Does the Sky Fall If the Senate Doesn’t Include a DADT Repeal in the Defense Budget Bill?

Not necessarily, says wise guy Aubrey Sarvis of SLDN. But only if the House get its act together. While the Senate Armed Services Committee won’t vote unless Chairman Carl Levin knows he’s on a team with 15 supporters, “[i]f the House were to approve repeal,” reports GCN, “Levin would be an influential player in the Conference Committee tasked with resolving House-Senate differences in the authorization measures. Hopes of prevailing there, Sarvis argued, are ‘not just pie-in-the-sky with the committee chair on board.’” Might that actually make for a wiser strategy?

“SLDN is also aiming to achieve action on the House side by late May, but there the route is different. In the Senate, McCain could lead a filibuster of any floor amendment with just 41 votes; if Levin inserts repeal through committee action, repeal opponents would need 51 votes. Amendments in the House, where there is no filibuster procedure, can be approved with a simple majority — which is a good thing since the climate on the Armed Services Committee there is considerably less hospitable than in the Senate.” Indeed. Sen. Ike Skelton, the Missouri Democrat, chairs the House’s committee, and he enjoys himself some DADT.

Meanwhile, there’s the Rep. Patrick Murphy factor.

Sarvis took particular note of the leadership provided by Pennsylvania’s Patrick Murphy, the two-term Democrat who is shepherding the repeal effort in the House. An Iraq War veteran, Murphy narrowly defeated GOP Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick in 2006 and will face his former opponent again this fall in a race where the Republicans have already made the Democrat’s support for repeal an issue.

“He doesn’t back away,” Sarvis said of Murphy’s commitment on repeal. “It’s just a matter of time,” the SLDN leader said, before Murphy goes to Hoyer and Pelosi to argue that having gambled his career on winning repeal, he expects to get a floor vote. “Hoyer’s pushback will be, ‘Do you have the votes?,’” Sarvis said, adding that if Murphy can confidently show he’s within five votes of victory, “The speaker ought to be able to whip at least ten votes,” something Pelosi did twice in the healthcare push.

(If you’re truly interested in the backroom dealings, we strongly encourage you to read the rest of Paul Schindler’s report. It’s one of the most in-depth pieces on strategy we’ve seen of late, and it’ll educate you more about how activists are working on lawmakers than any press release HRC ever sends.)

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  • AndrewW

    Unfortunately, DADT is DOA until after November and the mid-terms. Then, it looks even worse.

    Thank GetEqual for heckling the President and doing childish stunts. Pissing on our friends has consequences.

    This November is going to look a lot like 1994 – Bill Clinton. We’ll be starting over again.

  • Steve

    I suspect many people consider themselves “moderate”, and are concerned about the extremists. The Republican party seems to be running toward the extreme right wing, and telling the moderates that the are not welcome in the part any more. They make a lot of noise, but I don’t see them getting nearly as many votes without their moderate friends.

    The current Democrats seem to be running toward the moderates. The “progressives” in the Democratic party are not happy, and many of them feel like they are getting nothing from the Democrats any more. But, if the Democrats can attract a good number of the moderates who used to call themselves Republicans, the mid terms could work out well for the Democrats.

    It all depends on the “moderates”. They are the swing voters whenever the two parties are perceived as being “left” and “right”. The fact that the two parties are really “right” and “extreme right”, at least from my point of view, is beside the point. The will both triangulate on the people who are in the middle, and ignore the people in their “base”.

    The gay-agenda items, like repealing DADT, are inconvenient for the Democrats. If they actually repeal DADT, it could push some of those moderates away. So, I expect, they won’t repeal DADT.
    At least, not before this election. There are still more bigots than gays, and some of those bigots are among the “moderates”, so the politicians will not do anything to push them away.

    There might be a few Democrats in “safe” districts, who can afford to do something for us. But, the majority of Congressmen will do nothing. And, that majority is what counts.

  • Michael @


    You can count on three things always coming back: cockroaches, anal warts, and Andrew.

  • Jon

    You are a dumbass. Agree or disagree with GetEQUAL that’s fine, but their actions are either neutral or positive, not negative. Get real.

  • Cam

    No. 1 · AndrewW said….

    Unfortunately, DADT is DOA until after November and the mid-terms. Then, it looks even worse.

    Thank GetEqual for heckling the President and doing childish stunts. Pissing on our friends has consequences.

    This November is going to look a lot like 1994 – Bill Clinton. We’ll be starting over again.


    Obama ALWAYS said that we wouldn’t have a repeal this year. congress used to say the same thing. Suddenly they are arguing about a repeal. If anything our situation has improved so your comment makes no sense. Additionally, you may call people who ignore you, don’t return your calls, and make deals behind your back your friends, but that makes me sad for the kind of friendships you must have had in your life.

  • AndrewW

    @Cam: How has it improved Cam? For the first time, the White House said “we’re going to wait for the Study” two days AFTER GetEqual heckled the President.

    Barney Frank and many other have expressed the same concern about these childish publicity stunts.

  • Michael @


    And the cockroach is back already.

    Noble try, Cam, but because Andrew has never had any friends, just fellow asylum inmates, he spends every waking moment TROLLing the Blogosphere, purposely saying cretinous-on-their-face things to provoke people into ping pong matches with him because he’s so desperate for attention. And like every childlike, emotionally dysfunctional person, he’s learned that negative attention is easier to get than positive.

    He’s so desperate that he’s now resorting to lying, claiming this Sunday’s major demonstration at the White House has been cancelled when it hasn’t.

    Anyone who keeps “feeding” him with a response will just give him an excuse to post some additional nonsense. Lesson my shrink uncle taught me: there’s no point in trying to reason with the mentally ill.

  • thomasAlex

    Obama said there would be a repeal this year, so we shall see.

  • AndrewW

    @thomasAlex: Obama said “I will work with Congress to real DADT.” Not there “would be a repeal this year.”

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