DADT stands.
September 22, 2010 1:58 AM   Subscribe

Cloture to force a vote on the fiscal 2011 defense authorization bill has not been achieved. DADT will stand. Chances are not better in a possibly more Republican Senate post-November, and the bill is unlikely to pass before then. Republican voters against cloture: Every single senator; Democratic voters against cloture: Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor.
posted by jaduncan (186 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
I have resisted editorialising in the post. Barely resisted it.

.
posted by jaduncan at 1:59 AM on September 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


A related AskMe thread: Why did Reid vote no?
posted by amyms at 2:05 AM on September 22, 2010


Trying to find the silver lining, here. Oh, I know - this post taught me the word cloture. Is that good enough? Blegh.
posted by Mizu at 2:08 AM on September 22, 2010


2007: "A May 2007 CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll showed that 79 percent of Americans believe that gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve openly in the military."

2008: "A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll conducted December 19-21 found that 81 percent of respondents believe openly gay people should be allowed to serve in the U.S. military, while 17 percent said they shouldn't."

2010: "A full 78 percent of respondents said that "people who are openly gay or homosexual" should be able to serve in the armed forces."

From ericb:

• 73 percent of military personnel are comfortable with lesbians and gays (Zogby International, 2006).

• Majorities of weekly churchgoers (60 percent), conservatives (58 percent), and Republicans (58 percent) now favor repeal of DADT (Gallup, 2009).

• 75 percent of Americans support gays serving openly - up from just 44 percent in 1993 (ABC News/Washington Post, 2008).
posted by Rhaomi at 2:09 AM on September 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


Vermin.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:11 AM on September 22, 2010 [12 favorites]


I hope gays and lesbians are be allowed to serve openly in the military one day and then don't.

Don't Obey, Don't Kill.
posted by srboisvert at 2:25 AM on September 22, 2010 [18 favorites]


Too bad The Dream Act also got a boot to the head.

Please do all you can in the next few weeks to make sure these xenophobic, sexually insecure mouth breathers don't gain any more power.
posted by benzenedream at 2:42 AM on September 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


To all of the Republican senators referenced in the article as being in support of a repeal of DADT, yet voting against said repeal for fucking political gamesmanship and "procedural reasons": so we're just pawns to you cunts? Fuck right, fuck rights, just wait, for now we are caning you to teach the Democrats a lesson about procedure!
posted by Dysk at 3:04 AM on September 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


Is this like the supply bill for the military?
posted by Joe Chip at 3:05 AM on September 22, 2010


Hrm, I start confusing first and third person when I get apoplectically angry. "You are caning us" of course.
posted by Dysk at 3:06 AM on September 22, 2010


It's all kabuki politics for the mid-terms innit? Reid gets to say "here, we tried to advance the cause but those bastard Repubs blocked the bill", repubs get to say that those bloody Dems were trying to railroad social policy on the back of an otherwise normal military appropriations bill where Repubs were forbidden from attaching amendments. And it's all been done before the December delivery date on the DADT review by the military. It all seems like a post-December, lame-duck session set of bills for the discussing thereof. I'm not convinced that this 'loss' is of any great consequence necessarily.
posted by peacay at 3:15 AM on September 22, 2010


Fuck this. I am so fucking sick of rights being treated as a pawn in the political game. They're rights not bridges to no where, you fucking assholes.
posted by stoneweaver at 3:38 AM on September 22, 2010 [12 favorites]


Every instance where elected officials get up in public and loudly celebrate their gross, appalling bigotry strikes me as being of some consequence. But hey, just more archival video to be replayed and replayed in history classes in 50 years to reinforce their ignominy.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:40 AM on September 22, 2010 [7 favorites]


This was a poorly played fiasco.
posted by glaucon at 4:03 AM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think it bears noting that this would have had a much better chance if it had been pushed when there were still 60 Dems.
posted by jaduncan at 4:06 AM on September 22, 2010 [7 favorites]


Sometimes I get so fucking sick of this broken, fearful, hate-filled country run by children I could just fucking scream.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 4:10 AM on September 22, 2010 [18 favorites]


Apparently Republicans want to keep the business of fucking our troops up the ass while they are on the field of battle all to themselves.
posted by humanfont at 4:40 AM on September 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


country run by children

My guess is that children would have voted against DADT.
posted by cronholio at 4:40 AM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


country run by children

Yeah, that's actually an insult to children. Who would seriously do a better job running the country than these so-called adults whose campaign slogans are full of bullshit language about "returning the government to adults."
posted by blucevalo at 4:47 AM on September 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


And watch McCain act like a total douche and avoid the issue of discrimination against LGBT service-people here: "That's not the policy."

It makes me wonder. McCain was a prisoner of war for 5 years. I'm sure that everyday he hoped to be rescued by an American soldier. If someone had come to rescue him, would he have rejected the help if the soldier were gay?
posted by Saxon Kane at 4:48 AM on September 22, 2010 [8 favorites]


Why was it that during the previous administration (no names...) if a Democrat would have voted no, they would be chastised, ostracized, and taken to the woodshed. I could barely hear myself think through the shouting by right wing pundits about Democrats not supporting the military in a time of war.

This? I barely got a whispered chirp of a cricket on NPR that this happened, and it was all about DADT, not those senators who didn't want to fund the military in a time of war.

Is this more of that bipartisanship that I keep hearing about that? The Democrats are flushing their chances for continued governance right down the shitter.
posted by Balisong at 4:52 AM on September 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


There is at least a small silver lining: Sen. Jim Webb voted with his party. Webb, elected in large part thanks to the efforts of homosexuals and their allies in Virginia had earlier stated that he would be joining the Republican filibuster. He apparently changed his mind and that, at least, is a silver lining.

I'll also observe, grumpily, that not only have civil rights for my homosexual fellow citizens been yet again trampled on, but that the golden PR opportunity the Republicans just handed the Democrats will almost certainly be completely abandoned.

Think about it: the REPUBLICANS, every single one of them, just Voted Against The Troops In A Time of War. Despite everything many voters still see the Republicans as the party of national security, how better to chip away at this perception than by mounting a full bore attack on their filibuster?

"Senator X thought it was more important to play politics than to give the troops the budget they need, come November vote for the troops and against Senator X."

But we won't see that, anymore than we will ever see full bore support of gay rights from the spineless Democrats.

Note, for example, that this bill wouldn't have actually repealed DADT, it would have suspended it pending the military perhaps, eventually, maybe, one day, doing a lot of expensive and pointless studies and then deigning to issue a decree one way or another.
posted by sotonohito at 4:56 AM on September 22, 2010 [15 favorites]


Is this like the supply bill for the military?

Yep, this is the Defense Appropriations Bill, and defines how and where the DoD can spend its money. It it doesn't get passed before this year's budget runs out, then lots of things grind to a halt for awhile. For example, the company I work for won't know how much funding we get, so we'll suspend hiring, buying new equipment, etc., until the bill gets passed and signed.
posted by backseatpilot at 5:20 AM on September 22, 2010


You all are missing the bigger picture. This isn't about Republican support of troops or gay/lesbian issues. It's that Barack Obama promised repeal of DADT. They need to keep up the facade of an ineffective do-nothing democratic majority under an ineffective do-nothing presidency, and if it means throwing a stick through the spokes of democracy, that's what they'll do.

It's unfair to blame the Republicans here. They're just trying to drag their feet and bring down the country like the Founding Fathers would have wanted. Blame the Democrats who keep bringing up important issues and attempting to ensure the steady march of progress and freedom, which the Founding Fathers were certainly against.
posted by explosion at 5:23 AM on September 22, 2010 [10 favorites]


It's all kabuki politics for the mid-terms innit? Reid gets to say "here, we tried to advance the cause but those bastard Repubs blocked the bill"
I don't think the democrats actually want DADT to stand. In fact Joe Lieberman of all people has been advocating for it's repeal.
This? I barely got a whispered chirp of a cricket on NPR that this happened, and it was all about DADT, not those senators who didn't want to fund the military in a time of war.
Yeah, it's amazing how republicans would flip out of democrats voted against war funding, but yet republicans do it all the time when riders get attached.

I don't think DADT will be around for much longer. The more centrist republicans who voted against this didn't try to make the argument that it would be bad for gays to serve in the military, just that were upset about not being able to authorize amendments. Here's what Senator Collins (R-MA) had to say
"Let me be clear, the 'don't ask, don't tell' law should be changed," Collins said in a prepared statement. But she criticized Reid's handling of the bill.

"Now is not the time to play politics, and I again call on the majority leader to work with Republican leaders to negotiate an agreement so that the Senate can debate the defense bill this week," she said.
See, she doesn't have a problem with gay soldiers serving, she's just upset that the republicans couldn't lard up the bill with a bunch of provisions that the democrats hated. It has nothing to do with hating gay people, rather, she sees this as an opportunity to fuck over the democrats and she's taking it.

But There is a lot of momentum behind repealing this.
posted by delmoi at 5:35 AM on September 22, 2010


As an outsider I've been watching the destruction of the Senate over the last year with total bafflement. Can someone explain to me how Democrats who filibuster Democrat bills remain Democrats? Not voting for a bill is one thing but how can you block your own party from being allowed to vote on one of their policies and remain within that party?
posted by ninebelow at 5:40 AM on September 22, 2010 [8 favorites]


I thought it was 'funny' and by funny i mean sad to hear McCain carry on about 'cynical attempts to energize the base' on the DADT thing. I wonder how cynical it was when he flipped to energize his base in his failed bid for the white house?

Also down with the party of No.
posted by MrLint at 5:41 AM on September 22, 2010


Can someone explain to me how Democrats who filibuster Democrat bills remain Democrats?

Because kicking them out doesn't really do anything. See Joe Lieberman.
posted by smackfu at 5:48 AM on September 22, 2010


xenophobic, sexually insecure mouth breathers

I see what you did there?
posted by Beardman at 5:50 AM on September 22, 2010


humanfont: Apparently Republicans want to keep the business of fucking our troops up the ass while they are on the field of battle all to themselves.

Showing your support for homosexual rights with a comment that equates sex between two men to act of violence. Keep it classy.

delmoi: See, she doesn't have a problem with gay soldiers serving, she's just upset that the republicans couldn't lard up the bill with a bunch of provisions that the democrats hated. It has nothing to do with hating gay people, rather, she sees this as an opportunity to fuck over the democrats and she's taking it.

Good to know that sticking it to the Democrats is so much more important than the issue of basic equality. That's an example of having your priorities straight!

On preview: no pun intended. *facepalm*
posted by Dysk at 5:51 AM on September 22, 2010


If someone had come to rescue him, would he have rejected the help if the soldier were gay?

Yes. Because John Sr. and Granddad Slew would have disowned him if he hadn't.
posted by blucevalo at 5:51 AM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am now convinced that the Democratic Party is as cynical in their manipulation of the hopes of the LGBT community as the Republicans are with the Christian right. Lip service in exchange for a check and a vote... and then "Oh, are you still here?"

What's your alternative theory? That despite the Presidency, dominant majorities in both chambers, and popular support even from Republican voters, they couldn't pass even this watered down POS? That 40 united Republican Senators are sufficient to stymie anything the Dems want to do?

