Sen. Collins says two wrongs make a right
Senate Republicans, along with several Democrats, filibustered repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell this afternoon in defiance of basic fairness, public opinion (including the vast majority of people of faith), and the wishes of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen, and President Obama. Most disappointing to me was Sen. Collins’s statement this morning about why she supported the filibuster:
“Now, Mr. President, I find myself on the horns of a dilemma. I support the provisions in this bill. I debated for them; I was the sole Republican on the Committee that voted for the Lieberman-Levin language on don’t ask, don’t tell. I think it’s the right thing to do, I think it’s only fair. I think we should welcome the service of these individuals who are willing and capable of serving their country. But I cannot vote to proceed to this bill under a situation that is going to shut down debate and preclude Republican amendments. That too is not fair. [emphasis added]
This rationale is particularly troubling because Senator Collins mentioned earlier in her remarks that more than 13,000 service members have been dismissed from the armed forces on the basis of their sexual orientation. She believes repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is the right thing to do, and she sees that the policy has forced thousands of people to be unfairly dismissed from their jobs, but she voted against her conscience because of procedural objections. In response to a political maneuver she believes is unfair, she voted in support of a policy she believes is morally wrong. And she admitted as much on the record. Amazing.