Saturday, December 18, 2010

Senate Repeals 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' - AndThe Back Story On What Happened

In a late vote Saturday, the Senate repealed 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell', the military's ban on homosexuals openly serving in the military, by overturning the policy known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Final passage was 65-31.

Republicans voting with the Democrats for repeal were Richard Burr of North Carolina, Mark Kirk of Illinois, John Ensign of Nevada, Scott Brown of Massachusetts, George Voinovich of Ohio, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine.

Sen. John McCain (R. Ariz.), took to the Senate floor after the vote to say a few words. "I hope that when we pass this legislation that we will understand that we are doing great damage, and we could possibly … harm the battle effectiveness which is so vital to the survival of our young men and women in the military."

"Today's a very sad day. The commandant of the United States Marine Corps says when your life hangs on the line, you don't want anything distracting. . . . I don't want to permit that opportunity to happen and I'll tell you why. You go up to Bethesda Naval Hospital, Marines are up there with no legs, none. You've got Marines at Walter Reed with no limbs."

McCain turned and, without another word, walked into the cloakroom.

The repeal now goes to President Obama for his signature. After he signs the bill into law, the speed and method of the full implementation of repeal of DADT is in the hands of President Obama and the Pentagon. Before the official end of DADT, the president, the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff must sign a letter certifying that the necessary policies and procedures are in place within the military to allow gays to openly serve.

According to one of my notorious Little Birdies in DC-land, the repeal of DADT was essentially a trade off for Obama leaning on the Democrat Lame Ducks in Congress to cave in and voting for the GOP extension of the Bush tax cuts across the board. The repeal of DADT represented a compromise with Obama and the least egregious piece of Lame Duck legislation on the agenda.

Meanwhile, the Senate has already killed Obama and the Democrat's ridiculous $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill and the proposed DREAM Act for backdoor amnesty for illegal aliens. And Obama's START treaty is on hold until the new Congress comes in.

Politics...the art of the possible.

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