Then you might as well give up on the Dems now and forever. Because there are never going to be less than 40 Republican Senators. Nor do they have any reason to become more cooperative.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:55 AM on September 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


The debate following the cloture failure was horribly shameful. The Republicans blamed the democrats for "forcing" them to filibuster every single piece of legislature, and the Democrats bent over, and agreed with them

I'm going to have to keep C-SPAN turned off at work today to avoid any more random outbursts of anger.
posted by schmod at 5:56 AM on September 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is it possible that the senators for some reason think that DADT applies to their service? How many of them are afraid to tell America that they are gay? I am appalled, whatever the reason they can trump up, that America can still maintain this ridiculous policy and that its senators can use this for political points from now until November 2.
posted by beelzbubba at 6:03 AM on September 22, 2010


Because kicking them out doesn't really do anything. See Joe Lieberman.

So there is no benefit to party affliation at all? A quick Google suggests that Lincoln chairs the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry which is presumably some sort of perk. Surely they receive financial and reputational assistance with election from the party?

I also found the following on wikipedia:
On May 23, 2005, Pryor was one of the 14 senators who forged a compromise on the Democrats' use of the judicial filibuster. This effectively ended any threat of a Democratic filibuster.
So Pryor, a Democrat, thinks that Democrats shouldn't be able filibuster Republicans but will actively help the Republicans filibuster the Democrats? This just blows my mind.
posted by ninebelow at 6:04 AM on September 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


Good to know that sticking it to the Democrats is so much more important than the issue of basic equality. That's an example of having your priorities straight!
Pretty much. They really need to get rid of the filibuster.
Because kicking them out doesn't really do anything. See Joe Lieberman.
There's no benefit if you're a democrat. Lisa Merkowski just lost her primary and she's already losing her committee seats because she's considering a write in campaign. Seriously! Joe Lieberman actually did run as an independent and he campaigned against Obama and he's still chairing his committees!

And Merkowski didn't betray the republicans in anyway, she just lost to a crazy teabagger.

Just an example of how the democrats have no spine, whereas the republicans are terrified of their base.

It's really fucking stupid.
posted by delmoi at 6:12 AM on September 22, 2010 [15 favorites]


delmoi: "There's no benefit if you're a democrat. Lisa Merkowski just lost her primary and she's already losing her committee seats because she's considering a write in campaign. Seriously! Joe Lieberman actually did run as an independent and he campaigned against Obama and he's still chairing his committees!
"

That or the people of CT are just stupid beyond measure.
posted by MrLint at 6:16 AM on September 22, 2010


Stay classy, Republicans.
posted by at by at 6:20 AM on September 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Now is not the time to play politics,

You're in the fucking Senate! That's your job - play politics! Jesus F Christ on a grilled cheese sandwich.
posted by rtha at 6:27 AM on September 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


The response of the Republican senators was predictable. By now, the Republican party has demonstrated that they only care about making the democrats fail: they have long since descended to playing political games with other people's lives, so why expect anything different from them now?

As for the democrats: according to Wikipedia, Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln, the two Senators who voted against the bill, are both also both oppose bringing Guantanamo bay prisoners to the united states for trial.

Blanche Lincoln's wikipedia entry just makes for mind-boggling reading. She threatened to filibuster any legislation containing a public health insurance option? She spoke out against the Employee Free Choice Act?

Why would anyone who wasn't a millionaire ever vote for this dreadful person in the first place? She clearly hates ordinary people.

I'm still a bit shocked that she would put a craven desire to appeal to the worst, most bigoted instincts in human nature ahead of providing - of all things - the army with the support it needs. It just seems like such a strikingly... blatant demonstration of contempt.

Once again, I find myself amazed that people can get away with calling themselves "centrists" in America when by any reasonable standard they are right wing radicals.
posted by lucien_reeve at 6:38 AM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Rhaomi: "2010: "A full 78 percent of respondents said that "people who are openly gay or homosexual" should be able to serve in the armed forces.""

Much like the problem with an issue like flag burning (for example), there's a dramatic difference in the magnitude of support for repeal vs opposition - even though only 22% of Americans support DADT (or probably something even worse), they're intensely vocal about it, while the 78% against DADT may only think about the issue when the pollster calls.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 6:38 AM on September 22, 2010


The sixty votes needed to break the filibuster had already been lined up, but that was before Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid decided to limit debates and votes on amendments. That led to a collapse in support in ending the filibuster. ...

So if Reid had the votes to break the filibuster but squandered them in this procedural maneuver, why did he do this? The answer is simple. This was never a serious attempt to pass legislation in the best interests of the American people. It was nothing but political theater, and everyone on both sides were eager actors in the drama. All the Senators had a role to play, and everyone played to the audience. Even the White House was given a bit part. They issued a statement calling for an end to the filibuster, but according to SLDN’s Trevor Thomas, there was no lobbying behind the scenes.


Allow me to repeat that for emphasis:

THIS WAS NEVER A SERIOUS ATTEMPT TO PASS LEGISLATION

In other words, if Obama expresses disappointment in the outcome of this vote, he will be lying.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:49 AM on September 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


I'd like to offer a special Fuck You to my Senators, Collins and Snowe, who are both against DADT and know it's wrong, but voted against this bill anyway, because they're not up for re-election and figure we'll all have forgotten about this in two years. And we probably will have. Not me, but enough others. Fuck you Collins and Snowe. You are shitty Senators. I will do a happy dance the day we're rid of you both.
posted by rusty at 7:09 AM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


So a majority of the Senate wanted to vote for a Democrat policy that the majority of the public endorses. Therefore this was never a serious attempt to pass legislation in the best interests of the American people. Right.
posted by ninebelow at 7:12 AM on September 22, 2010


Really proud to be an Arkansan today. God damn it.

Here's the thing about Pryor and Lincoln, for those of you not sufficiently hep: they're Republicans. Well, Lincoln might just be a chickenshit centrist -- she has a real gift for talking out of both sides of her mouth in a campaign. During the Democratic primary race against Bill Halter, she ran issue focused ads with different positions in the same campaign, one saying that she voted with the president on health care reform, the other saying she voted against it. Both statements are technically true and paint a picture of a very weaselly senator.

But both of them are Republicans through and through, really. They run on the Democratic ticket because it's politically expedient for them to do so. Conservative Democrats are more electable in AR, for a lot of political and demographic reasons I won't get into here. So, rather than face the tougher and more honest battle of running for the party they really support, they put on their sheep's clothing and smile and wave. Lincoln snuggled up to Obama when it was looking like actual Democrats were abandoning her in the last primary, and then shoved him away literally about an hour after winning the party nomination.

Believe me, every progressive in this state who isn't politically connected to them loathes the hell out of them. I do not personally know a single moderate Democrat who hasn't used some variation of the phrase "holding my nose" when describing the experience of voting for them. But we do so, because they're entrenched politically (Halter was the biggest challenge to Lincoln's seat in a good while, and Halter is...ugh) and because it's better to have someone who will vote with the Dems when the party gives them no choice than someone who will follow Mitch McConnell's shitty obstructionist playbook and vote against Jesus and apple pie if the president likes them.

As to Blanche Lincoln, I said this before and I'll say it again: my prediction is that once her political career is over and she won't suffer professionally for it, she'll pull a Ken Mehlman and "suddenly discover" that she's gay, offer up some shitty apology, and hope that we'll forgive her for it.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:12 AM on September 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


But hey, just more archival video to be replayed and replayed in history classes in 50 years to reinforce their ignominy.

This comes up from time to time: don't these people know they're on the losing side of history?

But actually, the Republican and Democratic senators who voted against repeal know all too well that history (and the electorate) will probably be kind to them, despite their public displays of bigotry. They knew Strom Thurmond and Robert Byrd, who remained senators for literally decades after fighting tooth and nail against civil rights. They know that once you get to the national level, you're basically set for life no matter how vile your politics.

The senators know that not only will they not receive the just desserts of their bigotry, they will in all likelihood continue to be rewarded for it with a continued career in national politics and a generous pension. Unfortunately, there's no easy way to ensure that doesn't happen.
posted by jedicus at 7:16 AM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Then you might as well give up on the Dems now and forever. Because there are never going to be less than 40 Republican Senators. Nor do they have any reason to become more cooperative.

Everyone basically has. They've ensured that Karl Rove's permanent Republican Majority will happen, with only a 4 year delay.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:23 AM on September 22, 2010


jaduncan: "I think it bears noting that this would have had a much better chance if it had been pushed when there were still 60 Dems."

Have you SEEN them do anything when there were 60 dems? I mean, besides cower in fear at the *threat* of a filibuster?
posted by symbioid at 7:25 AM on September 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


But both of them are Republicans through and through, really. They run on the Democratic ticket because it's politically expedient for them to do so. Conservative Democrats are more electable in AR, for a lot of political and demographic reasons I won't get into here.

Is Arkansas ever going to elect a Senator that people here would like though? If they ran as Republicans, would that just move the battle to the primary and the Republican would just get elected in the general?
posted by smackfu at 7:28 AM on September 22, 2010


So Pryor, a Democrat, thinks that Democrats shouldn't be able filibuster Republicans but will actively help the Republicans filibuster the Democrats? This just blows my mind.

Basically, yes. American politics is so rhetortically loaded in favor of the corporate/business/Beltway Media (read: Republican) interests that Republicans are routinely allowed to pull dirty tricks like voting agianst the troops, whereas if a Democratic minority pulled the same exact stunt, Glenn Beck, Rush, Chris Matthews would lose thier collective shit.

And Democrats (many of whom are secretly Repuclicans in the first place, Lincoln, Lieberman, Nelson, etc) have been so cowed by "Why do you hate America?" rhetoric and so compromised by the many, many backroom deals they've made with the same business and corporate interests that control the Republican agenda, cannot make a single effective arguement to combat blatant double standards like what just happened with the DADT bill. Even the good democrats who are not secret Republicans are hampered by ineffective leadership afraid to look "soft on terror" and too disorganized and politcally compromised to mount any kind of effective collective action response.

Or the entire thing is really a sham, and in reality they're a single "party" of skilled actors paid the same group of corporate interests to put on a little production padgent for the benefit of the pretty news cameras and the gullible sheeple, while the real dirt of building the next bubble and planning the next war takes place in backroom boardrooms. Take your pick.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:35 AM on September 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Because kicking them out doesn't really do anything. See Joe Lieberman.

Lieberman was kicked out? When did they tell him he couldn't caucus with them? When did they strip him of his committee chairmanships? I missed all that.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:37 AM on September 22, 2010


So a majority of the Senate wanted to vote for a Democrat policy that the majority of the public endorses. Therefore this was never a serious attempt to pass legislation in the best interests of the American people. Right.

Perhaps a contrast will be helpful.

This is what it looks like when Obama seriously wants to afffect legislation:

The White House is playing hardball with Democrats who intend to vote against the supplemental war spending bill, threatening freshmen who oppose it that they won't get help with reelection and will be cut off from the White House, Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) said Friday.

And this is what it looks like when he is not serious:

Trevor Thomas, spokesperson for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, said his organization hasn’t seen an effort from the White House on the issue in recent days. “We have not seen any signs that the White House has been whipping this vote in the last 48 hours,” Thomas said.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:44 AM on September 22, 2010 [8 favorites]


Is Arkansas ever going to elect a Senator that people here would like though? If they ran as Republicans, would that just move the battle to the primary and the Republican would just get elected in the general?

Yep. Hence the nose-holding, hence the continued emphatic endorsement by party leaders and current and former presidents. Occasionally the party can put a gun to Lincoln and Pryor's heads and say "go with us on this, or we'll make it hurt." Which is better than nothing.

