "Given the retrograde and unhinged comments of Marine Gen. John Amos, it was likely that he'd gum up the works if he had more say."
Another blatant example of the liberal, elitist view that dissenting voices are to be silenced.
Especially telling given Mr. Capehart's position as a "journalist" on the editorial staff.

Posted by: spamsux1 | December 22, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

And, Mr. Capehart, just where did you get your front-line combat experience?

Posted by: spamsux1 | December 22, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

@spamsux1 -- If your name is a reflection of your beliefs, how about you just blather once and stop posting endless, trolling attacks on Jonathan or whoever else you don't like? Honestly - there is a difference between public discourse and debate, and just mindless trolling. And in terms of the thin reed of substance to your 'argument', Jonathan is a voting citizen of this civilian-led Republic, and that's all the qualification he needs for his views on this matter. If you prefer a military regime to the government we have in the United States of America, go find one elsewhere and pursue your happiness there.

Posted by: kevinivers | December 22, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

McConnell is a dinosaur.

Posted by: jckdoors | December 22, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I can’t believe you got this wrong. The bill did not overturn “Don’t Ask…Don’t Tell”, it overturned discrimination in the military as it pertains to homosexuality. “Don’t Ask” goes back to 1993 when President Clinton tried to outlaw the military policy, the policy goes back to 1778 when the Continental Army discharged Lieutenant Gotthold Enslin for being Gay.

The conscious implication is that homosexuality is relatively new and the political implication is that the discrimination was started by a Democratic President. Of course neither is true.

I expect some little news source such as the Poplar Bluff News, Associated Press, or Fox News to get this wrong but not the Washington Post.

Posted by: MayorEd | December 22, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

I can’t believe you got this wrong. The bill did not overturn “Don’t Ask…Don’t Tell”, it overturned discrimination in the military as it pertains to homosexuality. “Don’t Ask” goes back to 1993 when President Clinton tried to outlaw the military policy, the policy goes back to 1778 when the Continental Army discharged Lieutenant Gotthold Enslin for being Gay.

The conscious implication is that homosexuality is relatively new and the political implication is that the discrimination was started by a Democratic President. Of course neither is true.

I expect some little news source such as the Poplar Bluff News, Associated Press, or Fox News to get this wrong but not the Washington Post.

Posted by: MayorEd | December 22, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

No surprise.

Posted by: MayorEd | December 22, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

@spamsux1... Your comments are unhinged as well. Mr. Capehart has every privilege to express his opinion in an EDITORIAL piece! "Journalists," as you label them, can be multifaceted. If you can scroll back to the top of this editorial, directly under the headline, you'll see the words "Quick takes by the Post's opinion writers." I'm no genius but I think that means that I'm about to read someone's opinion. Futhermore, editorial pages allow readers, like yourself, to comment or write back in response to an OPINION writer. That's the basic purpose of an EDITORIAL page!

On another note, if you mean to question Mr. Capehart's "front-line combat experience," then I suspect (had you served in the U.S. military) you'd be one of the approximately 30 percent of combat troops that would have a problem with homophobia. I'll take the side of the other 70 percent of troops, commanders, the Secretary of Defense, President and a vast majority of the American public.

In the end, it matters not what Mr. Capehart's "front-line combat experience" is. He is dutifully expressing his opinion. I should also recognize that The Post is allowing you the privilege to express your comments on its website. I hope you can comprehend the difference!

Posted by: spongesallofyou | December 23, 2010 1:33 AM | Report abuse

And as for Mr. Capehart "...who demands that everyone be able to hear HIS opinion..." I should mention a couple of things.

(1) Writers can't feasibly demand everyone to open a newspaper or click on a link to read an editorial. It's the free will of a human being to to do. I suspect you chose to read his opinion and found you disagreed with it.

(2) More importantly, writers don't demand everyone "hear" their opinion. I should think they might demand everyone to "read" their opinions if it is print form.

Might I suggest you read the NY POST or WASHINGTON TIMES. You may find more opinion writers there that share your retrograde and unhinged beliefs.

Posted by: spongesallofyou | December 23, 2010 1:50 AM | Report abuse

Extreme right wing Christianists used to publicly hate Jews, Catholics, 'Orientals' and Blacks. Then it was Commies,unwed mothers, divorcees and homosexuals. Now that it's no longer acceptable, who's left???? Oh that's right ... immigrant Hispanics.

Fear, Hatred, Distortion, Distraction and Division is all Republicans have to offer America. Exceptional!!

Posted by: thebobbob | December 23, 2010 6:37 AM | Report abuse

its time that the American People start posting 2012 CAMPAIGN SIGNS AND INTERNET TO GET RID OF THE OLD LIKE MCCAIN, MCCONNELL, AND OTHER SENATORS WHO OPPOSE THE WISHES OF THE PEOPLE. TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE OUT NEXT ELECTION. time FOR THE PEOPLE TO SEND VALUABLE MESSAGE TO THESE PEOPLE. YOU SENT TO DO OUR BIDDING AND WHEN YOU OPPOSE OUR WILL AND VOTE FOR YOURSELF . YOUR OUT OF OFFICE. WE PAY YOUR PAYCHECK. IN ECONOMIC HARD TIMES CONGRESS VOTED ITSELF PAY RAISES AND TOLD SENIORS AND OTHERS PUBLIC EMPLOYEES SORRY NO MONEY. BUT THEY HAD MONEY TO GIVE THEMSELVES.

Posted by: josephmichaelcos | December 23, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

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