GOP Senators Promise Capitol Hill Constipation On DADT Unless Democrats Give ‘Em Their Tax Cuts

You know those bratty kids at your cousin's wedding whose parents never seem to be around to STFU and learn some manners? That's how the Republican senators are acting today, signing a letter threatening to immediately end yesterday's bipartisanship hoax and shut down the chamber unless Democrats give in on Bush-era tax cuts. Which means they won't do anything about Don't Ask Don't Tell as part of the Pentagon spending bill. Are the Dems still unable to spin this as a Republican attempt to hurt our troops? C'mon, let's play the spin game with 'em!


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Kerry Eleveld’s takes ‘A View from the Hill’ to the air, discussing DADT

The Advocate’s Kerry Eleveld writes a weekly column, A View from the Hill, to which we often link. This week, The Advocate started a tv show by that same name. Yes, Kerry is on the air. The shows first segments are online now. The full video is here. I appeared on a panel to discuss DADT with SLDN’s Aubrey Sarvis and Mike Sozan, the Chief of Staff to Senator Mark Udall. We talked about the prospects, the pitfalls and the politics.

Here’s the full clip of our panel. It sets the stage for what will unfold next week:




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Kerry Eleveld’s ‘A View from the Hill’ goes broadcast

In this feature, “The Death of DADT?”, The Advocate’s Eleveld, our eyes and ears on the Hill, discusses DADT repeal before the end of the year with insiders.

The inaugural episode of A View From the Hill With Kerry Eleveld examines the prospect of repealing the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy before year’s end. Eleveld first sits down for a one-on-one with Richard Socarides, former aide to President Clinton. That segment is followed by a panel discussion with Washington insiders, including AmericaBlog’s Joe Sudbay, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network’s Aubrey Sarvis, and Mike Sozan, chief of staff to Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo).

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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Eleveld and Socarides talk DADT on ‘A View from the Hill’

Here’s another segment of The Advocate’s show, A View from the Hill. Kerry Eleveld and Richard Socarides have an in-depth discussion about DADT:




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H.E.R.O. and GetEQUAL confront McCain on Capitol Hill

Getting word from Capitol Hill that activists from H.E.R.O. and GetEQUAL showed up at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing to confront John McCain, who has positioned himself as the leading homophobe in Congress. McCain is filibustering the Defense Authorization bill over the DADT language.

I’ll have more details soon, but here’s background from the H.E.R.O./GetEQUAL press release:

This morning, supporters of H.E.R.O. and GetEQUAL confronted Senator McCain with images of past civil rights movements and the people who stood in their way, such as George Wallace and Bull Conor. They also held signs saying, “Senator McCain repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, do you want to be the next George Wallace?” and “Senator McCain repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, it’s not too late to change your legacy. “

“We have spoken loud and clear to Senator McCain and his staff that we are not going away until the Senator stops playing politics with the lives of our men and women in uniform,” said Jimmy Gruender, co-chair of H.E.R.O. “Whether it is in Arizona or in our nation’s capitol, we will go anywhere, at any time of day to deliver the message to our Senator that he is standing on the wrong side of history and is betraying the patriotic men and women willing to risk their lives for their country.”

The Arizona-based H.E.R.O., made up of Senator McCain’s constituents, have performed two prior sit-ins at the Senator’s offices in Arizona. On both April 26 and May 11 of this year, H.E.R.O.’s members and supporters were arrested in Senator McCain’s district offices in both Tempe and Phoenix, Arizona. At both protests, H.E.R.O’s volunteers dropped off supplies for the troops currently serving overseas before commencing the act of civil disobedience. Senator McCain addressed the acts of civil disobedience on the campaign trail, during a town hall earlier this year. You can find out more information about H.E.R.O. at: www.herophoenix.com.

“Senator John McCain is more interested in placating the McCain-Palin wing of the Republican party than he is in supporting our men and women in uniform,” said Robin McGehee, co-founder and director of GetEQUAL. “My advice to Senator McCain is that he spend a little more time learning about equality from his wife and daughter and a little less time listening to the extreme wing of his party. When 80 percent of the American people, the Joints Chiefs of Staff, military leaders, and active-duty servicemembers all agree that it is past time we stop the firing of critical military personnel, you can be assured that you’re standing on the wrong side of history. For that matter, he should watch campaign footage of himself in 2008 where he said if those same groups of people agreed on repeal, he’d support their decision – well, the time is now.”

Gruender said, “We urge all members of the LGBT community and our allies to continue to pressure the United States Senate and make your voices heard that we will continue to hold them accountable and we expect their approval of the National Defense Authorization Act, containing language that would continue the process of repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ Any Senator hell-bent on stopping the repeal should take notice. They may be focused mostly on their own job protection in November, but our focus is on protecting those servicemembers around the world who are continuing to serve under the outdated, discriminatory ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ law.”




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Today is SU’s ‘Final Assault’ On Capitol Hill

Today, Servicemembers United is hosting a lobby day for supporters of DADT repeal. It’s called the “Final Assault.” That’s an appropriate name, because the next few days could make or break the effort to end DADT. If we can’t even get the compromise DADT language passed, we’re in trouble.

Today, they’ll be working the Hill to get Senators on board. And, they’ve clearly laid out the ask:

1) OPPOSE a motion to strike the repeal amendment from the bill
2) OPPOSE any replacement or substitute repeal amendment
3) OPPOSE any attempt to modify the repeal amendment in the bill
4) OPPOSE any filibuster attempt
5) SUPPORT final passage of the bill

The first hurdle is the filibuster attempt. As we reported yesterday, McCain is planning to block the Defense Authorization bill from even getting to the floor. Yep, choosing his own personal prejudices and homophobia over legislation to fund our troops and our military operations during two wars. The vote to end the filibuster should come next Tuesday. It is going to be a big test.

Support SU’s efforts today. You’ve got the talking points. Call your Senators. Like these young people in Colorado did. The Senate switchboard number is 202-224-3121.




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—  John Wright