We're a mostly rural state. Elections are the cities vs. the country and white flight communities, and we've only got two major urban areas to speak of. It's hard.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:50 AM on September 22, 2010


Don't Mourn — Organize!
posted by lalochezia at 7:51 AM on September 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Sigh. Yes, this was/is a serious attempt, and it's not over yet. The Dem leadership wrongly assumed that the Republicans wouldn't dare reject a bill for funding the troops after the press made so much hay out of accusing the Dems of holding up spending for the troops under Bush when the Republicans were pushing things through as riders to defense spending bills. What many of you and the Dems still don't seem to get is that it's the media that shapes the political narrative in this country, not the politicians or the parties, and the media is controlled by pro-business interests sympathetic to the Republican party. As a result, the media scoffs off or otherwise deliberately undermines attempts by the Dems to put political pressure on the Rs. For example, by not making the story saturating the airwaves right now all about how the Republicans are blocking funding for the troops, despite the fact that the media has readily taken this angle anytime it worked counter to the Dems policy aims.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:53 AM on September 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


Wouldn't it be nice if politics were used to address the needs of citizens instead of a ridiculous slap-fight between two groups imagining a scoreboard somewhere?
posted by Legomancer at 7:55 AM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Joe Beese: "It was nothing but political theater, and everyone on both sides were eager actors in the drama. "

Indeed. For instance, we have the part of the contrarian indie blogger played by Jim Burroway -- the guy who's more than willing to lay blame for the defeat of the legislation (supported by 95% of Democrats and opposed by 100% of Republicans) at the feet of the Democratic president and Senate majority leader.

The president whose administration is chock full of LGBT employees and who elected to pursue this issue in the first place.

And the Senate majority leader who chose to use another "procedural maneuver" to preserve the possibility of a re-vote on the bill.

The bill which also contains important pro-Latino legislation at a time when said Senate majority leader is in the middle of a pitched general election battle in a heavily Latino western state.

I can see why these people had ample reason to purposely undermine this bill. Such a stroke of political brilliance to demoralize and discourage two elements of your base while provoking the homophobic/xenophobic opposition while also blocking a policy change that ~80% of Americans want. If only they had left the bill open to Republican amendment, so we could get a 100% cap gains tax cut or a birther commission along with our long-desired progressive change! Thank God Jim Burroway (and his messenger, Joe Beese!) are here to let us know exactly who we should punish for this fiasco. Once the Dems get their comeuppance, I can't wait for Sens. McConnell and Angle to provide the leadership we so desperately need.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:55 AM on September 22, 2010 [8 favorites]


Why was DREAM bundled with the repeal of DADT?
posted by Nelson at 7:59 AM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


So a majority of the Senate wanted to vote for a Democrat policy that the majority of the public endorses. Therefore this was never a serious attempt to pass legislation in the best interests of the American people. Right.

I can want to be Brad Pitt all day, but unless he's coding SQL in his pajamas these days, my wanting to doesn't seem to have changed anything.
posted by Legomancer at 7:59 AM on September 22, 2010


In related news ...

NYT: Obama Should Not Appeal Ruling Declaring DADT Unconstitutional.
"'President Obama, the House and a majority of senators clearly support an end to 'don’t ask, don’t tell,' but that, of course, is insufficient in the upside-down world of today’s Senate, where 40 members can block anything.

The two parties clashed on the number of amendments that Republicans could offer. Republicans wanted to add dozens of amendments, an obvious delaying tactic, while Democrats tried to block all but their own amendments. In an earlier time, the two sides might have reached an agreement on a limited number of amendments, but not in this Senate, and certainly not right before this election, when everyone’s blood is up even more than usual.

If the military’s unjust policy is not repealed in the lame-duck session, there is another way out. The Obama administration can choose not to appeal Judge Phillips’s ruling that the policy is unconstitutional, and simply stop ejecting soldiers.

But that would simply enable lawmakers who want to shirk their responsibility. History will hold to account every member of Congress who refused to end this blatant injustice.'
Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Mark Udall have urged Obama to do the same.

The Department of Justice is obligated to respond to the request for injunction tomorrow."*
posted by ericb at 8:02 AM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


"I'd like to offer a special Fuck You to my Senators, Collins and Snowe, who are both against DADT and know it's wrong, but voted against this bill anyway, because they're not up for re-election and figure we'll all have forgotten about this in two years. And we probably will have. Not me, but enough others. Fuck you Collins and Snowe. You are shitty Senators. I will do a happy dance the day we're rid of you both."

I have always believed that any votes Senators Collins and Snowe cast relating to military expenditures are decided based on what is best for the future of Bath Ironworks (A shipyard which produces modern destroyers for the navy, and employs 10,000).

A bill which they cannot amend could put BIW's defense contracts in jeopardy. I don't think their logic is morally justified, but I also don't think people realize that Snowe and Collins greatly benefit from the pork in the defense appropriations bill. Knowing this makes their opposition much less puzzling. Collins, especially, stands to lose if she pisses off party leadership, due to her committee assignments: Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Committee on Appropriations, and Committee on Armed Services.

Is all of this fair? No. Is it politics as usual? Yes. There is a method to the madness here, and I don't think Collins or Snowe oppose DADT in principle. They just play the game like everyone else.

*sigh*
posted by UrbanEye at 8:03 AM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


What many of you and the Dems still don't seem to get is that it's the media that shapes the political narrative in this country, not the politicians or the parties...

This takes the "poor, well-meaning Obama" fantasy to new heights of ludicrousness. You're now claiming that he's powerless to frame the Republicans as playing poltics with troops' lives? Like he has no way to get himself on television to say so?

(Though needless to say, it would be the rankest hypocrisy for him to claim concern for those lives after dumping buckets of fresh meat into the grinder of Afghanistan - or any concern for gay rights, since he's to the right of Dick Cheney on those.)
posted by Joe Beese at 8:15 AM on September 22, 2010


Wouldn't it be nice if politics were used to address the needs of citizens instead of a ridiculous slap-fight between two groups imagining a scoreboard somewhere?

Wouldn't it be nice if many in the public wouldn't choose to interpret events that way regardless, even if all the parties in power truly only had the world's best interests at heart? All it takes is one other group that wants power to turn everything into this. Do you really think there'll ever be a time in which there is only one group in power with everyone else in the country devoted to helping them keep it and do good things with it? Good luck with that. And keep dreaming.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:19 AM on September 22, 2010


Why was DREAM bundled with the repeal of DADT?

In the Senate, amendments do not have to be germane to the subject addressed by the bill. Many amendments are added for political reasons. In this case, the passage of the defense appropriations bill, in a timely fashion, is considered important to national security. As such, it is a perfect target for amendments which can be used to punish the opposition. In this case, Democrats can paint the Republicans as being "against the troops" (a common Republican tactic as well) and also anti-Hispanic. If the bill passes, despite DADT and the non-germane DREAM act, the Democrats get two legislative victories. The Democratic leadership may have viewed this as a win-win.

However, losing the vote may hurt more than help the Democrats if the failure to break the filibuster makes them look weak.

I imagine Ironmouth will chime in with the pragmatic, insider perspective at some point. He can explain the politics and procedures far better than I can.
posted by UrbanEye at 8:20 AM on September 22, 2010


UrbanEye: Yeah, you're probably right about that. I have no idea what, if anything, was in this bill that would have affected BIW though.
posted by rusty at 8:28 AM on September 22, 2010


However, losing the vote may hurt more than help the Democrats if the failure to break the filibuster makes them look weak.

That, and also there's no sign that they'll be able to use this to make the GOP appear "against the troops," since the media has mysteriously found all kinds of ability to explain exactly what all this was really about. Funny how that happens sometimes.
posted by rusty at 8:30 AM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


You're now claiming that he's powerless to frame the Republicans as playing poltics with troops' lives? Like he has no way to get himself on television to say so?

Oh Joe. You're silly.

Of course, the pres has done that already and will continue to do it. But when every other talking head and "independent analyst" just goes on and on about the Republicans voting to stop the repeal of DADT and essentially ignores the angle the party has long been pushing on the issue--believe me, they have been, all party communications I've seen on the issue through email and otherwise have framed this issue in exactly the terms you're claiming they haven't for months now--then people don't care what the party wants the angle to be. In fact, they get all high-and-mighty and sanctimoniously outraged that the party would even promote a particular way of viewing the issue, as some in this thread have.

The story in the press is like "the Dems are pushing this story for political reasons but it isn't sticking and it's costing them." Whereas when the tables were turned, and the Republicans pushed the same story, the media ran with it, and deluged the airwayes with third-party, seemingly "independent" critiques of the Dems for daring to suggest blocking "much needed funding for the troops." It's all about the media nowadays, regardless of who's politically in charge. Only the media has any real influence on the narrative. They're the editor's-in-chief of reality and public opinion.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:33 AM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I understand procedurally how DREAM got bundled with repealing DADT. I don't understand why. Except, of course, politicking on the part of the Democrats. You know, to score one on the imaginary scoreboard.

I'd like to think the Democratic leadership would think equal rights for gays and lesbians would be important enough to not play games with ending the discrimination. But then we've got 17 years of failures on that topic, so I shouldn't be surprised.

(For the record, DREAM sounds like a good thing to me and I don't vote Republican. OTOH, sometimes I wish there were a Tea Party for liberals.)
posted by Nelson at 8:38 AM on September 22, 2010


sometimes I wish there were a Tea Party for liberals

How do you feel about Green tea?
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:41 AM on September 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Such a stroke of political brilliance to demoralize and discourage two elements of your base while provoking the homophobic/xenophobic opposition while also blocking a policy change that ~80% of Americans want.

Well, that's exactly what has happened. If I were an apologist for the Democratic Party, I would prefer to think they had done it on purpose. That way, at least I could cling to the hope that they might change their agenda someday.

If, as you seem to be implying, this fiasco actually represented their best effort, that would be truly pathetic.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:41 AM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can someone explain to me how Democrats who filibuster Democrat bills remain Democrats? Not voting for a bill is one thing but how can you block your own party from being allowed to vote on one of their policies and remain within that party?

This! This! This! A thousand times this!
posted by vibrotronica at 8:43 AM on September 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


saulgoodman You are certainly correct that the media has a set narrative, but you can't claim the Democrats don't have mechanisms available to them to spread their own narrative. How many Democrats on the various Talking Heads shows have been out there vigorously pushing the "the Republicans Voted Against The Troops!" line?

The media is hardly going to promote that idea if the Democrats aren't pushing it, and they aren't.

Collectively the Democratic party seems fundamentally unwilling to play hardball. There are a few exceptions, Grayson for example, but as a body the Democrats seem to regard any sort of actual partisanship as uncouth, and to regard actually attacking Republicans as unsportsmanlike. The Republicans operate under no such constraints and, unsurprisingly, the media therefore goes along with the Republican narrative. In part, sure, because they like that narrative, but in larger part because the Democrats are not offering a competing narrative.

When people on the left try independently to offer a narrative that competes with the Republican one the Democrats tend to stand united against those nasty, dirty fucking hippie, blogger, meanies who are being mean by attacking Republicans.

I'm not hopeful for the future of my party of choice. Two months before the election there was Obama, at a $30,000 a plate fund raising dinner busy attacking his own base. Today we see the Democrats fail, despite having a huge majority, to get something done, and the party seems to have no ability to even spin the Republican vote. Are they trying to lose? Are they trying to demoralize and otherwise discourage their base?

