Joe Lieberman: We’ve Got 60 Repeal Votes in The Bag, Yo

I am confident that we have more than 60 votes prepared to take up the defense authorization with the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ if only there will be a guarantee of a fair and open amendment process, in other words, whether we’ll take enough time to do it.

—Sen. Joe Lieberman, taking the mic with 13 Senate Democrats by his side, insisting there are enough votes to push through a DADT repeal whether McCain likes it or not. The trick to bring on Republican support? Having Harry Reid grant them enough time to bitch, which will be hard given the Senate’s tight lame duck schedule. (Something about taxes?)

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  • reason

    Harry should hold them through Christmas if that is what it takes. They pulled the cat out of the hat during healthcare with enough motivation they could do it again. The GOP’s main objective will be to stall everything, and then cry that they don’t have time to read the bills. As if the GOP read anything besides the list of beers at the bar.

  • T

    If they can do it they will have much more of my respect. The record so far has been lackluster.

  • Devon

    Filing this under “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

  • GayGOP

    One can only hope. Well, I think they’ve got Snowe, Collins, and Brown, at least for repeal from the GOP, which will counteract Ben Nelson’s likely no vote.

  • reason

    @GayGOP: Reid is trying to cut a deal with McConnell to shave down the time that it takes to 1 week, if the GOP knows it is inevitable the threat of missing Christmas may just force them to kick McCain out of the way. Looks like Obama call to tell Levin not to strip it out did some good. Putting it in the defense bill puts the GOP on a collision course with not funding the military. Murkowski said she is likely to vote for the bill that will give it enough votes, I would assume they could probably pull Lugar over also. The other side of the coin is the GOP leaders are afraid if the democrats hold to their guns and the bill doesn’t get passed the tea party is coming in, and they want to cut money from the defense budget. That means Boehner would miss out on all the cocktail parties that the defense industry hold. In all seriousness the GOP claims of being the party of fiscal conservatives is a bunch of smoke, and the idea of them cutting stuff out of a bloated defense bill come next January scares the heck out of them more then gays. This will buy them time to wine and dine the tea party people into the arms of the lobbyist by the time the 2012 bill comes up this time next year.

  • Stefan

    @GayGOP: Um, Ben Nelson voted to end fillibuster last time. He also voted yes to add the repeal amendment to the bill in the Senate Arms Service Committee.

  • Vermont

    My guess is that when the Dems begin debate on DADT they will have probably 58 votes. (Depending if the senator from Illinois who won the special election Mark Kirk is sworn in) I’m confident that Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln will vote in favor this time, unlike like time. So that puts us at question as to which Republicans will actually vote in favor.

    Top guesses are Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine. That’s 60. To secure real success and confidence there might be votes coming in from other Repub. Senators such as George Voinovich, Richard Lugar, Lisa Murkowski, Scott Brown.

    Then there are the potential senators that might vote in favor. I’m mainly looking at George LeMieux. and Jim DeMint.

    Just kidding about the last part lol.

  • reason

    @Vermont: Sounds about right to me. You may get a few surprises, I think it’s going to be hard for some war-hawks to vote against a defense appropriations bill if it is going to pass. They may have sat around and blocked it, but at the end of the day if it is going to be passed they want to be able to turn to the defense contractors and tell them I have always been at your service.

  • Steve

    It takes 60 votes to amend the text of a bill, and the repeal of DADT is in the current text. But, to also takes 60 to pass the bill, so it only takes 40 to block the entire bill from passage.

    What happens if the Senate does not pass the Defense Authorization Bill?

  • reason

    @Steve: It will take 60 votes to get over the procedural hurdles, but it will only take 51 votes to pass with the vice president as the tie breaker.

    If the bill doesn’t pass the U.S. Military goes unfunded into 2011, and all hell breaks loose with the incoming congress. Paychecks, equipment, health care everything will be at risk. Believe it or not the GOP dreads such a prospect, the last thing they want is a civil war over defense spending as soon as they retake power in the house especially when the military would be bleeding through reserves.

  • jason

    If DADT repeal doesn’t pass one way or another, Obama won’t win re-election. His electoral chances in 2012 depend on it passing. Why is that? We in the GLBT community carry a lot of passion with us. If we think a President is truly helping us, we’ll go all out to have him elected. If he lies to us and cheats us, we’ll never forgive him. As a community, we carry a lot of intellectual clout.

    There was once a time when we used to settle for second best, such as when Bill Clinton went back on his word to allow gays to serve openly. No more. We want to be treated as equal American citizens and we won’t tolerate being lied to by either Democrats or Republicans.

  • Casey

    Even if DADT is passed, Obama has another thing coming if he thinks that will secure the gay vote at the next election.

    His pre-election promises also included the ending of DOMA and the passing of ENDA. Those are FAR more important than DADT.

    DADT is the immediate focus. But I’d like to remind everyone what a pathetic disappointment and a liar Obama has been thus far.

    He is getting active on DADT as he knows that he has no choice.

    He must understand that if DADT and DOMA remain and that ENDA does not pass, then we are going to hold him personally accountable.

