Maine Republican Susan Collins joined 15 Democrats in adopting the repeal plan as an amendment to the 2011 Defense Authorization Act, which should receive a floor vote next month. Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) was the lone Democrat to vote 'no' with the Republicans. The House is expected to adopt similar language later tonight or tomorrow.The question is how many GOP Senators will be cut loose to vote for this, and how many ConservaDems will in turn stab an overwhelming majority of Americans in the back again and vote this down. The problem is even if this passes, the Pentagon can simply choose not to repeal DADT in December...you know, AFTER the midterms. Melissa McEwan is pretty correct here to be pissed off:
But key Republicans adamantly oppose the move, and are willing to take extraordinary measures to prevent the repeal from going through.
"I'll do everything in my power [to stop the repeal]," said Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who serves as ranking member on the Armed Services Committee yesterday.
McCain was echoed by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), who made his promise to obstruct explicit: "If it is adopted, I will not sign the conference report, and there will be an attempt to filibuster the bill on the floor," Wicker said.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the White House all support overturning the ban, though until this week, their plan had been to delay legislative action until after the Pentagon completes a review, analyzing the effects of implementing repeal. But congressional leaders and activists forced their hand, and they agreed to a compromise: Congress will pass a law now, but instead of overturning DADT directly, it will delay repeal until the review is complete and Gates has given the green light.
Some wavering senators, including Webb, cite the Pentagon's reluctance as a rationale for opposing repeal. But by putting the provision in the authorization bill, Democrats gave themselves tremendous leverage--Republicans will have a hard time sustaining a filibuster of crucial national security legislation based on opposition to a policy that's supported at the highest levels of the military.
So, essentially, even if the Democratic majority passes the repeal, after midterm elections are already over, the military—and/or, "the military"—can then decide to make that legislation worth less than the paper on which it's printed. Gotcha.I don't know if I would go quite that far, but this does seem like a completely self-serving and slimy deal to get the Dems out of harms' way, and then in the winter the Pentagon can go "Oh well, TEH GHEY is infectious or something, so we'll finish this up in 2018. Have a nice day." If that does happen, there are going to be a lot of really, really pissed off people, including myself.
Either this is the real deal, or Mullen's talking out his ass and the administration is so incapable of getting its ducks in a row that the chaos threatens to undermine an extremely important piece of radical and long-overdue legislation.
Either way, my contempt for this administration plummets to heretofore uncharted depths.