Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
But for the undemocratic, and I believe unconstitutional, Senate filibuster rules, this would now be law.
The totally dysfunctional U.S. Senate today fell just short of the 60 votes needed for cloture. Senate GOP Blocks Cloture On Repeal Of Don't Ask, Don't Tell | TPMDC:
After negotiations between Senate Democrats and Republicans apparently broke down today, the Senate GOP just blocked a cloture vote on the defense spending bill that includes a repeal of the military's ban on openly gay servicemembers. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), the focus of the negotiations, voted in favor of cloture while Republican Sens. Scott Brown (MA) and Lisa Murkowski (AK) voted no. [They have previously committed to vote for DADT repeal.] Freshly-elected Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) also voted no.
Three Senators missed the vote: Sam Brownback (R-KS), John Cornyn (R-TX) and Blanche Lincoln (D-AR). Brownback and Lincoln are both leaving the Senate after the lame duck — Brownback was elected governor of Kansas, and Lincoln went down in defeat to Sen.-elect John Boozman (R).
The final vote was 57 for cloture, 40 against it, just shy of the 60 Democrats needed.
There is no excuse for Blanche Lincoln to have missed this vote, and Joe Manchin had better figure out that freshman senators vote with party leadership if he ever wants to see any DSCC money in his race in 2012. Sens. Brown and Murkowski should be vilified for reneging on their previous commitment of support. And are you kidding me? Sen. Susan Collins could not even bring along her seat mate, the other mythical moderate from Maine, Queen Olympia Snowe?
As Maxwell Smart would say, "Would you believe? We missed it by that much!"
Despite the setback, senators fighting to end the ban said they would introduce a separate bill to repeal it. Federal Eye – 'Don't ask, don't tell' procedural vote fails:
The bill will be cosponsored by Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), who often work together on homeland security and defense issues. They said the bill will have bipartisan support.
And the Odd Couple is going to get this done by December 17 when the Senate is scheduled to adjourn? I don't think so. But surprise me.
Thursday's vote saps gay-rights activists of their strongest legislative option for ending the ban; they now plan to pressure President Obama to act on his own through executive action. Obama could order the Justice Department to stop appealing federal court cases challenging the constitutionality of the law or use his powers as commander-in-chief to issue a stop-loss order halting military discharges and the removal of any gay troops in violation of the ban.
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"History will hold these senators accountable and so will many of their constituents," said Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a group pushing for repeal of the law. "There will be no place for these Senators to hide. The Senate and the president must remain in session and in Washington to find another path for repeal to get done in the lame-duck."
"Leaders of both parties let down the U.S. military and the American people," said Joe Solomonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights organization with close ties to the White House and Congressional Democrats "Instead of doing what is right, 'the world's greatest deliberative body' devolved into shameful schoolyard spats that put petty partisan politics above the needs of our women and men in uniform."
One angry old homophobe deserves more blame than anyone else — Sen. John McCain. His abject failure of leadership, his lack of character, judgment and simple human decency gave other Republicans the cover to vote no. His support would have made all the difference.