    The time of allowing the Democrats to throw us under the bus has gone. The time of HRC and their quisling Uncle-Tommery is over.

    We must hold them accountable.

  • jason


    I totally agree with you.

    We need to tell Democratic politicians that our vote is up for grabs. We will not tolerate being treated as “in the bag” votes by the Democrats. The reason why Democrats have failed to deliver on gay rights is that they treat our vote as if it’s “in the bag” – signed, sealed and delivered, and without anything coming our way in return.

    Message to the Democratic Party hierarchy:


  • reason

    @Casey: EDNA was the administrations first priority, as they were focused on the economy and thought EDNA would benefit the GBLT community more. GAY inc. and this community pushed the administration to do DADT first, so that is what we are getting. If you really think we should have all those things now you clearly don’t understand anything about government. Very slim chance for EDNA to happen during his first term, and DOMA would be a long shot if he is a two term president. You can scream and cry all the way past 2012 but that is not going to change the facts. If the community wanted those things they would have been fighting to get dems reelected. Honestly the party doesn’t need you, reelection depends on the economy. The growing Hispanic vote will easily replace yours, so if you think the administration is trying to pass DADT for votes you are sadly mistaken. This is being pushed becuase the president is genuinely trying to accomplish what he said he would try to do. Granted this community is not a one issue voting block the democrats will still take the majority of the votes. A huge section of the community barley pays any attention to politics let alone GBLT politics, they just know they agree with the democrats the majority of the time and will vote for them.

  • kayla

    Let me get this straight, if all you get is the repeal of DADT by the next presidential election, the gay community will not vote for Obama, but for a Republican like Palin, Pawlenty, Barber or Romney who would not have signed the repeal into law, and who might have actually worked with the Repubs to have placed into the constitution of the United States an amendment banning all gay marriages? Is that about right?? YOu people are genius!! Go ahead show those damn Dems!!

  • kayla

    You guys are right, if only McCain had become president, gay people would be in the streets rejoicing!! He would surely have ended DOMA and DADT!! Oh wait, isn’t McCain one of the reasons it’s so had to get DADT repealed? Aren’t the Repubs, especially the new Tea Party set virulently anti-gay? Isn’t the reason the Dems are trying to pass this before next year because come January, and the Repubs take over the House and gain more seats in the senate, the repeal will have as much chance as pigs flying?? But hey don’t mind me, vote Republican, you’ll surely get better results, they just LOVe the gays!!

  • Daez

    @jason: Didn’t the last election (see 2010) tell you that we have very little influence and can’t even get our own acts together as a “community.” With the amount of gays and lesbians that have pledged their support to the hatred of Obama at this point, he is actually better off if it doesn’t pass because we are the last people he should worry about.

    Also, if they spend so much time on this that they don’t get important things like rebuilding the economy and taxes through then they have wasted the time of everyone not just gays.

    The real question is why anyone would want to fight in a war led by a country that treats you like second class citizens that was started by one of the people that wanted to see you treated like third class citizens.

    DADT is a waste of time.

  • Daez

    @Casey: I agree, the gay people will all refuse to vote for Obama. Can you say President Palin 2012? Seriously, start thinking about it. Politics is about voting for the person you hate least not the person you like.

  • jason

    If we keep voting Democrat because they’re the lesser of two evils, we’ll never fucking get anywhere. The Democrats will keep treating us like the useful idiots that we are, which means they’ll pander to us before the election and ignore us after it.

    There comes a time in history when you have to say “enough’s enough”. The Democrats deserve a stint in purgatory if they don’t deliver us the rights they promised. Don’t forget this salient point: it was the Democrats who promised to deliver rights to us, not the Republicans. Therefore, it’s the Democrats from whom we are awaiting the signed contract, not the Republicans.

    If you want to keep voting Democrat because they’re the lesser of two evils, go right ahead. You’ll end up with more bruises on you than you care to imagine. Go flagellate yourself if you wish.

  • randy

    “If the bill doesn’t pass the U.S. Military goes unfunded into 2011, and all hell breaks loose with the incoming congress. Paychecks, equipment, health care everything will be at risk. Believe it or not the GOP dreads such a prospect, the last thing they want is a civil war over defense spending as soon as they retake power in the house especially when the military would be bleeding through reserves.”

    Exactly. That’s our leverage to keep this repeal on tract. Which means it’s absolutely insane for the Palm Center to suggest that DADT be removed from the bill.

    The other thing I am worried about are the amendments. If there is even just one week allowed, the GOP will pepper the repeal with all sorts of amendments to gut the repeal, such as no repeal until all wars are concluded, or repeal must take place slowly over five years, or accomodations must be made to any person who has a problem with gays. They can put all sorts of things in there that make actual repeal a farce.

  • customartist

    Republican House and Senate Members will be held fully accountable for voting against the will of the American People, against the Military Survey, and against DADT Repeal.

    They will try to abate progress by overwhelming the process with numerous amendments, but they have had a full year to “debate’ this and all of the related issues. Keeping in mind that Repeal has already passed the House.

