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Don’t Tell us it’s Democracy

December 9, 2010, 5:50 pm | Posted by Dan Nejfelt

Thirty-nine Senate Republicans and one Democrat just successfully filibustered repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, trumping the wishes of 57 Senators, a large majority of the American people (including people of faith), the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and President Obama. As a result, at least for now the military will continue its official policy of discrimination against LGBT Americans, flouting values of fairness and equality. In other words, a defiant minority used an anti-democratic (note small d) political maneuver to defy the American people’s (and the military leadership’s) desire to ensure that the American military reflects American values.

By the military’s own estimates, over 13,000 service members have been discharged because of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. I wonder how many of the 40 Senators who voted for this filibuster could look those patriotic men and women in the eye and say “you don’t deserve to serve”? As I said earlier today, some days Congress lives up to its enormous moral responsibilities. Today was not one of those days.

It looks like the Senate will take another crack at this before the end of the lame duck session though, as Senators Reid, Collins and Lieberman have introduced a new, stand-alone bill to repeal DADT, which should come to a vote before the end of the lame duck session. Hopefully next time a few more Senators find it in themselves to put principle above political maneuvering.

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