Saturday, December 18, 2010

A historic moment: DADT repeal jumps the Senate filibuster hurdle!


Well, the DREAM Act got skunked, as expected ("only" 55 votes for cloture), but as expected that paved the way for a DADT cloture vote. And . . . [Howie has been live-blogging the vote at the bottom of Streams of Consciousness below.]
'Don't ask, don't tell' bill clears Senate procedural vote

By Ed O'Keefe
Updated 11:51 a.m. ET

The Senate voted Saturday to proceed to debate on a bill ending the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, putting the campaign to end the ban on gay men and lesbians one vote away from completion.

Senators voted 63 to 33 go proceed to debate on the bill. Fifty-seven members of the Senate Democratic caucus and six Republicans -- Sens. Scott Brown (Mass.), Susan Collins (Maine), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Olympia Snowe (Maine) and George Voinovich (Ohio) -- voted yes. Four senators -- Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Joe Manchin III (D-W. Va.) -- did not vote.

A final vote on the bill is expected Sunday; a simple majority is required for final passage.

The vote came amid an unusually busy Saturday for the Senate, with consideration of gays in the military, the U.S.-Russia nuclear treaty and a bill providing a pathway to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants. . . .

Next up: START.

UPDATE: The Far Right Is Angry-- Expect The Anti-Gay Fundraising Letters By Monday

The Family Research Council, a GOP front and Hate Group, sent their president, Tony Perkins, out to insult gay men and women fighting in America's wars after the vote today.
"Today is a tragic day for our armed forces. The American military exists for only one purpose-- to fight and win wars. Yet it has now been hijacked and turned into a tool for imposing on the country a radical social agenda. This may advance the cause of reshaping social attitudes regarding human sexuality, but it will only do harm to the military's ability to fulfill its mission.

"It is shameful that the Democratic leadership, aided by Republican Senators, has forced through such a radical change in a lame-duck session of Congress. The 1993 law which is to be repealed was adopted only after months of debate and at least a dozen Congressional hearings. The repeal has been forced through only eighteen days after the Pentagon released a massive report, which raised more questions than it answered on the impact the overturning of this policy will have on our nation's military.

"It is clear why this was done: not to enhance the military's ability to accomplish its mission or to enhance national security. Rather, it is a political payoff to a tiny, but loud and wealthy, part of the Democratic base. They knew that the Congress elected last month would never adopt such legislation - certainly not without a more thoughtful and deliberative process.

Another far right sociopath, Bryan Fischer of the so-called American Family Association, another twisted hate group, went even further than Perkins: "We are now stuck with sexual deviants serving openly in the U.S. military because of turncoat Republican senators ... Had the cloture vote failed, we would still have sane moral and sexual standards governing military personnel policy. But sadly those days are gone, perhaps forever... It’s past time for a litmus test for Republican candidates. This debacle shows what happens when party leaders are careless about the allegiance of candidates to the fundamental conservative principles expressed in the party’s own platform." This sick and perverted hatemonger went on to predict the return of the draft. Why? "What young man," he asks salaciously, "wants to voluntarily join an outfit that will force him to shower naked with males who have a sexual interest in him and just might molest him while he sleeps in his bunk?"


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