    Bigots are seen clearly for what they are, and their names will be made public in perpetuity, I assure you. History is already written for all practical purposes. Which Members will attach their names to it is just yet the unknown dynamic.

    Email Congress:

    Email Senate:

    Call the Congress and Senate: (202)224-3121

    *The Operator will direct you if you do not know your representative

    Make your calls and letters to Congress polite and to the point.

  • robert in nyc

    Harry Reid only today told Obama that he will not support permanent tax cuts for the 2% rich, but is willing to grant cuts to the 98%. This is the m.o. the GOP will use, all or nothing on tax cuts, classic republican, the only thing they really care about so the conglomerates can continue paying only a maximum of 15% in corporate taxes and foreign corporations pour millions of dollars into GOP coffers to benefit their economies, one of them being China, a communist country that now has the second largest economy as a result of outsourcing of American manufacturing jobs. Foreign entities no longer have to disclose how much they donate or who they are, so now our elections are bought with foreign involvement in our election system. How un-American is it when we help the economy of a communist country with one of the worst human rights record of violations in history and a nation we’re already in debt to.

  • Brutus

    DO IT!

    And then we’ll let Casey and Jason move the goal posts again. “Oh, thanks for the Matthew Shepard Act and DADT, but what we really wanted was DOMA and ENDA, and you didn’t do those, so you’re a bigot.”

    DADT is actually the most important. A culture truly begins to accept a class of people as part of that culture when they are seen openly fighting to defend that culture. It’s basic tribalism. It’s a lot harder to say “I’m going to fire you because you’re gay” when your employee spent eight years risking his life overseas to protect your sorry ass.

  • Brutus


    “Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat of New Hampshire, said that the demands for a fair amendment process were simply cover for efforts by Mr. McCain and others to block repeal of the policy.”

    No shit.

  • whatever

    @jason: God you are stupid. Gays as a voting bloc don’t wield power. Whether DADT is repealed or not doesn’t affect Obama’s re-election chances. His chances hinge solely on the unemployment rate in this country in the summer of 2012.

  • reason

    @robert in nyc: That was my original thought, that the GOP would try to force through tax cuts in exchange for DADT and possible the DREAM Act. Although like I said the GOP maybe bluffing with the Defense Authorization bill. The GOP is the party of don’t tax but borrow and spend, the tea party not so much. John Boehner is not looking forward to there arrival and certainly doesn’t want their prints on this bill. Like the typical hypocrite after throwing Charlie Rangel over the barrel and firing shots it his back, Boehner wants to get rid of the ethics panel now that they are in office.

  • robert in nyc

    No. 26, Reason…I agree. The party of NO has a long history of borrowing to offset tax cuts and almost always leaves office with the highest deficits in history that are passed along to the middle class and the poor, both of which they don’t give a damn about. Once they’re booted out they then leave their mess to the democrats to clean up but blame then anyway. That’s what we’ve been seeing in the past 23 months, not that I’m defending the democrats dismal performance in certain areas (I’m a registered Green), but they forget this economic meltdown happened under Bush’s watch and it was he in fact who started the first bailout stimulus package. The GOP of course takes NO responsiblity for that but dumps it on the democrats. Yet…not a word on unlimited spending for defense. So much for their phoney stance on government spending too much when its they who leave the country with the highest deficits, living now and paying later and its the ordinary workers of this country who get shouldered with the bill.

    In a way, I’m glad the Tea Baggers are out there, as obnoxious and out of touch they are with reality because its going to weaken the GOP in getting its agenda through. The Tea Baggers’ darling, Rand Paul, has already begun to flip flop on debt ceilings. Its going to be very interesting to see how this all pans out especially since Mitch McConnell’s relationship with Paul is very strained and they’re ideologically opposed on several issues. We’ll see a lot of in-house fighting among the GOP and their offshoot wackos which can only benefit the democrats in the long run. When middle class workers start to see the GOP continue its policy of no for the next years and banning an extension of unemployment benefits come December, then they’ll have a tougher time trying to take back the senate in 2012. How much longer can they keep on obstructing everything that benefits workers and the unemployed?

  • robert in nyc

    No. 26, Reason…I agree. I don’t see how the GOP can expect to take back the senate in 2012 if its going to end the unemployment benefit extension for more than 2 million people and filibuster tax cuts for 98% of the middle class and the poor. Its obscene to give indefinite tax cuts to the wealthiest 2% who don’t need it and which does nothing to stimulate the economy or create jobs, not while outsourcing continues to soar. They’ll pay a heavy price come 2012. They’ll plunge us deeper into debt and then turn around when election time comes around and blame it on the democrats. Virtually no jobs were created when Bush gave tax cuts to the wealthiest, they all ended up in China and elsewhere and that’s not going to change. They NEVER explain how they’ll pay for the cuts either. At least the democrats do, not that I’m enamored of them. Voodoo reaganesque trickle-down economics never worked and never will. It certainly didn’t under 8 years of Bush 43. All it brought us was runaway borrowing and corruption on Wall Street, all down to THEM. Expect more of that in the next two years, I guarantee it.

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