Wednesday, December 8, 2010

On "process"

Greg Sargent reports that Senator Collins (R-ME) is withdrawing her support for the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell over procedural complaints:

Collins has said she supports repeal, but won't agree to vote for cloture on the Defense Authorization Bill containing repeal if Harry Reid doesn't allow ample time for open debate and amendments on the bill.

Frankly, I find this sickening. Senators are willing to obstruct landmark civil rights legislation (and that's what this is) because they're unhappy with the amount of debate or amendments. If I were a senator, I would likely sound a lot like Anthony Weiner right now:

There are no more excuses. I'm sorry. There just aren't. If you believe that gay Americans are not second class citizens in this country, you vote for repeal. I've had it with this bullshit. The last couple days have had conservatives holding the unemployed hostage for tax cuts for millionaires, and now conservatives are willing to play procedural games in order to deny gay Americans the right to serve their country openly. It is disgusting. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff has said personally and professionally that repeal is a matter of integrity and must happen.

At this point, supporters of Don't Ask, Don't Tell have no leg to stand on. And yet, they will likely carry the day. And the rest of the world will look on as America treats a group of people as second-class citizens.


  1. Um, why bother with statutory repeal? A federal judge had ruled that DADT is unconstitutional. Why doesn't Obama just instruct the Justice Department to drop the appeal of the case?

  2. Personally, I would like Obama to do that, but I appreciate that his Justice Department isn't picking and choosing which laws to defend. As far as I know, the only precedent for a president instructing his Justice dept not to defend a law was under Clinton and the law was blatantly unconstitutional. That's not to say Obama's DOJ couldn't decide not to defend it, just that it runs against the established norms.

    I appreciate why he's doing it. But if congress can't repeal DADT, I really will want Obama to instruct his DoJ not to defend it.