Yesterday I posted an item about an Action Alert that was issued by the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, asking people to call their senators and urge them to support an amendment that would begin the process of repealing “don’t ask don’t tell.” In my post, I suggested that neither of Texas’ two senators, Republicans John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison, is at all likely to support the amendment. But Dave Gainer, a board member for SLDN who lives in Tarrant County, says I shouldn’t be so pessimistic — at least not when it comes to Hutchison. In fact, Gainer says there’s hope that if she hears from enough people, Hutchison “just might do the right thing.” Here’s his message:
First, thanks for making people aware of the call to action! Many have worked hard over 17 years to make repeal happen. The next obstacle is the Senate floor vote. There are battles that will follow IF AND ONLY IF the repeal language makes it out of the Senate. While I have not met directly with our senators, I have met with their staff. I think there is hope that Senator Hutchison just might do the right thing! After all, she represents 20 million people of which about 70 percent support repeal according to last month’s Gallup Poll http://www.gallup.com/poll/127904/Broad-Steady-Support-Openly-Gay-Service-Members.aspx#2
That’s a huge number of people! And a heck of a lot of votes. I think she needs to hear directly from her constituents should she doubt the polling numbers. I wouldn’t give up on her just yet — give her a chance to hear from all of us first! I encourage everyone to reach out to her, express their individual support and remind her that this Bill places IMPLEMENTATION of repeal back into the lap of the DOD and the White House. Congress tied their hands in 1993 and, as the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs have said – repeal is the right thing to do.
If no one calls from the pre-repeal side, she has no choice but listen to those who do call from the other side. Let’s give her a chance to vote from a position of knowledge. Then, if she fails, we can give up.
As I said yesterday, I’ve left messages for the press folks in both Cornyn’s and Hutchison’s offices inquiring about their positions on DADT repeal, but thus far I have received no response. The number for Cornyn’s Washington office is 202-224-2934, and the number for Hutchison’s is 202-224-5922.