December 18, 2010
By Adam Bink
As those of you following the previous thread on Senate cloture will know, repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” statute just passed the full Senate, 65-31. If my math is correct, without looking at a roll call, we picked up Sens. Ensign and Burr compared to the 63-33 cloture vote this morning.
As to the question of why Sens. Ensign and Burr would switch from nay to yea votes, their offices may release statements explaining that. I know Sen. Ensign is part of the Republican leadership, who often stick together on close cloture votes. Or minds may have been changed over the span of a few hours. Or a lack of Courage (Campaign! rimshot!) on Senators’ parts. Of course, as many of you know, Sen. Ensign was on the swing vote list for weeks, and his office told Nevada LGBT activists some time ago that he would support repeal, which was quickly walked back. Lots of reasons. In any case, it’s not uncommon for folks to switch on final passage, but it is interesting.
I really do believe that all the pressure generated by you and everyone else who piled on did help make a difference. The same goes for the other 6 Republicans who voted in favor on cloture and final passage. There were 9 Republicans on the target list I’ve been publishing here for weeks, and we got 6… 7, if you count Ensign on final passage. As the last two years have shown, it is no easy task to get Republicans to support anything in the Senate. We got 6 when it mattered and 8 when it mattered a bit less. That is absolutely phenomenal. Pat yourself on the back.
The bill now proceeds to the President’s desk. Once it is signed, no one can serve openly until certification is complete. Which is what below’s e-mail is about. We’re going to push to make sure there’s no feet-dragging.
I’m going to sign off for the afternoon and catch up on sleep. Again, remarkable, huge, gigantic, BFD (as our Vice President would say) victory today. One that is 17 long years in the making.
Congrats. Let us drink from the keg of glory tonight.
Dear Adam —
The Senate just voted to pass the stand alone bill to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell!” Because of our work together, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is on the way to the dustbin of history. I’m elated and I’m somber: it’s a huge victory that would never have happened without every one of you.
But we ain’t done yet.
Courage Campaign is going to mount an effort to pressure the Obama Administration to quickly certify repeal- and we need your people-powered support. Will you give us $17 right now, one dollar for each year that DADT was law?
Here’s the skinny: the Senate vote was the last major legislative obstacle. Now the bill will head to President Obama’s desk for his signature. But even after the President signs this law, no one can serve openly. Certification is first required from the President, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and Secretary of Defense
It’s part of a backroom deal cut months ago, and it’s ridiculous. We’ve seen how the Administration has dragged their feet over the past two years on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. We can’t let that happen again. We have to mount a fight to finish the job, and we need your help.
Can you contribute $17 to show the Administration that we’re not going to stand for any more foot-dragging? We’ll put your money to work right away—through online ads, organizers, and phone banks that will remind this administration daily that the job is not done until they certify repeal.
You did this. And together, we’ll move from this victory to full equality in the months and years ahead.But we ain’t done yet. Contribute $17 to speed up the day when an openly gay American can walk into a recruiting station and say “I want to serve.”
P.S. Help us to build momentum for certification by sharing our message with your friends via Facebook or by simply forwarding this message to 5 friends.
The Courage Campaign is a multi-issue online organizing network that empowers more than 700,000 grassroots and netroots supporters to push for progressive change and full equality in California and across the country.To support our work to repeal DADT, please chip in what you can today:
UPDATE BY ANDY:
As Ben Smith notes over at Politico, Senator Burr released the following statement, explaining his decision to vote against cloture, but for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” once it made it past debate:
Given the generational transition that has taken place in our nation, I feel that this policy is outdated and repeal is inevitable. However, I remain convinced that the timing of this change is wrong, and making such a shift in policy at a time when we have troops deployed in active combat areas does not take into consideration the seriousness of the situation on the ground. But, the vote this morning to invoke cloture on this bill indicated that the broader Senate was prepared to move forward with a change, and despite my concerns over timing, my conclusion is that repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is the right thing to do.
The potential impact of such sentiment by the Republican Senator from North Carolina goes to show that hearts and minds towards lesbian and gay Americans are changing every day. And that the work we are doing here together matters.