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Yesterday, all Republican Senators voted to block the Military Authorization Bill from being debated in the Senate. Two Democratic Senators, Pryor and Lincoln, both from Arkansas, joined the Republicans. The final vote to move the bill to the floor for debate was 56-43. Democrat Harry Reid, in a procedural vote which will allow him to reintroduce the bill, also voted no. 60 votes were needed to kill the GOP filibuster.
The Defense Authorization Bill contained the Dream Act provision and a provision to end Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT). The Dream Act is all about granting a pathway to citizenship for a small number of immigrants who were brought to the U.S. when they were children.
While the Dream Act is controversial with the wilder-eyed, extremists of the conservative persuasion, it is favored by 70% of Americans. So, it must have been the ending of DADT that isn't popular with Republican voters.....because that's what elected officals do, right?....represent the will of the people?
Not quite. Senator John McCain and his permanently attached sidekick, Senator Lindsey Graham, whined and moaned that everyone simply must wait until the military review suggesting how ending DADT would be implemented, is finished....as if the military, and not Congress, dictates the rules of lawmaking. But that was all a smokescreen by the Maverick and the Huckleberry. Defense Secretary Gates and the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mullin both agree that DADT should end.
The yearly Defense Authorization bill had never been filibustered before yesterday. So, why did it happen this time? Susan Collins (R-ME) blubbered on, as she often does, about that mean old man Harry Reid not allowing her and her GOP buddies to bring up amendments. A blubbering that contained not one iota of truth. Today, Collins is sobbing that Harry Reid just won't allow ENOUGH GOP amendments....poor dear.
Senators are narcississtic assh*les, aren't they?
Some might say that Republicans blocking the Defense Authorization bill were responding to their constituents who are against permitting gays to serve openly in the military. The problem with that is GOP voters are not against ending DADT. Republicans polled out at 62% in favor of ending DADT. Among all other groups of voters the numbers are closer to the 80% range.
So, why the GOP filibuster?
It's the Rush Limbaugh rule. Republicans and conservatives have been operating under Rush's rules for the last two years. After Barack Obama was elected President, Rush went up Mt. Sinai to commune with god. When Rush came down fom the mountain on Obama's inauguration day, he carried with him the new divine law. That law only had one commandment. That commandment was "Thou shalt make Obama fail."
Republican Senators blocked DADT from being voted on with the Defense Authorization bill yesterday because they do not want to allow President Obama to fulfill a campaign promise just before an important midterm election. Rush's rule. Wanting Obama to fail. Making it look like Obama is failing.
I don't think it's any more complicated than that.
Let's hope that Reid brings DADT and the Dream Act up again in the lame duck session after the election....and both pass. A vast majority of Americans, after all, want both measures to be passed into law.
So, how's that Rush commandment working out for Republican hopes of retaking Congress?
Glad you asked.....
Above are the results of Pollster.com's latest national congressional ballot polling. If you look closely at the last week or so, you will see the trend line moving upwards for congressional Democrats while the Republican-favoring line is trending downwards.
But it just gets better and better.
Congress' next step is to introduce difficult-for-Republicans tax legislation. GOP Senators are enraged about being forced to vote against tax cuts for 98% of Americans (Rush's commandment) ....while simultaneously feeling exposed by their intention to shill for the top 1.9%. Quite a pickle for Republicans, especially immediately before the midterm.
I'm sure Rush will know what to do.