I'm not a political genius but I'd think going out of your way to attack and belittle the very people who got you elected in the first place isn't a very bright move.
posted by sotonohito at 8:48 AM on September 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Can someone explain to me how Democrats who filibuster Democrat bills remain Democrats? Not voting for a bill is one thing but how can you block your own party from being allowed to vote on one of their policies and remain within that party?

Because you need coalitions to accomplish anything in a civil society. If you want someone who agrees with you 100% of the time, you either end up disenfranchised or living in a dictatorship.
posted by humanfont at 8:49 AM on September 22, 2010


I can want to be Brad Pitt all day, but unless he's coding SQL in his pajamas these days, my wanting to doesn't seem to have changed anything.

You are saying a desire for democratic majority rule is an unrealistic pipedream equivalent to wanting to be Brad Pitt? Wow. America is fucked.
posted by ninebelow at 8:52 AM on September 22, 2010


Wouldn't it be nice if many in the public wouldn't choose to interpret events that way regardless, even if all the parties in power truly only had the world's best interests at heart?

What? If all the parties in power truly only, or even mainly, or even slightly, had the world's best interests at heart, I imagine many of us would stand up and fucking cheer rather than accuse actual non-childish, non-bickering assholes of bickering childishly.

Really, I don't know why this is a radical notion. Ayn Rand's brilliant theories notwithstanding, lots and lots and lots of people -- in all sorts of careers and positions of power -- manage to go through their professional and personal lives without spending every solitary minute trying to score points off of or stick it to our "adversaries." My bosses are definitely amoral ratbastards of the first order, but I spend all day thinking about how best to do my job for the people who depend on me. And I'm only in about the 13th percentile for altruism.

There is such a thing as public service; there are people who genuinely want to serve the public. You don't have to be an airy-fairy fantasyland martyr to at least make an effort at it. These Senatorial fucks have no excuse or defense.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:52 AM on September 22, 2010


If 100% of Democrats plus Lieberman had voted for this, it would have failed with 59 votes. A single Republican vote was necessary, thought procured, and not delivered.

Clearly, it's the Democrats' fault.
posted by kafziel at 9:06 AM on September 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Two months before the election there was Obama, at a $30,000 a plate fund raising dinner busy attacking his own base.

For those who didn't follow the link:
We’re the people whose votes Obama was trying to secure on the campaign trail when he:

– outlined his health care plan in a 2007 campaign speech, saying “Essentially . . we’re going to set up a public plan that all persons and all women can access if they don’t have health insurance. It will be a plan that will provide all essential services, including reproductive services.”
– promised in 2008 on his campaign’s website that “any American will have the opportunity to enroll in [a] new public plan.” [2008]
– signed on to the HCAN principles on October 6, 2008, which includes “a public insurance plan without a private insurer middleman that guarantees affordable coverage.”
– told the Washington Post that his health care plan “creates a new public health plan for those currently without coverage.”
There's also a screenshot of one of his old web pages stating “the choice of a public insurance option” was one of his “three bedrock requirements for real health care reform”.

And this is how he amused his $30,000-a-platers:

Democrats, just congenitally, tend to get — to see the glass as half empty. (Laughter.) If we get an historic health care bill passed — oh, well, the public option wasn’t there.

As with Bush looking behind his speaking podium "searching for weapons of mass destruction", that's the kind of joke that you really need the right audience for.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:11 AM on September 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Though needless to say, it would be the rankest hypocrisy for him to claim concern for those lives after dumping buckets of fresh meat into the grinder of Afghanistan

Jesus Christ.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:11 AM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Because you need coalitions to accomplish anything in a civil society. If you want someone who agrees with you 100% of the time, you either end up disenfranchised or living in a dictatorship.

Members of the coalition can express their disagreements with the majority of the coalition when the actual up-or-down vote is held. But if they want to continue to be members of the coalition and have their interests served and supported when the time comes, they need to vote with their coalition to insure that the up-or-down vote is not blocked by the opposing coalition. This is just good common sense and does not equal dictatorship.
posted by vibrotronica at 9:13 AM on September 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Al Franken Chokes Up Over Don't Ask, Don't Tell
posted by homunculus at 9:14 AM on September 22, 2010


T.D. Strange: "Basically, yes. American politics is so rhetortically loaded in favor of the corporate/business/Beltway Media (read: Republican) interests that Republicans are routinely allowed to pull dirty tricks like voting agianst the troops, whereas if a Democratic minority pulled the same exact stunt, Glenn Beck, Rush, Chris Matthews would lose thier collective shit. "

So true. And it's not even an equivalent situation. When Dems "voted against the troops," it was an actual principled vote -- many anti-war legislators said they would only vote for war funding bills that contained a timeline for withdrawal. Compare to last year, when Republicans launched a surprise filibuster against another military funding bill which they explicitly said they did in order to throw a monkey wrench into the healthcare reform package that was being considered at the same time:
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) cited the roughly 1,800 earmarks in the bill worth $4.2 billion in explaining his opposition, but most others were blunt in their rational for opposing the military legislation.

"I don't want health care," Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) said Thursday evening.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:28 AM on September 22, 2010


And just in case there was any doubt about whether the White House gave a shit how the vote turned out:

Vice President Joe Biden travels to Boston Wednesday, where he's scheduled to team up with Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas. A Democratic source tells CNN that the event is a fundraiser for the two-term Democratic senator, who faces a very difficult re-election bid this year.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:29 AM on September 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


Jeepers, blaming the republicans for this is ridiculous. The democrats new this would happen. They're pulling the same shit with immigration reform, and campaign finance reform, knowing that none of this will pass, so they can paint the republicans as the party of no, and further their campaign chances.

If you want to blame anyone blame them, they are deliberately setting back the chances for repeal of DADT for their own gain. And triggering knee jerk liberal rage.

F**king politicians.
posted by prodigalsun at 9:29 AM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


vibrotronica: "Members of the coalition can express their disagreements with the majority of the coalition when the actual up-or-down vote is held. But if they want to continue to be members of the coalition and have their interests served and supported when the time comes, they need to vote with their coalition to insure that the up-or-down vote is not blocked by the opposing coalition. This is just good common sense and does not equal dictatorship."

The problem is that the GOP has turned the vote for cloture into a de-facto up-or-down vote. Everybody knew there were more than enough votes for this to pass, so voting for cloture was in essence voting for the bill itself. Addressing filibuster abuse needs to be a top priority -- California is a good case study for what happens when you need a supermajority to get anything done.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:35 AM on September 22, 2010


What? If all the parties in power truly only, or even mainly, or even slightly, had the world's best interests at heart, I imagine many of us would stand up and fucking cheer rather than accuse actual non-childish, non-bickering assholes of bickering childishly.

What I'm saying is "we" aren't as unified as these kinds of facile analyses suggest. Those of us who support one group or another (for whatever reasons, mercenary or not) will characterize even completely sincere attempts to pass policy as political because--well, they still are. If you want X to happen, then that's a political aim. If you want X to pass, and it could hurt those on the other side of your platform to be seen opposing it, how is it possible to push for it in a way that won't be subject to the criticism that it's just meant to politically harm the other side? It isn't, in fact. So as long as any party in power sees itself challenged by some other party or group of political interests, it will be possible to frame what they do as politically motivated, whether it ultimately is or it isn't. So no party can ever ignore the political side of what a particular policy aim will be. "We" are never going to agree enough about what whoever is in power is doing to make it possible for this criticism not to apply.

The Dems, as I understand it, moved the legislation through in a way designed to prevent Republican amendments meant to strip out the repeal of DADT. If amendments had been allowed, Republicans could have tacked on an amendment stripping out the repeal of DADT. The procedural moves were meant to insure that DADT would have to be part of the final deal, and that Republicans would have to vote it up or down, in an attempt to make them accountable for their parties own position. Why is it wrong to want to make it clear that the Republicans want to hold this up for political reasons? Because that would be political too? What alternative isn't even more subject to criticism?
posted by saulgoodman at 9:38 AM on September 22, 2010


But I don't really have time for this discussion now. I'm working on a "big important project" for work and shouldn't even be here. So that's the last I'll say on it. I wish I could really discuss this, but it's just not in the cards right now.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:40 AM on September 22, 2010


If you want to blame anyone blame them, they are deliberately setting back the chances for repeal of DADT for their own gain. And triggering knee jerk liberal rage.

BS. The Republicans chose to vote against this. They were going to vote no yesterday, tomorrow and the next day. Making your opponents vote against things that are popular in a highly visible way is how you get things done. Oh and by the way Finance reform passed.
posted by humanfont at 9:44 AM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


The media is hardly going to promote that idea if the Democrats aren't pushing it, and they aren't.

But they are and have been. You want to seem my damn collection of 1000 deleted emails from various Dem mailing lists about how the Dems planned to push this repeal through and framing this exactly as has been suggested it has not been ? If the Dems do 99 things, it's the vague, 100th thing they allegedly didn't do, not the 10,000 things the Republicans did that make the news. And as I've said over and over, I'm not even a Dem, but a Green, so don't imagine I say this or speak for any sort of establishment party perspective.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:47 AM on September 22, 2010


rusty : and also there's no sign that they'll be able to use this to make the GOP appear "against the troops,"

I hope they figure out a way, because a strong constant message from the Left of "They've always claimed to support the troops, but today we can see that is unquestionably and demonstrably untrue..." put into heavy rotation and repeated enough times might begin to crack the brainwashing of the American electorate.

The Right wing does not care about the troops any more or less then the Left, they've just been better at using them as political capital. This is an opportunity to take that away from them.
posted by quin at 9:49 AM on September 22, 2010


Jeepers, blaming the republicans democrats for this is ridiculous. The democrats republicans [k]new this would happen. They're pulling the same shit with immigration reform privatizing social security, and campaign finance reform confirming harriet miers, knowing that none of this will pass, so they can paint the republicans democrats as the party of no, and further their campaign chances.

If you want to blame anyone blame them, they are deliberately setting back the chances for repeal of DADT the death tax for their own gain. And triggering knee jerk liberal conservative rage.

F**king politicians.


Hey guess what. Sometimes in a democracy, you don't always get your way. Even when your party is in power.
posted by thesmophoron at 10:07 AM on September 22, 2010


saulgoodman But they aren't on the teevee telling everyone about how the Evil Anti-American Republicans Hate the Troops.

What happened when a few Democrats opposed military spending bills during the Bush years? Every Republican appearing on TV anywhere for any purpose worked in a bit about how the Evil Anti-American Democrats Hate the Troops. Every Republican proxy on every Talking Head show did the exact same thing. You'd have thought the Senators were literally working for the Taliban the way the Republicans carried on. They had a giant hissy fit and it worked.

Where is a similar response from the Democrats now? its nonexistent. A few emails to party supporters don't matter. Are they on Meet the Press demanding to know why John McCain really hates the troops? No, they aren't. And they disavow and viciously attack any lefty who tries to play hardball. Look at how much Michael Moore is hated and loathed by the Democratic establishment.

Rhaomi Filibuster abuse doesn't need to be addressed, the very existence of the evil and anti-democratic filibuster needs to be addressed. The filibuster is a terrible idea, it has always been a terrible idea, it needs to be abolished plain and simple.

The Senate is bad enough even without the filibuster.

