SHOCK: Joe Lieberman + Obama Haven’t Even Discussed Ending DADT via Defense Spending Bill

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.

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  • Brian En Guarde

    The Democratic Party has taken our vote for granted. We have always fallen in line, and blindly agreed to any excuse for delay they have produced. But after the 2010 midterms, REPEAL COULD BE GONE FOREVER so NOW IS THE TIME TO PUT PRESSURE ON THE WHITE HOUSE.

  • Joey

    Err…I don’t think ENDA has passed…I believe the law you intended to reference was the Hate Crimes legislation.
    Correct me if Im wrong, but Im pretty sure I could still be fired from my job because im gay in certain (majority?) US States.
    A tad bit more research please, Queerty. You can give me a paying job and I’ll research for you to your big ‘ol hearts content. Mmm’Kay?

  • Joey

    I have to add one more (long) thing. I think Good ‘Ol Joe isn’t going to do a damn thing the right way on this. I mean get real, the mans been doing this for a while…he knows how these “contravertial” issues get shot down…he’s going about this, this way, on purpose. Obama’s a prick for giving it to him, because Joe’s being voted out this year. I promise! I’m from CT, and I’m sure-as-shit note giving him my vote, as are many many people I know. I think the fact that Joe got elected as a dem, and flipped to an independant and promised to filibuster healthcare has upset a majority of the people here in CT. We want reform. I think the majority of constituants here in New England, in general, want healthcare reform. Scott Brown sitting in the senate in no way signals a shift in the majority of New Englanders party affiliations, or a decent of our quite liberal leanings. It just shows that we’re all (in general) pissed at the lack of balls democrats display and the fact that they take their bases for granted. I mean come on..Martha Coakley was on vaca at a critical point of her election…and that pissed enough people off to vote for douche-Brown. She bit the hands that would have fed her and was punished. But trust, that man will never get away with voting for conservative policies…it’s just not what the majority of his state (MA) stands for. Anyway, Joe heading this up is already set for failure. He knows he’s not getting re-elected…hence his lack of convo with the Pres. Hence his submission of a stand-alone bill. He knows this is going to fail, just like him, and thats why he didn’t go via Defense Spending Bill. It really does make sense…to me anyway. No Joe after 2010!

  • Rob

    Why is this surprising? It’s been clear that a repeal of DADT won’t occur until next year. Obama signaled that last year. The whole committee to investigate the repeal won’t finish its work for a year. Right?

    Frankly, I’d rather see ENDA passed this year. That’s less controversial and would help more people.

  • Brian NYC

    This whole affair has been a charade.

    There aren’t enough votes in the US Senate – not even close. They are pretending while raising money. That means Democrats, HRC all the other promoters.

    If we need 4-5 US Senators to even have a chance of passage, what’s the Plan? There is NO plan. They’re all just trying to make it look like they’re working hard fighting the battle.

    HRC sent a fund-raising request this morning that said “we’re done waiting” and “hundreds of HRC volunteers are storming Congress face-to-face today.” They, Joe Solmonese asked for donations. Wtf?

    The letter said WE need to call our Members of Congress. I suggest we all call Senator Robert Byrd – HRC and others have been softening him up for 57 years. He still hasn’t changed his mind, but we must be down to the last few thousand calls, right? He should be the easiest target.

    DADT is DOA in the US Senate. This after decades of lobbying. But, we continue to be told lobbying works – just ask Robert Byrd.

  • wondermann

    Why try to make this more than it is? Always stirring up foolishness

  • Michael J. Ditto

    There is plenty of Republican support for this. That is not the issue whatsoever.

    The Senate for once is not the problem. The problem is Ike Skelton in the House.

    Which is why it has to be done on the defense spending bill, initiated in the Senat. Because Ike Skelton (chairman of the House Armed Services Committee) will never allow it to come to the floor on its own.

  • InExile

    The problem, as usual is absolutely zero leadership from the White House on anything!

  • Brian NYC

    @Michael J. Ditto: There are less than 50 US Senators that support the repeal of DADT. I would call THAT the BIG PROBLEM.

  • chapeau

    It is a fucking insult is what it is !!

  • Brian NYC

    Reported today:

    “Earlier this week, Defense Secretary Robert Gates released the initial plan of action that will prepare the military for the potential repeal of the 17-year-old law, which he first recommended at a Senate hearing last month.

    The March 2 memo, which was issued to a cadre of military leaders, noted that if Congress repeals the law, “strong, engaged and informed leadership will be required at every level to properly and effectively implement a legislative change. To be successful, we must understand all issues and potential impacts associated with repeal of the law and how to manage implementation in a way that minimizes disruption.”

    Gates said the Pentagon will undertake a wide-ranging study, led by Pentagon General Counsel Jeh Johnson and Army Gen. Carter Ham, commander of the U.S. Army in Europe, to examine years of research on the issue and ascertain how “military readiness, military effectiveness and unit cohesion” could be impacted by the repeal of the law.

    The report, due Dec. 1, will also include recommendations for the effective implementation of the repeal.

    The “report” won;t even be finished until December 1st. By then the political landscape will have changed dramatically – it doesn’t look good. The votes in the US Senate are not there now and they are less likely to be there in December.

  • alan brickman

    democrats use gay rights to raise money then it back to being under the bus… why isn’t Michelle doing more instead of just wearing fashion?

  • Brian NYC

    @alan brickman: Because Michelle is more of a Christian than her husband. She thinks homosexuality is wrong. Her husband just uses us as pawns.

  • reason

    @alan brickman: Last time I checked Michelle is not a politician, bringing a politicians spouse into the fray is about as low as you can go. If you attack the president that’s one thing, he chose to run for elective office; his wife, kids, family, and friends did not.

    @Brian NYC: Before you let to much mud loose, you should examine your comments because they are a bit unfounded…

    “It’s been five years since Lawrence v. Texas and 39 since Stonewall, and we’ve still got work to do before we achieve equality”

    “Discrimination has no place in a nation founded on the promise of equality,”

  • InExile

    @reason: MEchelle was only interested in gay rights in Denver at a democratic convention side event for the LGBT community. After that, she forgot she was also a fierce advocate for equality.

  • Dirty Ole Man

    Mmmmm President Obama looks so sexy in that photo.

    What was this thread about again?

  • Brian NYC

    @reason: Don’t be so submissive. Michelle can remind her husband about homosexuality and Hell. That’s what Christians do. If he goes to far, she will reign him in.

Comments are closed.