“Don’t ask, don’t tell” probably not happening any time soon

Pentagon review or no, repeal of the discriminatory policy is probably a victim of GOP tax cut posturing

Topics: Don't Ask Don't Tell, War Room, 2010 Elections, Joe Lieberman, LGBT, Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Republican Party, U.S. Senate,

"Don't ask, don't tell" probably not happening any time soonFILE - In this June 16, 2010 file photo, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Congress returns with embattled Democrats torn between trying to show they have the answers to economic recovery and fearing the further wrath of voters over new government programs. It appears the fears will win out. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File) (Credit: AP)

Moderate Republicans won’t have to bother to actively come up with reasons to oppose the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” because I’m pretty sure that the infuriating debate over the method by which we’ll eventually extend the deficit-exploding Bush-era tax rates will consume the entirety of the lame duck session.

Joe Lieberman, who is in the right on this issue, says there are 60 votes for repeal, but he can’t say which Republican senators would actually vote to end a filibuster. He can’t say which ones would do that because, if the letter all of the Republican senators signed is any indication, not a single one of them — not Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, Dick Lugar, or Lindsay Graham — will vote to invoke cloture on anything until the Democrats finish caving entirely on extension of the Bush tax rates.

Democrats and Republicans may be close to some dispiriting compromise on the tax issue, but that compromise will be hammered out at some sort of bipartisan summit, and once the summit comes to an agreement (if it does!), both houses will have to vote on it, and by that point there’s not a chance in hell that the Senate will manage to overcome legislative obstruction by opponents of gay rights and have a vote on “don’t ask, don’t tell” before everyone adjourns for Christmas.

(Please remember that Mitch McConnell, who is much smarter and cannier than Harry Reid, does not want this Senate to accomplish anything besides extension of tax cuts for wealthy people, and one thing Mitch McConnell is quite good at, besides looking like a blobfish, is delaying things.)

And then next year, we get a brand-new Congress that will be markedly less friendly to the concept of equality.

So… waiting months for that Pentagon review to provide political cover for votes in support of a popular measure that might’ve already have the votes anyway seems like maybe a bad move, in hindsight.

Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at apareene@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @pareene

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

  • Recent Slide Shows



Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>