Does This Mean Harry Reid Gets To Keep Dan Choi’s Ring?

Jim Burroway

September 22nd, 2010

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Lt. Dan Choi at Netroots Nation

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Lt. Dan Choi at Netroots Nation (Photo by Pam Spaulding)

If we’re going to cast blame for yesterday’s debacle in the Senate as Democrats failed to break a Republican filibuster against a Defense Appropriations Bill that would begin the process of repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” it is important to make sure everyone is accounted for. First and foremost, primary responsibility must fall on all forty Republicans and the two Democrats, Arkansans Blanche L. Lincoln and Mark Pryor, who supported the filibuster. They will be remembered for being on the wrong side of history and the wrong side of what some three-fourths of the American people support.

But anyone with any powers of observation over the circumstances under which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid brought the bill to the floor cannot reasonably escape the conclusion that the filibuster suits his political purposes as well, as he and many other Senate Democrats struggle to hold onto their seats in tight mid-term campaigns. To not recognize that what happened yesterday was nothing but political theater, and that all the participants came away with something they wanted going into the final stretch of the campaign season — well let’s just say that just because Schoolhouse Rock didn’t cover political theater, it doesn’t mean it’s not an important byproduct of the legislative process, even if (or especially if) a bill fails to become a law. And in this case, that nasty byproduct was more important than actually doing the horse-trading it takes to pass the bill itself.

Last July when Reid appeared at Netroots Nation in Las Vegas, he was approached by Lt. Dan Choi, who had just been discharged from the Army. Choi handed Reid his West Point ring with the promise that Choi would hold Reid accountable for passing DADT’s repeal. “When the bill’s signed, I’ll keep it safely and then give it back to him,” Reid said. I guess the ring is still safe somewhere.

Alex

September 22nd, 2010

Who do you trust on gay rights, SLDN or Harry Reid?

SLDN says, there were 65 votes for repeal of DADT, including Scott Brown (called his office) who already voted for it in committee. Then Reid pulled a bait-and-switch that made it impossible for Brown and the other sensible republicans to move.

It embarrassed John McCain, as it should have; he now looks like a dithering senile bigot. But it was never intended to pass, this was CYA for the White House to blame Republicans without sticking their necks out.

The Obama era is disgusting, with pure contempt for the lived experience of gays and lesbians. Now we are toys, a wedge issue that helps Democrats raise money.

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