Right this second 50% of the Senate represents 17.41% of the country. If demographics keep up as they are now in 20 years less than 10% of the country will control 50% of the Senate. We haven't even gotten to the filibuster yet, and we already see why the Senate is where good bills go to die.

Senators representing less than 9% of the country can sustain a filibuster.

When they tell you that America is fundamentally conservative they're lying. The people in the low population rural places, yeah, they're fundamentally conservative but if they weren't systemically overrepresented in Congress (and especially in the Senate) they'd be a minority.

Ultimately we're going to have to address the Senate, and that's going to be a very difficult battle because the Constitution guarantees all states equal representation in the Senate, even if the population of a given state is one person they still get two Senators. That is the only part of the Constitution that requires a unanimous vote from the Senate to change.

In the short term killing the filibuster is achievable and may stave off the representational problems for a while. But one of these days we're going to have to seriously address the failings of Federalism and the problem of the Senate.

I don't know what can be done there, and it depresses me. Maybe a Constitutional amendment changing the Senate from being co-equal with the House to being an essentially powerless body where, yeah, all states get equal representation in the Senate and the Senate's power is limited to deciding what the various state birds are? I don't know, but I do know that it is bloody crazy right now, and it is going to get much, much, worse as the population continues to shift towards the cities.

One acre one vote is a really lousy way to run a country.
posted by sotonohito at 10:17 AM on September 22, 2010 [7 favorites]


Jeepers, blaming the republicans for this is ridiculous. The democrats new this would happen.

Jeepers, every Republican senator voted against repeal and every Democrat, save two, voted to repeal, but, yeah, the Republicans aren't to blame, the Democrats are. Jesus, you people slay me. You're like Patti Hearst if the SLA was run by the RNC.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:24 AM on September 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Joe Beese wrote: "And just in case there was any doubt about whether the White House gave a shit how the vote turned out:

Vice President Joe Biden travels to Boston Wednesday, where he's scheduled to team up with Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas. A Democratic source tells CNN that the event is a fundraiser for the two-term Democratic senator, who faces a very difficult re-election bid this year.
"

Unlike you, they understand the reason why Lincoln made this vote. It wouldn't have mattered anyway, since there were no Republicans willing to break ranks and she's scared shitless of losing her seat to Boozman. (as am I, he's nuts) She needs to do idiotic things like this to have a chance of keeping the AR-3 Republicans from coming out in force against her.

I think she's not particularly great, but the alternative is far, far worse and the political landscape in Arkansas is not at present conducive to getting someone better than Lincoln elected.

Now Pryor? He's just an ass, although I'd still take him over Boozman or any of the other NW Arkansas Republican nutjobs.
posted by wierdo at 10:27 AM on September 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


I wonder if it is possible for the Federal government to force a merger of smaller states? If North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Wyoming were merged into a single state they'd have roughly the population of Oregon, around 1.22%. Giving them control of 2% of the Senate would still be overrepresenting them, but not quite as egregiously as it is today.

Or perhaps split California and New York into several separate states?

If we gave the population of New York City alone, just NYC nevermind the rest of New York, equal representation in the Senate with the population of Wyoming, NYC would have 30.83 Senators. Just Manhattan should have 5.98 Senators.
posted by sotonohito at 10:29 AM on September 22, 2010


she's scared shitless of losing her seat to Boozman

Oh boo fucking hoo. A tough re-election fight doesn't buy you the right to hold the rest of the country hostage. It's not like this was a one-time thing; she pulled this shit with the public option and she probably bears more individual responsibility than anyone else for killing EFCA. I doubt very much whether anything that happens in this election will give me more pleasure than watching Blanche Lincoln lose hard.
posted by enn at 10:32 AM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


enn wrote: "Oh boo fucking hoo. A tough re-election fight doesn't buy you the right to hold the rest of the country hostage. It's not like this was a one-time thing; she pulled this shit with the public option and she probably bears more individual responsibility than anyone else for killing EFCA. I doubt very much whether anything that happens in this election will give me more pleasure than watching Blanche Lincoln lose hard."

If you take pleasure from John Boozman being promoted to the Senate, I honestly don't know what to say. You're either an idiot or you don't know the man.
posted by wierdo at 10:36 AM on September 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Why do I care which of two loathsome right-wingers represents the state of Arizona? At least if Lincoln loses she might do some good as a cautionary example. Nobody is going to take the left wing of the Democratic party seriously if they can't ever prevent right-wing Democrats from being elected.
posted by enn at 10:40 AM on September 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Er, Arkansas, of course.
posted by enn at 10:41 AM on September 22, 2010


When they tell you that America is fundamentally conservative they're lying.

Nope. Raw stats from the 2006 CCES with about 35000 respondents:
. tab  v2021

         ideology |      Freq.     Percent        Cum.
------------------+-----------------------------------
     very liberal |      2,127        6.02        6.02
          liberal |      5,684       16.10       22.12
         moderate |     13,701       38.80       60.92
     conservative |      9,351       26.48       87.40
very conservative |      3,326        9.42       96.82
         not sure |      1,124        3.18      100.00
------------------+-----------------------------------
            Total |     35,313      100.00
There are about 3 conservatives for every 2 liberals in the US.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:44 AM on September 22, 2010


At least if Lincoln loses she might do some good as a cautionary example. Nobody is going to take the left wing of the Democratic party seriously if they can't ever prevent right-wing Democrats from being elected.

This.

Say whatever else you like about the Teabaggers: They're moving their party in the direction they want it to go and we're not.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:47 AM on September 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


quin: I tend to only judge by NPR, which is the leftest mass media news we have (and that is not very left at all). Their spin has consistently been "Republicans block a procedural vote to prevent an amendment from repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell." They hardly even mention that the actual bill is the entire defense appropriations bill, or that until it's passed, the military isn't funded for next year.

So, while I guess I'm sort of pleased that the reporting is accurate, in this case, just because I favor accurate reporting over inaccurate reporting, if the situation were reversed, I know the reporting would have a much heavier emphasis in the direction of "Democrats hold up military funding over partisan bickering."

I can never figure out why a country so full of great people is simultaneously so poorly run and backward.
posted by rusty at 10:48 AM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


she's scared shitless of losing her seat to Boozman.

...and? Why are Democrats wasting a single goddamn cent on her? Alvin Greene in South Carolina has a better chance of beating Jim DeMint than Lincoln has of winning reelection. If Bozman died in a car crash tomorrow he would still win. It's a Republican state that has shifted Republican that recently elected an incredibly popular Republican governor and Republican legislature in an election year that hates Democrats.

Lincoln is just as shameful as Voinovich for not voting for what's right. They both have equal chances of returning to the Senate after this election.

Now if you really want bizarre self-immolation, look no further than our dear, dear Olympia Snowe. Hi, Olympia. Can we chat for a moment? Great. Hey, you know how, in, like another new England state just a few days ago, the Republican base voted out a long-time, popular moderate Republican in a primary by about 20 points? Yeah, so you're fucking next. You know what you just did this week? Piss away one of your best chances to be accepted by the Democrats if you wanted to switch parties in 2012. Why mention that? Because switching to the Democrats and running on their ticket in 2012 is the only fucking way you are going to survive a primary.

Not just on a moral level but on a political one, Snowe just made one of the stupidest moves in her career. She is teabagger food in two years, and in a state as blue as Maine the Democrats aren't going to want her after voting for hate.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:49 AM on September 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


Say whatever else you like about the Teabaggers: They're moving their party in the direction they want it to go and we're not.

The fact that you want to be a left-wing version of the Tea Party tells me everything I ever need to know about you.
posted by thesmophoron at 10:50 AM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


At least if Lincoln loses she might do some good as a cautionary example.

Cautionary to who? How many Democratic politicians in conservative states have ever responded to the loss of one of their brethren by saying "Gee, I guess I better move to the left!" I'm not defending Lincoln, necessarily, because I'm pretty frustrated with her, too, but I don't see any silver-lining to her loss.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:52 AM on September 22, 2010


You're right that it is probably overly optimistic to think that her defeat would be interpreted that way. If the unions' effort to beat her in the primary had succeeded the message would have been a little clearer.
posted by enn at 10:57 AM on September 22, 2010


How many Democratic politicians in conservative states have ever responded to the loss of one of their brethren by saying "Gee, I guess I better move to the left!"

Personally, I'm not saying that there needs to be any "lesson" learned about this. Louisiana will always be a deep red state and Democrats that survive there will always have to be conservative. Lincoln is not surviving this. She is already dead and does not yet know it. I'm saying that Lincoln should accept she's toast and try to go out with dignity and in a way that creates an overall better reception for the Democratic Party.

I liken her to a person who is covered completely from head to toe in flames. It does not give me pleasure that she is burning to death, yet I would much prefer she jump into a lake rather than screaming into a kindergarten playground.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:58 AM on September 22, 2010


I wonder if it is possible for the Federal government to force a merger of smaller states?

It is not.

Right this second 50% of the Senate represents 17.41% of the country.

There is a conservative bias to the Senate, but it's actually quite mild.

In a better-apportioned Senate, the influence of Idaho and Wyoming would decrease, but so would the influence of Vermont and Rhode Island. And the influence of New York and Massachusetts would increase, but at the same time Texas would elect a whole shitload of right-wing wackos.

It wouldn't be quite a wash, but it also wouldn't be a sea change in American politics. It's not like the House isn't (right now) almost half full of conservative dolts who never met a base motive they didn't pander to.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:59 AM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Joe Beese: "Say whatever else you like about the Teabaggers: They're moving their party in the direction they want it to go and we're not."

Say whatever else you like about the Teabaggers: They're being funded and organized by corporate billionaires and are shamelessly promoted by the most-watched news network in the United States, along with all the talk radio hosts and TV pundits that work in concert with it.

There's a whole ecosystem of left-leaning advocacy groups pushing for progressive change within the Democratic Party. If they had the same level of financial, organizational, and communications support as the "grassroots" Tea Party, I think they'd be just a wee bit more effective.
posted by Rhaomi at 11:03 AM on September 22, 2010 [8 favorites]


I'm saying that Lincoln should accept she's toast and try to go out with dignity and in a way that creates an overall better reception for the Democratic Party.

Yes, this is true. If Lincoln is toast, then it's to her discredit that she didn't.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:08 AM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Say whatever else you like about the Teabaggers: They're being funded and organized by corporate billionaires and are shamelessly promoted by the most-watched news network in the United States, along with all the talk radio hosts and TV pundits that work in concert with it.

All true. But none of it would matter if the TBs weren't willing to withhold votes from shitty (from their perspective) candidates.

If the TBs were like Democrats, they'd have "held their nose" and voted for Mike Castle because "We've got to keep nuts like Chris Coons out of Washington!" And their subsequent influence in the GOP would be zero.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:20 AM on September 22, 2010


If ... they'd have "held their nose" and voted for Mike Castle

Then they'd have a nearly certain Republican senator instead of an unlikely one.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:46 AM on September 22, 2010


Then they'd have a nearly certain Republican senator instead of an unlikely one.

They'd be nearly certain to have a representative who sold them out on important votes. That he would have the magic "R" brand after his name while doing so would be as little comfort to them as the "D" after Blanche Lincoln's is for us now.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:56 AM on September 22, 2010


Joe Beese: "They'd be nearly certain to have a representative who sold them out on important votes. "

As opposed to one who sold them out on important and unimportant votes?

