holding back

If Rep. Murphy Is 7 Votes Away from a DADT Repeal, Why Is Pelosi Killing Hope for a 2010 Push?

When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says “I don’t know” if Congress will repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell this year, is she just being honest, or completely lacking in conviction?

Probably both.

“I’ll have to examine [the proposal],” she told reporters yesterday. “We’ll take a look. We’ll sit down together and see what is the advantage of going first with legislation or would the legislation more aptly reflect what is in the review — or is it a two-step process?” Such naivety for a woman who in April was saying how there just wasn’t room to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.

But it’s high time Pelosi shared some of the blame for the utter immobility of lawmakers to pass equality legislation. Particularly because this year, with the mid-term elections, she already declared that any “controversial” bills are off the table (which includes immigration reform, a major issue for bi-national couples).

We’d like to think Pelosi’s demureness will come as a shock to Rep. Patrick Murphy, the Iraq vet leading the House’s fight to repeal DADT. He says he’s just seven votes shy of securing enough votes to kill the law.

All the more frustrating because, provided with the president’s State of the Union promise to work with Congress on a repeal, and Defense Sec. Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mullen telling the Senate they supported a repeal, Pelosi still doesn’t think there’s enough momentum to carry more “heavy lifting.”

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  • bondwooley

    Some day we’ll ask how anyone could have thought that any form of a communication gap in the military was a good thing.



  • Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"

    Unfortunately, selection of a speaker of the House is as much a homecoming king/queen contest for popularity mixed with seniority.

    Just because Pelosi is a Democrat and the first woman speaker does not mean that she is any good at the job. As much as our side hated the leadership that Newt Gingrich and Dennis Hassert steered the House during the Republican days, they never coddled to the Democrats and were quite effective in getting much of their agenda supported.

    Pelosi has been a disaster as a speaker; she does not know how to lead her own troops and gets bogged down every time a wingnut sneezes. Alas, Harry Ried, the Senate majority leader, is as ballsless.

    Thanks to shallow words and empty promises, and lack of any deeds, whether in regards to LGBT issues, health care reform, and rebuilding the economy, from Pelosi, Ried and Obama, “Democratic leadership” is an oxymoron. The Republicans are also fully aware of this and will magnify their counter-efforts to show exactly what bad leaders the Democrats are.

    Lewis Black had a line in a 2000s show: “The Republicans are the party of bad ideas while the Democrats are the party of no ideas.” Unfortunately for us, most Americans prefer any action that shows leadership over lack of action and lack of leadership.

  • PADude

    A fair number of us are DbD (Democrat by Default). For every equality achieved, the leverage to stay DbD reduces. For every crossover from the Republican party, the same happens.

    Given an even playing field (like that’ll ever happen, but a fellow can dream), we’d be all over the map because we, as a culture, are all over the map.

    The only way to keep the gay vote primarily (but hardly unanimously) Democrat is to keep dangling the carrot…but never deliver it.

    Consequently, as far as I’m concerned, it’s time for us to ignore the carrot…and start using the stick. In this case, the stick is votes and dollars.

  • Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"

    @No.3 PA Dude

    I had not heard DbD (Democrat by default) before and that so accurately defines me, my husband, and most of our gay friends. Short and to the point.

    B-t-w, is PA for Pennsylvania or Prince Albert?


  • PADude

    @Mike: Unsurprising, I just made it up. :-)

    Pennsylvania, not Prince Albert. I won’t comment on my feelings on the latter…

  • bbnicker

    She is so exasperating.

  • christian

    I am sick and tired of Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats who can’t find their head from their holes. I have been a big DNC supporter for over 20 years, a state delegate, an organizer and volunteer.

    I am so over the Democrats that I will NEVER send another dollar to them until they can get their shit together and start to ACT NOW on our issues before they blow it and it is too late and the quacknut Republicans are back in a majority. We are sick and tired of waiting Nancy Pelosi -get off your pompous thrown and do something. It is time for Democrates to throw out all these Do Nothing career DC lifetime Democratic members of Congress and replace them with fresh new people– Independents or Democrat or whatever.

  • geoff

    @christian: Could’nt have said it any better.

  • alan brickman

    women in politics are stepping up to become the biggest homophobes….she doesn’t like gays that much…it’s just that simple…

  • Paschal

    All Speaker Pelosi is saying is that she doesn’t know whether the repeal will occur. Don’t blame her or the Democratic party as a whole for the fact that some conservative Democrats and obstructionist Republicans can paralyse Congress. If Democrats lode control of Congress to Republicans, not only can you forget about repeal of D.O.M.A., Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, etc. you better be prepared to have rights taken away are at least under serious threat. Speaker Pelosi is not homophobis just for admitting the unfortunate truth.

  • Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"

    @No. 10 Paschal

    Sorry Paschal, but it was Pelosi who plotted for years to become leader of the House. That she fails to use the power of office, as supported by a solid majority of her party’s delegation, means that she is not an effective leader. And in the House, members of the minority can only be obstructionists when the majority allows it.

    I, and the other posters, are tired after enduring year after year of iron-fisted leadership of the Newt Gingrich and Dennis Hassert keeping their minority party, the Democrats, from interfering in the GOP’s agenda (tax cuts, ignoring the environment, the wars, etc.). Where is the leadership keeping the Democratic troops moving forward where the majority of Democrats, and indeed the nation as a whole when we went to the poll in 2008, want?

    Step aside Pelosi before you ruin all chances for a true Democratic leadership.

    If not, they more and more of us will take @No. 7 Christian’s steps; and then there won’t be a Democratic majority at all.

    No more excuses.

  • Chance

    Nothing new here. She’s just carrying through with exactly what she said she would do – NOTHING controversial in an election year if there is ZERO chance that the Senate will pass the bill. Because, unlike all of your imaginations, Rep. Murphy isn’t 7 votes away from DADT repeal, he’s 7 votes (maybe – remember, it’s 2010 and somehow courage disappears in an election year) shy of passing one version of a bill in the House which would then move on to DIE a SLOW DEATH in the Senate. We just don’t have the votes, even if Adm Mullen comes in and yells at the 100 old folks. Sorry.

    Pelosi’s pretty shrewd, in that respect. When the entire House is up for election, why put the good ones at risk when nothing’s going to come of it?

  • Mark

    It is time for Pelosi and Reid to step down and bring forward leadership that has intestinal fortitude to actually do something. The senate and congress are both in stasis. They do nothing and then carry on and on about not being time to do anything about DADT and DOMA. We need someone like President Johnson to say enough and just do it!

    The government is frozen and until someone has the courage and balls to stand up to the repugs and blue dogs, this country is doomed.

  • AndrewW

    Nothing LGBT-related can pass the US Senate. It’s that simple.

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