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I served in the US Navy as a Nuclear Propulsion Operator aboard an aircraft carrier from 2002-08. I engage in political activism in Democratic circles and occasional engagement with issues concerning Women and LGBT Rights. I have a cat and I am an Uncle. All opinions expressed in my blog are my own and do not reflect the views of any organization that I represent.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL & THE LAME DUCK (By Isidro Gonzales)






I don’t know if anyone has told Congress but the election is over thus sending this session into what is affectionately called Lame Duck. To those that will be out office and to those that will still be there after January 3, 2011 there would honestly be no political repercussions: take my word for it.

What I’m talking about is there not being a better chance to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) but I fear that chance will be missed.

According to Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, he is only trying to get the National Defense Authorization Act FY 2011 (H.R. 5136, S. 3454) passed. This bill just so happens to also have the repeal of DADT. The good Senator went on to say that DADT was just two pages of a 900 page document. This indicated that he might be willing or was going to take out those two pages; after all he was just trying to get it “passed.”

What I want to know is what the difficulty in leaving it in is. According to the leaked “study” findings that the Senate commissioned over the summer, more than 70% of those surveyed which was active duty and reserve found no problem in repealing the 17 year old law; stating that it would either be a positive, mixed or non-existent reaction to changing the policy.
But I take it that still isn’t sufficient. Take for instance, Senator John McCain (R-AZ). Yes, the same John McCain that wanted to be our 44th President. He has gone on record that he doesn’t support repeal going as far as threatening a filibuster if the language for repeal is included in the defense bill.

As recent as last Sunday, Sen. McCain went on all the political talk shows reiterating the same tune: he would filibuster any bill that included the repeal language. He even went as far as suggesting another study of the repeal.



This and the aforementioned comments from Senator Levin smack of stalling tactics due not really wanting to vote on repeal. I don’t really know why, when all the polls including the survey indicate a majority is favor of repeal. I guess what needs to be done is what I suggested in one of my many Facebook updates the other day when I was deep discussion over this issue.
 


In my opinion in order for PROGRESS to be achieved (read here: DADT, Defense Of Marriage Act repeal and the passage of DREAM Act and Employment Non-Discrimination Act) a complete recall of Congress would have to occur to move those old, out of touch, stubborn fogeys out the way.

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