The perfect is the enemy of the good for a reason.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:03 PM on September 22, 2010


If they're unimportant votes, why do I care how anyone voted on them?

I haven't seen any evidence that Blanche Lincoln did more to advance any of the Democratic Party policies I care about than a Republican senator would have in her place.
posted by enn at 12:12 PM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I live within a 15 minute drive of 3 military bases, and I know a lot of gay and bisexual servicemen, both professionally and, uh, un-professionally I guess.

And I can tell you that all of this blather about Senate rules, coalition building and who's to blame doesn't change a damn thing for them. None of this changes the fact that there is an MP out there who has to pretend to have "a girlfriend back home" and justify his frequent trips off-base to visit his real boyfriend, or that there is an airman out there who gets one of his sister's friends to write him steamy emails so he'll look like he has a sweetheart somewhere.

There are men and women in our Armed Forces who are risking their lives on a daily basis in the service of this Republic, rightly or wrongly, but who are still living under the bootheel of official discrimination.

And the truth is, neither party really cares enough about this. The Republicans hate us, the Democrats love our money and votes. We have nowhere else to go. So the charade continues.

My first impulse, honestly, is to encourage all gays and lesbians to resign from the armed forces, en masse. And to encourage glbts to no longer sign up for the armed forces, for any reason. That sounds like a great protest, but I don't think it would work that well. Gays in the military are already closeted, and they're probably not going to out themselves over this, even as they leave. Secondly, there is a phenomenon of gay or bi men in the military who genuinely identify as straight even while enjoying sex with other men. They don't think this travesty affects them, because in their minds they are 100% straight.

So, in the meantime, I'm just going to be sad about it. Make no mistake: DADT is alive and well and will be enforced for the indefinite future. Republicans will make large gains in November and I think it's very, very doubtful that Obama is going to be serving another term. 4 years of Obama will be remembered as staunching the flow of blood caused by the Bush administration, but not actually healing the patient. 4-8 years of President Palin will rip open the scabs and get the blood flowing again.

I don't think there is much hope. Sorry.
posted by Avenger at 12:13 PM on September 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


I also want to emphasize: with this vote, DADT will remain in effect for the indefinite future. I'm talking 10+ years at least.

Think about what an enormous defeat that is.
posted by Avenger at 12:16 PM on September 22, 2010


In the Senate, amendments do not have to be germane to the subject addressed by the bill...

Although this is entirely true, one could argue that the DREAM Act wasn't a totally random thing to add to Defense Authorization - the two options for an alien minor to gain permanent residency under the DREAM Act are higher education or 2 years of military service.
posted by naoko at 12:19 PM on September 22, 2010


Avenger, I think it is very unlikely that DADT will remain in effect for ten more years.
posted by enn at 12:20 PM on September 22, 2010


Why Democrats are pushing a series of bills doomed to fail

The Democrats are using an important issue in the LGBT community only to get re-elected.

Does anyone really think the military is going to go unfunded? Is the air force going to have to end up holding a bake sale? No, it won't. There will be an emergency appropriations bill or funding will continue at last year's levels with a continuing resolution. The Democrats will scream that the Republicans don't support our troops, but that's a lie.

Not that the Republicans are saints. Like others have mentioned, they're on the losing side of an important historical and cultural battle. But just because they're the baddies doesn't mean our side is clean.
posted by formless at 12:21 PM on September 22, 2010


Avenger, I think it is very unlikely that DADT will remain in effect for ten more years.

Why? Democrats are at the peak of their power right now. And they still can't pass a law that 80% of Americans agree with. How the fuck are we going to get rid of DADT with Repub a repub majority in the House and President Palin in 2013?
posted by Avenger at 12:25 PM on September 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


The more recent coverage some cited upthread about this having been obviously "doomed to fail" from the start and purely political posturing is a joke to people like me who've actually been following this effort from the start. Initially, everyone including the punditocracy agreed this was the only way to make DADT get through in a way guaranteed to pass--and it's passage has long been all but assumed--and that's pretty much been the plan all along. Not to tank it. But to force it through, through this approach. To claim otherwise is dishonest revisionist garbage.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:33 PM on September 22, 2010


You know what? Fuck it. We had this same debate with healthcare. "Oh don't worry guys, we'll get a public option one day! Someday soon the Dems will get their act together and we'll have public options coming out our ears! It'll be great!"

But none of that addresses why the Dems couldn't pass a law supported by 75% of the American people, or how they could possibly do so "in the future".

In other words, if we can't pass laws supported by 75-80% of Americans now, what has to change before we can?
posted by Avenger at 12:33 PM on September 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


enn: "If they're unimportant votes, why do I care how anyone voted on them?"

Well, not unimportant votes, but votes that aren't key. Somebody like Lincoln might flake on the big controversial measures, but will still be a reliable vote for more run-of-the-mill stuff. Whereas a right-wing Republican will oppose both the big-ticket items and routine confirmations, budgetary votes, cloture for almost everything, etc., etc., etc.

It's better to have a fair weather friend than an out-and-out enemy.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:34 PM on September 22, 2010


You can't predict that there will be a Republican majority in the House two elections out in 2013 — let alone ten years out. Anything can happen in that time. Moreover, opposition to DADT is only increasing, and I don't think the Republicans are going to be able to afford to continue to vote unanimously against its repeal forever. And on top of that there is the possibility of a court-driven change in the policy, which is maybe the most likely outcome. The Roberts court is not my favorite but I think Kennedy is not likely to stand with the conservatives on this particular issue at this point in time.
posted by enn at 12:35 PM on September 22, 2010


enn wrote: "why do I care which of two loathsome right-wingers represents the state of Arizona?"

Because one is actually a loathsome right winger and the other orbits around the (present) center, depending on the specific issue. One of them has a brain that can be engaged with. The other fails on even that count.

XQUZYPHYR wrote: "It's a Republican state that has shifted Republican that recently elected an incredibly popular Republican governor and Republican legislature in an election year that hates Democrats."

Uh, I think you have Arkansas and Arizona confused. Arkansas doesn't elect many Republicans, except as President. They have one Congressional district full of crazy folks who have been rocking the tea party style my entire lifetime and 3 more composed mainly of pro-business rural Democrats.

At the end of the day, Arkansans almost always turn out for whoever the incumbent happens to be. I will be very surprised if the results in the general are anything like what Lincoln is presently polling at. Boozman may win, but I doubt it will be in any sense a landslide.

Either way, this purity test bullshit ranks right up there with the Republicans version of it. Like it or not, the Democratic party is a coalition.
posted by wierdo at 12:37 PM on September 22, 2010


You can't predict that there will be a Republican majority in the House two elections out in 2013 — let alone ten years out. Anything can happen in that time.

Anything could happen, but will it matter?

Again: "...if we can't pass laws supported by 75-80% of Americans now, what has to change before we can?"
posted by Avenger at 12:38 PM on September 22, 2010


Probably some kind of half-assed filibuster "reform" that doesn't really fix the problem but allows the Senate to remain just barely functional enough to keep creaking along for another couple decades, if history is any guide.
posted by enn at 12:40 PM on September 22, 2010


To give what I said a more statistical grounding, see FiveThirtyEight's post on the "Most Valuable Democrats." Contrary to popular belief, the Blue Dogs are the most valuable, because they deliver a centrist-ish voting record while representing solidly red states. Lincoln may be a disappointment on this and other issues, but she's a hell of a lot more progressive than we should expect from an Arkansas senator. Her Republican challenger will not be an improvement.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:43 PM on September 22, 2010


wierdo: It's not purity test bullshit. Lincoln actively worked against universal healthcare. She actively worked against organized labor and — because she is a Democrat — was much more effective in her opposition than just another Republican senator against EFCA would have been. And now she's working against basic civil rights issues in an attempt to pander in a race that she's already lost, which leads me, at least, to think that she's working against these issues because she really supports DADT. So tell me — just how "impure" does somebody need to be before you would vote against somebody with D after her name? Because being with the Democrats except on health care, labor, and civil rights really doesn't leave much, and most of what it does leave I don't care about.
posted by enn at 12:45 PM on September 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


fuck.
posted by saul wright at 12:46 PM on September 22, 2010


this purity test bullshit ranks right up there with the Republicans version of it. Like it or not, the Democratic party is a coalition.

A coalition that doesn't believe gay people are worth civil rights is not a coalition I want to be in. And so I'm not. Democrats have pushed me out of the party. I can't vote for 'em for a while. Hope they can come back around.

Don't Ask, Don't Give.
posted by Craig at 12:50 PM on September 22, 2010


enn wrote: "So tell me — just how "impure" does somebody need to be before you would vote against somebody with D after her name?"

It would take the other option being more likely to . Losing Lincoln only hurts your cause, unless you expect some magical fairy to come along and sprinkle some magic progressive fairy dust and get a real progressive elected.
posted by wierdo at 12:58 PM on September 22, 2010


And the Republicans, of whom 100% voted against cloture, they get a pass? Special.
posted by wierdo at 12:59 PM on September 22, 2010


Jeepers, every Republican senator voted against repeal and every Democrat, save two, voted to repeal, but, yeah, the Republicans aren't to blame, the Democrats are. Jesus, you people slay me. You're like Patti Hearst if the SLA was run by the RNC.

Yeah, Patti Hearst. Good one. You'd be right if this was a bill on it's own, and not merely a ryder on a large appropriations bill with all kinds of pork in it.

The fact is, the democrats had no intention of passing it this time around, and are using it to galvanize the base, which overwhelmingly supports DADT, to get them to the polls in november.

The dem's made it VERY easy for the republicans to vote against it. Put it out there on it's own, then the republicans wouldn't have any other excuse to use except that they don't like them gays. You would then get republicans from the northeast and the west coast to support it, and it's done.

But they didn't do that.
posted by prodigalsun at 1:02 PM on September 22, 2010


It would take the other option being more likely to .

More likely to what?

Blanche Lincoln is equally likely to vote for DADT as her Republican opponent; they are both 100% likely to do so. They are equally likely to vote against card check union representation. There is no ambiguity there. Whether Lincoln voted with less enthusiasm than her Republican opponent would have doesn't matter a whit.

And the Republicans, of whom 100% voted against cloture, they get a pass?

Of course not. When Joe Biden goes out to raise funds and campaign for a Republican DADT supporter, you can be sure I'll be the first to complain.
posted by enn at 1:03 PM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sorry, brain fart. It would take the other option being more likely to result in my legislative desires happening. There are issues on which Lincoln is on the correct side. Her opponent, being on the wrong side of essentially all the issues, is still worse from my perspective. Would I rather have another, even better, choice? I sure would, but there isn't one.

(Not that I can vote in Arkansas anymore, being a resident of Oklahoma now)

It's like I'm starving to death and I've got two things sitting in front of me that I can eat. I can choose the pile of rat poison or I can choose a stale slice of bread with a bit of mold on one corner. Yeah, I'd rather have steak, and I don't like stale and moldy bread much, but given the other option, I think I've gotta go with the moldy bread, at least until some steak presents itself as an option.
posted by wierdo at 1:12 PM on September 22, 2010


enn: "Blanche Lincoln is equally likely to vote for DADT as her Republican opponent; they are both 100% likely to do so. They are equally likely to vote against card check union representation. There is no ambiguity there. Whether Lincoln voted with less enthusiasm than her Republican opponent would have doesn't matter a whit."

