Sep 22, 2010
The blocking of DADT kills another false GOP talking point
The move by Senate Republicans on Tuesday to block even debate on 2011 defense authorization bill that included language to repeal the discriminatory and unconstitutional Clinton-era “Don’t ask, don’t tell” law blows up another rightwing wing talking point.
Just like the attempt to put teabagger candidates on the ballot blew up teabagger’s lie about it being a nonpartisan movement, the move to block DADT blows away the myth that health insurance reform should not have been passed because of the false claim that the country did not support it. Despite three-quarters of Americans, 75 percent, saying that they support openly gay people serving in the U.S. military, Republicans blocked the bill even coming to the Senate floor for a debate.
In a 56-43 vote, every single Senate Republican present and two conservative Democrats voted to block debate on the bill, falling short of the 60 votes they needed to proceed to take up the bill for just debate. Understand, this was just to debate the bill, not vote on it.
Even top military Generals and Admirals support repelling DADT. According to the Hill, “the Pentagon is in the midst of conducting a review on the implementation of repeal and is surveying members of the armed forces on the issue” that year long study is due in December, and the repel could not even occur until after the report. I don’t understand why we need a study. Just take a look at our allies, like Australia, Great Britain and Norway.
When President Harry S. Truman integrated the Armed Forces and issued a then-controversial executive order that called for "equality of treatment for all persons in the armed services, without regard to race, color, religion or national origin” he didn’t need a study.
It’s not often, if ever, debate is blocked on funding the troops. Our Senator, Sen. Carl Levin, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said it is the Republicans playing politics with a bill that is designed to provide benefits for members of the military and their families, to build weapons systems, and to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, he told the AP.
"They should fight against it if they don't like it," Levin said of the Republicans who stopped the legislation. "It would be unthinkable if we didn't have a Defense Authorization bill. It's never happened."
This also comes on the heels earlier this month when a federal judge in California declared the ban on gays serving openly in the military unconstitutional, so that erased any doubt that the ban is discriminatory.
According the AP, “An estimated 13,000 people have been discharged under the law since its inception in 1993. Although most dismissals have resulted from gay service members outing themselves, gay rights' groups say it has been used by vindictive co-workers to drum out troops who never made their sexuality an issue.” That is the real threat to national security.
Anyone who has spent more than a couple of months in the military has known someone who is gay. The American people have been pretty clear on this, and so have real conservatives, like the late Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater when he said "You don't need to be straight to fight and die for your country. You just need to shoot straight."
DADT should be killed today.