Friday night DADT news roundup
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) plans to bring up a vote to repeal DADT tomorrow and there has been lots of information floating around the internets today. Here are some headlines…
* First, click here to call your Senators directly. From GetEqual – http://getequal.org/callthesenate. If one of these Senators represents you, we especially need your help – Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Richard Lugar (R-IN), Judd Gregg (R-NH), Scott Brown (R-MA), George Voinovich (R-OH), Kit Bond (R-MO), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Joe Manchin (D-WV). The Plum Line’s Greg Sargent reported that Scott Brown will vote Yes on DADT repeal.
* Servicemembers United: Gay Veterans, Allies Storm Senate Offices for Third Straight Day. It was Day 3 of Operation Renewed Engagement with senators and staff of 71 Senate offices. “These advocates are yet again actually visiting more than seventy Senate offices today, including those who are critical to obtaining and keeping our 60-vote majority on this issue,” said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and the Servicemembers United Action Fund.
CORKER: What’s happened is it’s poisoning the well on this debate, on something that’s very, very important….I’m just hoping that saner minds will prevail and that these issues that have been brought forth that are absolutely partisan, political, issues, brought forth to basically accommodate activist groups around this country. I’m hoping that those will be taken down or else I don’t think the future of the START treaty over the next several days is going to be successful, based on what I’m watching.
* Washington Blade: GOP in last ditch effort to block ‘Don’t Ask’ repeal?
According to Congressional Quarterly, Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have said they would no longer support the START Treaty if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) proceeds with a vote on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the DREAM Act, an immigration-related bill.
…On the Senate floor, McCain seemed to distance himself from Corker and dispute the reporting that he and Graham were basing their support for the START Treaty on other measures that were coming to the floor.
“There continues to swirl allegations that there is going to be a vote for it or against it because of another piece of legislation or for other reasons – for other political reasons,” McCain said. “I reject that allegation.”
* Steve Clemons @ The Washington Note: Chatting with Joe Manchin on DADT.
But what the Senator needs to know is that the notion that military families are medieval on this subject and opposed to progress is wrong. To say that the military and DoD families are less advanced, less educated, and out of sync with the rest of America is an insult to them that the Senator needs to avoid.
* The Advocate’s Kerry Eleveld: Gibbs bullish on the prospects of passing a stand-alone DADT repeal bill on Saturday.
“I think it’s clear that there are enough votes to withstand a filibuster on repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,'” Gibbs said, adding he would “not necessarily use the term ‘in the bag.'” Gibbs said administration officials were indeed “cautiously optimistic” and that the president would be “working the phones” to help secure final votes.
* SLDN’s Aubrey Sarvis at The Hill: Give up on repeal? Not now, not ever.
There are no more places to hide. There are no more excuses for delay. If senators support repeal, this is the time to vote yes on the bill from the House. Its language is identical to S. 4023, introduced last week by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), and, indeed, is welcomed by those two senators, but now all senators need to get behind the House bill. If the Senate passes it without amendment, the repeal measure can go directly to the president for signature. As Defense Secretary Roberts Gates put it, “if not now, when?”