Think about the cast of assertive characters at the forefront of lobbying on the Hill and working the media on DADT repeal over the last year — a long list of DADT-discharged service members, advocacy orgs Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, and Servicemembers United among the high profile outlets.
If you’re Assistant Senate Majority Leader Richard Durbin and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chair Joe Lieberman and planning a presser for tomorrow, wouldn’t you want representatives from above at your side for credibility?
Apparently not. Look at the invitees for a presser tomorrow (via media advisory from Harry Reid’s office):
- Joe Solmonese, President, Human Rights Campaign
- Eric Alva, Iraq war veteran, United States Marine Corps
- Cesar Vargas, City University of New York (CUNY) [L]aw Student who would be able to join the military under the DREAM Act
I’m sorry, but where’s Aubrey Sarvis of SLDN, for instance, who has actually served in the military and has bucked the WH and the Hill to be very outspoken on DADT repeal? Where are the vets who accompanied Lady Gaga? Hmm. Do you think tender egos related to the latter had anything to do with this?
I’m sure many little Beltway birdies will be dropping messages to me and I will have more details on this travesty tomorrow.
Speaking of Harry Reid’s office, all I could say about the Senate Majority Leader after reading this was “Oh, f*ck no.” (The Politico):
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had an unusual form of praise for New York’s junior senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, this morning at the fundraiser Mayor Bloomberg hosted for him at his townhouse – referring to her as the “hottest” member as she sat just a few feet away, according to three sources.
Meanwhile, check out Joe Sudbay’s latest post “Olbermann talks the hurdles facing DADT repeal with Richard Socarides“:
UPDATE @ 10:39 PM: Shortly after I wrote this post, I was informed by someone involved with this process that the White House is not lobbying fence-sitting senators to reach the magic 60 votes. Here’s what I was told:
As we all know, without a fierce effort and person-to-person advocacy from Obama himself (or at least his senior-most staff), Senators have little reason to change their minds and support debating the Defense Authorization bill. Never did I think I’d see the day when Lady Gaga would do more to advocate for repeal of DADT than our president who campaigned on equality.
It’s stunning really. And, they wonder why the base is depressed.