Look at the big picture. Lincoln voted for the jobs bill. She voted for healthcare reform. She voted for hate crimes expansion. She voted for cloture on cap and trade. She voted for the stimulus package. She voted for the Fair Pay Act.

How many of these measures would Boozman have supported had he been senator?
posted by Rhaomi at 1:20 PM on September 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


just how "impure" does somebody need to be before you would vote against somebody with D after her name?

According to the "lesser evil" theory, there is no limit. If Republicans wanted to round up all Muslims into death camps - and Obama struck the "bipartisan compromise" of only doing so to foreign-born Muslims - the usual crowd would still demand that we vote for him in 2012 because "the other guy is worse".
posted by Joe Beese at 1:26 PM on September 22, 2010


The fact is, the democrats had no intention of passing it this time around

Why, Senator Reid, I didn't know you had a Metafilter account.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:27 PM on September 22, 2010


A district court recently ruled DADT unconstitutional. If the DOJ doesn't appeal, how does that work? Rulings only apply to the district in question, so what would the practical effect be?
posted by dirigibleman at 1:35 PM on September 22, 2010


The dem's made it VERY easy for the republicans to vote against it.

What? How so? The Republicans have loudly and demonstratively made the case again and again and again that holding up any of these defense appropriation bills for any reason whatsoever, least of all political ones (meaning, because you oppose something in one of their riders to the bills) is an un-American violation of patriotic duty that, like 9/11, Americans should never forget. That in any reasonable world should still make it incredibly hard for the Republicans to take this step--unless of course we all act like idiots and give them a free pass on violating their own professed principles just because that's how little we expect of them.

If this bill doesn't ultimately get through. the process starts over from scratch, very close to the end of the current congress. There's a very real chance nothing will be able to take its place in time to prevent actual funding problems now, in the absence of some compromise. The Republicans have, by their own logic, chosen to deprive the troops of money and resources they need in order to take a political stand against the widely popular repeal of DADT. And the bad guys are the Dems in this one, you say. What an amazingly complex mechanism the human brain is--its capacity for generating and functioning according to completely unreasonable beliefs is staggering.

A district court recently ruled DADT unconstitutional.

A district court ruled DOMA unconstitutional. The district courts don't have much say over military policy in this case.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:37 PM on September 22, 2010


DOMA =/= DADT, in case that wasn't clear.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:37 PM on September 22, 2010


According to the "lesser evil" theory, there is no limit.

And according to the "purity is all" theory, if Republicans wanted to round up all Muslims into death camps and Obama struck the "bipartisan compromise" of only doing so to foreign-born Muslims, the usual crowd would demand that we vote for Ralph Nader. Sure, he'd probably lose to the Republican and all the Muslims everyone would wind up in death camps, but at least their consciences would be clean!
posted by octobersurprise at 1:38 PM on September 22, 2010


the usual crowd would still demand that we vote for him in 2012 because "the other guy is worse"

I get what you're saying, but when "the other guy" is Sarah Palin, then I am here to carry the usual crowd on my shoulders, give the usual crowd little backrubs and candy mints, and tell the usual crowd that they have my full and unwavering support.
posted by Shepherd at 1:42 PM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


DADT was ruled unonstitutional by a Federal judge a couple of weeks ago.
posted by dirigibleman at 1:44 PM on September 22, 2010


A district court ruled DOMA unconstitutional. The district courts don't have much say over military policy in this case.

Cite?
posted by Craig at 1:46 PM on September 22, 2010


And the bad guys are the Dems in this one, you say. What an amazingly complex mechanism the human brain is--its capacity for generating and functioning according to completely unreasonable beliefs is staggering

No, your right, the Democrats motives are completely pure, and wouldn't try and manipulate the base in such a crass way.

What you don't seem to grasp is that they win if if doesn't pass, and can galvanize the base around the election, because the economy has de-energized the base.

Back at ya, What an amazingly simplistic way to look at how the political game in this country is and has been played and take it at face value. You sure you're not a republican?

posted by prodigalsun at 1:52 PM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


A district court recently ruled DADT unconstitutional. If the DOJ doesn't appeal, how does that work? Rulings only apply to the district in question, so what would the practical effect be?

I don't think that this is really clear. It could go several ways. It depends on how the DOJ responds, which we will find out today or tomorrow. Here is the LCR proposed judgment. If the DOJ doesn't appeal, the court can issue an injunction and end all DADT discharges. From what I've read it just depends on the DOJ and the judge.
posted by Craig at 2:02 PM on September 22, 2010


.
posted by angrycat at 2:04 PM on September 22, 2010


Damn. I stand corrected. Didn't hear about the ruling on DADT somehow. Sorry for assuming. Maybe they'll just let the ruling stand.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:07 PM on September 22, 2010


To claim otherwise is dishonest revisionist garbage.

What an amazingly complex mechanism the human brain is--its capacity for generating and functioning according to completely unreasonable beliefs is staggering.


So let me see if I understand why the theory that this was a political stunt by the Democrats is "dishonest revisionist garbage":
  1. You had a long-term belief in the idea that the only way to get DADT to pass is through cloture.
  2. The punditocracy agreed with you.
  3. Your and the pundit's analysis (which was wrong) was that it would be guaranteed to pass.
  4. The Republicans would never hold up a defense appropriations bill because they've said doing so in the past was unpatriotic.
Most of your arguments for the idea that the Democrats really wanted the bill to pass seem to be counter-arguments. A strange reasoning technique indeed. When are pundits put forth as political authorities? Why wouldn't Republicans kill the bill?

I think the complex mechanism in the human brain you're looking for is confirmation bias (see #1). Perhaps you should re-examine some of the fundamental assumptions (e.g. Republicans will vote for any defense bill).

And the bad guys are the Dems in this one, you say.

No, most people arguing that the Democrats planned it to fail are not arguing that the Republicans are the good guys. They're recognizing that the Democrats also play dirty tricks. This isn't football, critical analysis of "your team" is good for Democracy.
posted by formless at 2:13 PM on September 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'll stay out of the circular firing squad to say that I just voted, and I encourage anyone who can take advantage of early voting to do so, because you never know what craziness might go down in your life or at the ballot box on election day.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:30 PM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


You had a long-term belief in the idea that the only way to get DADT to pass is through cloture.
The punditocracy agreed with you.
Your and the pundit's analysis (which was wrong) was that it would be guaranteed to pass.
The Republicans would never hold up a defense appropriations bill because they've said doing so in the past was unpatriotic.

Most of your arguments for the idea that the Democrats really wanted the bill to pass seem to be counter-arguments. A strange reasoning technique indeed. When are pundits put forth as political authorities? Why wouldn't Republicans kill the bill?


What?

The thinking was simple, and I and many other people who genuinely do want to see DADT repealed thought it made sense both when this whole effort began, and now.

1) Republicans have been on the record again and again arguing that it's never acceptable to obstruct defense spending measures. They've never had qualms, meanwhile, about adding riders to defense measures while making these claims.

2) It should stand to reason then, that it would put Republicans in a tough position to vote down a defense spending bill, even if it included a rider that might annoy some of their extremist (read: homophobic) base. Especially since the rider is a provision that polls show 78% of the public approving.

3) Procedurally and otherwise, it remains much easier for Republicans to block a standalone bill repealing DADT. They've already done so and would be certain to do so again, as long as they saw any such repeal as a win for Democrats.

The point of trying to put the Republicans in a tough position on voting against the bill wasn't to make them look bad and lose votes come midterms, it was to make it easier for the repeal to actually get passed. That was the strategy all the emails from party mail lists were advocating early on, and that all the Dem bloggers, etc., were pulling for--not to gain political points but to force the Republicans to either adopt the repeal or show just how willing they were to violate their own stated principles to obstruct it.

How is trying to make it harder and politically costly to vote no on a bill an enticement to vote no on a bill? Explain to me what exactly you see as the "counterargument"? I didn't mention pundits. I was talking about emails from Dem party leadership, discussions from Dem bloggers and liberal activists--but yes, it is revisionist for some in the media to claim now that it's always been clear from the start that this approach would fail, when the media early on reported that the approach was virtually guaranteed to work and that this was a done deal. Looking back and claiming now that it was obviously doomed to fail all along is dishonest and unsupportable.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:34 PM on September 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


This isn't football, critical analysis of "your team" is good for Democracy.

Funny you should mention professional sports...

Yesterday, when "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was going down in flames, where was our self-proclaimed Fierce Advocate? Was he manning the phones, calling Senators and twisting their arms to vote against the filibuster of the Defense Bill? No. He was busy calling the WNBA champions. President Obama couldn't be bothered to help pass a major campaign promise to a major Democratic constituency. ...

All three of Barack Obama's most important promises to the LGBT community - DADT, DOMA, ENDA - are now dead in the water, in large part due the White House's own malfeasance and neglect. And you're expected to wipe the tears, open your wallets, and once again go to polls and vote for the same people who weren't competent enough - who didn't care enough - to keep their promises to you the first time around.

posted by Joe Beese at 2:36 PM on September 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


the media early on reported that the approach was virtually guaranteed to work and that this was a done deal

So your position is that Obama wanted to win the vote but could have had no way of knowing that there would be united Republican opposition to him because the media said so.

Do I have this right?
posted by Joe Beese at 2:44 PM on September 22, 2010


Damn. I stand corrected. Didn't hear about the ruling on DADT somehow. Sorry for assuming. Maybe they'll just let the ruling stand.

Well, that's what the many, including the NYT's is suggesting ... as per my earlier comment above.
posted by ericb at 2:47 PM on September 22, 2010


*what many*
posted by ericb at 2:49 PM on September 22, 2010


DOMAA district court ruled DOMA unconstitutional....Cite?

Here ya' go.
July 8, 2010: Federal Court Rules DOMA Sec. 3 Violates Equal Protection.
Previous FPP: "The federal Defense of Marriage Act has been ruled unconstitutional by Judge Joseph Tauro of the District Court of Massachusetts."
posted by ericb at 2:53 PM on September 22, 2010


That was the strategy all the emails from party mail lists were advocating early on, and that all the Dem bloggers, etc., were pulling for--not to gain political points but to force the Republicans to either adopt the repeal or show just how willing they were to violate their own stated principles to obstruct it.

Ok, I can understand if your claim of revisionism was directed towards those in the media who were previously arguing that the approach would succeed. I interpreted it as a personal attack on all who thought it was a calculated plan by Democrats to fail.

I wasn't actively following the issue until recently. Going back through my emails I don't see any from Equality California asking for write-ins for call-ins for the vote. I did find one from ACLU with the vague title "Historic breakthrough: 24 hours away?", but I skipped it at the time.

How is trying to make it harder and politically costly to vote no on a bill an enticement to vote no on a bill?

It may be more costly, but the political cost to Republicans wasn't greater than the political cost to vote for the bill. Voting for the bill would have been more costly to them. The Democrats would have a final large win before November, the Republicans would lose more votes because they diverged from their anti-gay family values platform, etc. And regardless of what they do, it will be very difficult to get voters to think they're not the party of defense and security.
posted by formless at 2:57 PM on September 22, 2010


Thanks ericb -- but I was looking for a cite of his assertion that "The district courts don't have much say over military policy in this case."
posted by Craig at 2:59 PM on September 22, 2010


craig -- gotcha.
posted by ericb at 3:03 PM on September 22, 2010


From the comments section on gay.americablog:
==============

I will work as hard for Barack Obama as he has worked for me..

