And that would probably kill it. Fortunately, Reid filed for cloture (to end the filibuster), and the vote should be on Saturday.
Publicly, President Barack Obama has reaffirmed his support for repealing the policy this year. But the White House is quietly pushing far more aggressively for the new START treaty, signaling it may be open to punting the “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal until after the new year if it can get enough GOP votes on the treaty for ratification, according to several senators and Democratic aides.
“I’ve heard rumors of that, but it would be unconscionable,” said Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), a leading repeal advocate in the Senate. “It really would be immoral because we have fought hard for this for a long time. It’s wrong, and we have to change it, and we’ve got the votes. And we can’t let people run the clock out on us when we’re talking about basic American rights.”
Then there’s this:
Senate Democrats say they could not sustain the attacks from the left if they didn’t do everything in their power to push a vote on repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Others say the gay community and the Democratic base would be understanding if they couldn’t get a bill done this year.
“I have a lot of people in Nebraska who are supportive of repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ but they don’t hold against you what you can’t do,” said Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, a Democrat up for reelection in 2012. “I think they’ll look and see who’s been holding it up, who’s been against it, who’s been dilatory, whos’s been obstructionist on that and other things and [they will] hold them accountable.
Trust me. If DADT isn’t repealed this year, there will be attacks and they will be sustained, and they won’t just be against Republicans. This was the President’s strategy, and the Democrats went along with it – and so did HRC. They own this baby. They didn’t do squat on ENDA or DOMA, even though they promised.
They’d better make it work.