December 1, 2010  

Foolish filibuster

TO THE SENATE for failing to pass the 2011 defense authorization bill. The Republican minority was so fixated on preventing a “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal that they filibustered the entire 2011 defense authorization bill to which this provision was attached. That has left the Pentagon and all of the services in a state of flux as they head toward the year’s end.

If the bill is not passed, it would be the first time in 48 years, and with so little time left, it opens up the possibility that the entire bill will be shelved. With urgent and critical work still to be done in Iraq and Afghanistan, that is an appalling and unacceptable state of affairs.

On “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal, this bloc — led by Sen. John McCain — leaves the Pentagon open to more court intervention similar to that which occurred in the fall. Leaving “don’t ask, don’t tell” to the courts is a recipe for trouble, regardless of which side you fall on the issue of gays serving openly.

The president and commander in chief began this journey when he promised to overturn “don’t ask, don’t tell” in his election campaign. It’s time he took the lead to get it out of the damaging quagmire it has become.