A Christmas party prevented it, but Democratic West Virginia senator Joe
Manchin says he would have voted against the repeal of “don’t ask,
don’t tell” had he been in Washington, D.C. this weekend. Advocate.com: Daily News
This afternoon, Senator Corker basically threatened to walk away from the START Treaty over “more campaign promise types of issues.” Corker claims the votes on DADT and DREAM are “poisoning the well” and he basically threatened to stop movement on the START Treaty.
Corker’s description of DADT as “partisan” is surprising in light of the increasing Republican support for the measure. Republican Senators Susan Collins (ME), Olympia Snowe (ME), Scott Brown (MA) and Lisa Murkowski (AK) have pledged to vote for the stand-alone repeal bill.
Corker said he hopes saner minds prevail. Yeah, we’re hoping that saner minds prevail.
Will Collins, Snowe, Brown and Murkowski play along with Corker or still vote for the standalone DADT bill.
This isn’t really a threat on Corker’s part. Rather, he’s saying — in a more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger way — that his GOP colleagues will be less likely to support START unless Reid drops his plan for DADT and DREAM votes right away.
Sen. Carl Levin is willing to be the grinch who steals Christmas to get Don't Ask Don't Tell's repeal pushed through, insisting Obama use his "bully pulpit" to pressure the Senate into reconfiguring its holiday break schedule so Republicans can prove they're willing to ruin Christmas to filibuster repeal. But Obama won't do that, 'cause his balls are smalls.
Sen. Joe Manchin, the only Democratic senator to vote against “don’t
ask, don’t tell” repeal, apologized for his vote and said this was not an issue
of whether he agrees with the law but “an issue of timing.” Advocate.com: Daily News
Sen. Jeff Sessions doesn't want to "add additional burden" to already over-stressed troops by forcing them to live with KNOWN HOMOSEXUALS, because continuing to send them into war zones is, like, rough y'all! But when asked by professional rabble-rouser Mike Stark — who gets off on asking politicians frank questions — whether that same policy should be adopted by schools nationwide, to keep straight athletes from "serving" with the peering eyes of gay teammates, Sessions responds that it's a "free country" and "everybody has a right to go to school regardless of their sexual orientation," while "the military's different." He's right: In high school athletics, you fight to win; in the armed forces, you, uh, fight to lose? So confusing!
The interviewer was trying to make a comparison between presumably tough soldiers and high school athletes who may be showering with gay students, but it’s not clear that Sessions really got the point.
Over at the Wonk Room, Igor Volsky reports on a tactic taken today by Sen. Mark Udall. Several of the top military brass testifying today indicated that they were hesitant to institute the repeal in a time of war.
Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) — a strong proponent of repeal — said that the amendment included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) offered the perfect compromise: the certification process provides the military with the flexibility not to implement repeal right away, while undermining the possibility that the courts would force the Armed Forces to act quickly. Every Service Chief agreed that they were comfortable that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates would take their concerns into consideration before certifying repeal and admitted that they could effectively implement the policy change.
Critics were quick to point out that such a compromise could stall the implementation of the repeal until the end of the Afghanistan war. (And longer, should other conflicts arise before then.)