|Two special interest groups enter, one group leaves.
||[Saturday, Dec. 18th, 2010|11:23 pm]
The richest girl in town.
When I awoke this morning, hung over after a great Friday night that involved my company holiday party followed by singing at the Shoebox Studio Winter Showcase which was then followed by the Hubba Hubba Revue Chris-manukkah Spectacular, I rolled over to look at the clock on my nightstand and picked up my phone, charging beside the bed.
I opened Facebook and saw six posts in a row, all fewer than five minutes old, celebrating the imminent repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. The seventh post was about the defeat of the DREAM Act by House Republicans.
I couldn’t really get that excited about this “victory” for LGB* civil rights–a victory that revolves around participation in the U.S. military will always feel hollow to me–but what struck me was how obvious it seemed that this victory was a quid pro quo for demolishing the first progressive legislative attempt at immigration reform we’ve seen in at least a decade.
A friend of mine put it this way: “In 2010, the Senate IS Thunderdome.”
*Aside from the extent to which the T is casually tacked on without any regard for whether or not gender-queer and trans people, much less their concerns or best interests, are actually included, the abolition of DADT still doesn’t protect transgender people. You’d need to go to Australia or Canada for that.
Mirrored from www.laurenwheeler.com.
a victory that revolves around participation in the U.S. military will always feel hollow to me
Thank you for voicing that.
I don't understand the "quid pro quo" thing. Some Republicans did use the DADT repeal bill as an excuse to vote against DREAM, and START, and other things they didn't like anyway... literally saying "The Democrats offended me with this bill, so I'm not going to consider this other bill on its merits"... I mean, clearly they have no shame about describing themselves as petty children that way. But are you saying that if DADT repeal hadn't passed, Republicans would actually be voting differently now? Why would they?
Quid pro quo only makes sense if the other side has something you need. They don't need any help from Democrats to defeat legislation in the House.
I'm mentioning quid pro quo because repealing DADT was as much about killing the DREAM Act as it was about keeping the tax breaks in place and extending unemployment benefits. I have no problem at all believing that these were all items up for negotiation during the White House's horse-trading with the GOP.
Maybe I'm dense, but I just don't understand how that tradeoff is supposed to work. "We'll let some of our Senators vote in favor of X, but in return, you have to let us vote against Y"? They can do the latter anyway! There's nothing they need from the Democrats in that scenario.
The tax cuts & unemployment extension were totally different, because in that case they needed Democrats to vote for some things on their wish list-- if no bill was passed, neither side would be happy.
Okay, then, what would you say explains the vote on DADT considering the position Republicans have held on it up until this point?
I don't think they had staked out a firm position on it recently in the same way as they have on other things, in spite of a few vocal assholes like McCain. It's just not a thing that's of any concern to the business wing of the party. As for the social reactionary wing, I'm guessing that the party decided this was just not an effective issue to mobilize them with any more-- polling was overwhelmingly in favor of repeal, and the current flavor of Tea Party poison is more about Sarah Palin than Anita Bryant. So in the absence of any of those rationales, I think they simply didn't enforce party discipline the way they usually do, and several non-insane GOP Senators voted on the basis of common sense.
That may not be a great explanation, and it's totally plausible that there was some quid pro quo involved with something else... but it would have to be something else, not DREAM, because the Democrats did not give them anything there that they didn't already have. Or if they did, please tell me what it was.
That's one of the things I was referring to in the second sentence of my first comment here... and again, I don't see how it's an example of the Democrats giving them something extra, or of Republicans doing anything different than they would normally do. But maybe I just don't understand your point, and I don't want to belabor this.
I think you're entirely not understanding my point, but I don't really feel like belaboring it further, either.
For what it's worth, this
is another plausible answer - and by "plausible" I mean there are now Congressional Democrats on record as saying this was the deal. It sucks.