In the weeks ahead when I encounter insane lies and distortions about the President's record, I will shrug and make vague yet eloquent statements on the need to "come together" and "effect real change".

In the days ahead, when I am told by OFA and the DNC how important it is to support them so we can keep moving forward, I will smile in a genuine and empathetic manner. Then say how I understand how they might feel my support hasn't come quickly enough or doesn't seem strong enough. But I will then mention how I have all these other things on "my plate" right now, but I PROMISE I will get around to supporting them really soon.

On Election Day, When I am urged to get out and vote and to pick up the phone and urge my friends to vote for the Democrats, I will instead, spend that time talking to my other friends about their basketball game.

And over the next Two Years, as the Republican Majority in both houses of Congress turns the Obama Administration into a lame duck, and OFA and the DNC complain to me about it, I will smile sympathetically and say they need to understand the "current reality", and remind them of all the support I have given them in the past, and how that should be enough for them right now.

I will give President Obama and Democratic Party the same unwavering commitment that they have given me as an LGBT American.

posted by Avenger at 3:53 PM on September 22, 2010 [7 favorites]


Judge to rule Friday on Witt's return to Air Force
posted by Craig at 4:43 PM on September 22, 2010


I have seen critics of Obama accused of judging him a failure from the day he took office.

Well, guess what? As far as respecting the GLBTs who helped elect him, he has been a failure literally from the day he took office.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:06 PM on September 22, 2010


Obama heckled over DADT and AIDS funding

And regarding his reply about HIV/AIDS... maybe. The Republicans have done quite a lot on this issue and Obama has not.
posted by Craig at 5:26 PM on September 22, 2010


Well, guess what? As far as respecting the GLBTs who helped elect him, he has been a failure literally from the day he took office.

Yeah, and I know you've been out there pushing GLBT issues all along, since well before it seemed to be a weak point against the current admin.

At any rate, let's not forget the awesome progress for the cause of GLBT equality we saw the last time the Republicans held power. The Federal Defense of Marriage Act Bush and the Republican leadership pushed through was a breakthrough for civil rights. (Oh wait--no, I mean, that was just a mix up or something, or at any rate, it's not like they'd do stuff like that again--especially not now with the Tea Party out there weeding out all the extremists.)
posted by saulgoodman at 5:51 PM on September 22, 2010


That DADT hasn't been eliminated is outrageous. However, referring to HIV/AIDS:

The Republicans have done quite a lot on this issue and Obama has not.

It has been really sad that maybe one of the few good things Bush did (i.e., address the AIDS pandemic, especially in Africa) has not received the same attention of the Obama administration. My admittedly superficial understanding of the issue is that the change is due in significant part to the recession. However, that's not the only reason -- the sense of urgency w/r/t the pandemic has changed, and that's a terrible, terrible thing, as it means that many more will die.

However, can this really be lumped in with the "Obama hasn't helped American gay people" critique? Are American people with HIV/AIDS suffering more under Obama than they did under Bush?


On Election Day, When I am urged to get out and vote and to pick up the phone and urge my friends to vote for the Democrats, I will instead, spend that time talking to my other friends about their basketball game.


This and the rest of the comment is an eloquent expression of justified outrage.

But if this is translated into political strategy, just as us on the left are cackling with glee over O'Donnell and the other Teaparty nominees who are likely to derail the Republicans' opportunity to gain additional power --

those on the right will likewise be happily rubbing their hands as we eat each other up.
posted by angrycat at 6:21 PM on September 22, 2010


Well, guess what? As far as respecting the GLBTs who helped elect him, he has been a failure literally from the day he took office.

Am I the only one who disagrees with this stance? He's the first president to even acknowledge the existence of the LGBTQ community, and the tide toward gay civil rights seems to have turned during his presidency. Even though this vote particular vote failed, the writing is on the wall for DADT, and the (almost certainly favorable) final ruling in the Prop 8 case will likely have huge implications.

Also, I think you greatly misunderstand the powers and capabilities of the executive branch. If you have an axe to grind, you should be furious at the members of the 111th congress. They're the ones with the power to actually change this stuff. There's never been any doubt that Obama will sign a DADT or DOMA repeal if it reaches his desk.

OK. He's been hazy on DOMA, but I do think that he'd favor the repeal of that particular legislation if it reached his desk.

And are we seriously going to pat the Republicans on the back for their handling of the AIDS epidemic? I'm happy that GWB addressed the issue, but their treatment of the crisis in the 1980s was outright malicious. Need I drag out the statistic where AIDS was claiming lives in New York City in 1995 at the rate of "one 9/11 every 3 months"? That was fucking preventable, and not something I'm about to forgive without a direct apology.

posted by schmod at 7:50 PM on September 22, 2010


When I am urged to get out and vote and to pick up the phone and urge my friends to vote for the Democrats, I will instead, spend that time talking to my other friends about their basketball game.

I understand the hurt and frustration behind threats like this, I really do. I feel it myself. (Whenever I'm particularly angry with the Democratic Party, I think of that great scene in Roth's The Plot Against America where the young Philip asks his father, Herman, why the Democrats won't stop the country's slide toward fascism. "But, Dad, what about the Democrats," Philip asks. "Son," Herman replies, "Don't ask me about the Democrats, I'm mad enough as it is already.") But when I hear this sort of thing I also think: Yeah, so what? If Obama and the Democrats really are the totally cynical failures they're accused of being, you think they give that much of a damn? Maybe they win, maybe they lose. If they lose they just go back to a cushy legal gig, do some television appearances, a little lobbying, that sort of thing. They will remain mostly rich and mostly powerful. Even a Palin administration is unlikely to affect their individual lives much. So why do people think that their threat not to vote is going to hurt them? You, maybe, that's another story.

It's just funny that the people who think that the Democrats are totally fucking them over--intentionally--on purpose--are so often the same people who think that threats not to vote for a party they think is so corrupt means anything.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:52 PM on September 22, 2010


"The office of Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) has admitted that an anti-gay comment left on a gay rights blog this week came from the senator's office, though it has not determined who actually posted it.... soon after a Senate vote to block debate on the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' someone wrote "All faggots must die" on the blog of gay rights advocate Joe Jervis. Other commenters traced the origin of the comment to a senate.gov IP address located in Atlanta, Georgia." (via)
posted by crunchland at 8:12 PM on September 22, 2010


crunchland's link is fascinating/enraging
posted by angrycat at 8:51 PM on September 22, 2010


On Election Day, When I am urged to get out and vote and to pick up the phone and urge my friends to vote for the Democrats, I will instead, spend that time talking to my other friends about their basketball game...I will give President Obama and Democratic Party the same unwavering commitment that they have given me as an LGBT American.

You know, if that's how one feels about Lincoln and Pryor, or Reid, or even Obama, fine. However, if this is an individual's response to the suggestion of helping out any one of the other several hundred Democrats in DC, like ones who, say, supported the DADT repeal (or tried to move forward on ENDA or on DOMA repeal, or helped pass hate crimes legislation)...that's just idiotic.
posted by naoko at 10:15 PM on September 22, 2010


Obama could still kill DADT even under a Republican senate, just correctly enforce DADT.

There are many gay service men being discharged because someone "asked", like snooping on their email. You could accompany every discharge for homosexuality by a tough investigation into the evidence gathering, eventually dishonorably discharging any officers who "asked" or committed other crimes.

If this approach ran for several years, you'd largely purge the homophobes causing the current problem. In fact, you'd more rapidly make military more gay friendly.

An enlisted being dishonorably discharged for being gay can simply say "yeah I was discharged for being gay" when looking for his next job, but a homophobic officer may lose his shot at a future political career by being dishonorably discharged for abusing DADT.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:11 AM on September 23, 2010


Jon Stewart On Blocked DADT Repeal: 'Are We Run By A**holes?'
posted by ericb at 8:56 AM on September 23, 2010


Obama could still kill DADT even under a Republican senate, just correctly enforce DADT. There are many gay service men being discharged because someone "asked"

This is ignorant. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is a colloquial name for the legislation, and it's a talking point from the 90s. It is NOT the law. 10 U.S.C. § 654 does not prohibit what you seem to think it prohibits. Maybe you should READ a statute before pontificating about what its enforcement entails.
posted by thesmophoron at 9:38 AM on September 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, guess what? As far as respecting the GLBTs who helped elect him, he has been a failure literally from the day he took office.

Yeah, and I know you've been out there pushing GLBT issues all along, since well before it seemed to be a weak point against the current admin.


Thank you, Joe Beese and all of the others on Metafilter for pushing gay issues all along since well before it seemed to be a weak point against the current administration. It is vital to our community that people be aware and discuss these issues for progress to be made. Who knows where we would be now if it weren't for people like you and gay bloggers and activists screaming at the top of their lungs since the day this administration began. It is the only way to win - I think many people appreciate that, though it can make people with other priorities uncomfortable and annoyed.
posted by Craig at 9:40 AM on September 23, 2010


In related news:

Harvard links ROTC return to end of ‘don’t ask’ -- "Harvard University, which expelled ROTC four decades ago, will welcome the military training program back to campus only when the ban on openly gay and lesbian service members is repealed, the university’s president said yesterday."
posted by ericb at 9:43 AM on September 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh, and yes, I'm going to pat Republicans on the back for this: The President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR/Emergency Plan)
posted by Craig at 10:22 AM on September 23, 2010


Judge orders lesbian Maj. Margaret Witt reinstated to Air Force.
posted by ericb at 2:43 PM on September 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


"'Her discharge from the Air Force Reserves violated her substantive due process rights under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. She should be restored to her position as a Flight Nurse with the 446th AES as soon as is practicable,' wrote [Federal Judge Ronald Leighton of Tacoma, Washington]."*
Wingnut talking point in 3-2-1: "Judge Leighton is an activist judge who should not legislate social issues from the bench!"

Um, but exactly who is Judge Leighton?
"Leighton was nominated by President George W. Bush on January 23, 2002 to a seat vacated by Robert Bryan. Leighton was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on November 14, 2002 on a majority voice vote and received commission on November 26, 2002."
A previous ruling by the judge: Druggists may withhold "morning-after" pill. To prohibit them from doing so is an unconstitutional violation of the pharmacists' freedom of religion.
posted by ericb at 2:56 PM on September 24, 2010


FOLLOW-UP: Maj. Margaret Witt won her case today and will be reinstated per court order

I haven't been able to find the opinion yet, as the Western District of Washington doesn't post recent opinions that I can see. But I suspect they found that they found that she was substantively a good officer whose presence and sexuality didn't factually affect unit cohesion or negatively impact the military at all, and so her dismissal wasn't "rationally related" to the stated goals of the policy; therefore, DADT was uncontitutional as applied to her individual case.
posted by thesmophoron at 3:06 PM on September 24, 2010


Sorry ericb. I should have previewed. I started writing my post, but got interrupted by (of all things) an important phone call from a military officer.
posted by thesmophoron at 3:09 PM on September 24, 2010


Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) fires staffer who wrote "All F-ggots Must Die" comment on blog; calls blogger personally to apologize.
posted by crunchland at 2:42 PM on September 30, 2010


That took how many days?
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:51 PM on September 30, 2010


Breaking News: Judge orders military to stop discharging gays -- "Landmark ruling says government's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy must end."
posted by ericb at 12:56 PM on October 12, 2010


Previous and related FPP: Judge Rejects Military Policy Toward Gays.
posted by ericb at 12:58 PM on October 12, 2010


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