Sen. Joe Lieberman is President Obama’s personal pick to lead the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal in the Senate. The Connecticut lawmaker yesterday showed off he was taking the gig at least semi-seriously, by introducing the Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2010. You would think that, given DADT is so controversial, Lieberman might have spoke with the White House about strategy, and all the different ways they could go about initiating a repeal. You would be wrong.
One of the ways lawmakers could repeal DADT is by appending such action to the Defense Department’s annual budget re-authorization bill, considered by many a senator to be the only real chance at gittin’ ‘er done. That’s how “controversial” Matthew Shepard Act passed. A standalone bill, while admirable, just doesn’t stand as likely a chance of moving forward, this argument goes. This argument is also a sound one: When Lieberman (and Sens. Carl Levin, Mark Udall, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Roland Burris) introduced the bill yesterday, they did so without any Republican support, which will be necessary for its passage. And while Lieberman says, in what’s “really a guess,” that he’d have 50 votes for the bill if the Senate voted on it tomorrow, there are plenty of skeptics, including us, and a one Sen. Carl Levin.
So surely Lieberman and Obama have discussed other ways to repeal the discriminatory law?
“I haven’t had the chance to talk to the White House about the idea of putting it into the defense authorization bill,” Lieberman says. “But in their request to ask me to take the lead on this, they’ve been very clear that this is important to the president.”
So important that they haven’t even spoke — sorry, had the “chance to talk” — about a Plan B? That if the Military Readiness Enhancement Act fails (and many expect it to stall endlessly in committee), there isn’t another way to go about this? (For what it’s worth, Lieberman says he and Levin, the Armed Services Committee chairman, have spoken “preliminarily” about adding it to the defense budget bill.)
When we rattled of a list of reasons why Lieberman was wrong for the DADT repeal job, we mentioned “stupidity.” Enjoy.