Tag Archives: scott brown

This way and that

Man, Cosmo Sen. Scott Brown is really dissing his Tea Party backers, the ones who helped him beat Martha Coakley’s really shitty campaign for the “Kennedy Seat” from Massachusetts.

Not only did he vote for the repeal of the military’s odiferous policy banning gay and lesbian service members from serving openly, but now he’s gone and voted for cloture on the ratification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

That means that later on today, the U.S. Senate is going to ratify the agreement despite vociferous opposition from the most conservative of Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who announced a couple of months ago that the primary purpose of the GOP for the next two years is to make sure that Barack Obama is not re-elected.

Not to help the American people, or to get the country back on the right track, but to get back in power. Fucktards.

Anyway, joining Scott Brown in voting for cloture were fellow Republican Sens. George Voinovich, Lisa Murkowski, Thad Cochran, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Richard Lugar, Lamar Alexander, Robert Bennett, Johnny Isakson and Bob Corker.

Yes, Bob Corker. The very Bob Corker who warned just before the DADT repeal vote that START would be in trouble if DADT is repealed.

That’s gonna be a pretty big loss for McConnell and Jim DeMented, and a pretty big win for Barack Obama. It’s interesting, though. Eleven Republicans broke with the leadership — McConnell, Jon Kyl, John Cornyn and the like. That’s more than the eight who voted to repeal DADT and more than the six who voted for cloture on DADT. Eleven Republicans not only broke with the leadership, but they flipped the TeaPublicans the bird while they were at it.

This lame duck session of Congress has been awfully production — and it’s been productive because of the willingness of some Republicans to break ranks.  Could this be the end of the Party of No?

I won’t be holding my breath on that one. But y’gotta admit, it’s does a heart good to see Republicans voting “yes” on Democratic pieces of legislation.

It all started, of course, with that “tax deal.” The extremists opposed it, but the leadership really didn’t, so it passed pretty handily. The DREAM Act failed, but it was not without GOP support. DADT, history. And now, START.

So guess which Republican senator has voted in favor of all of those? No, not the ladies from Maine.

Lisa Murkowski, the Alaska senator who waged a winning run-off campaign to retain her seat after the Tea Party and Sarah Palin-backed liar Joe Miller beat her in the Republican primary.

Now, Murkowski’s warned not to read too much into these votes, that she’s not gonna be a sure vote for Obama. But I don’t think that’s the signal she wants to send anyway. Her message is for the Republicans. The National Republican Senatorial Committee gave her only tepid support during the primary, and went all out for Miller in the general. Then it asked folks to donate to help Miller challenge Murkowski in court. Nah, Murkowski’s message is this: Fuck you, GOP. I’ll vote the way I damn well please.

Maybe she and Joe Lieberman can form their own party — Senators In The Wrong Party Party.

Murkowski voted against cloture on the 9/11 responders bill, but now she says she’s “leaning toward” voting for it. That is, if Oklahoma’s Tom Coburn doesn’t go through with his threat to block it. Coburn wants to pay for the bill by slashing funding for somebody else. And by the way, he’s a doctor.

It’s a beautiful world we live in.

Ask and tell, and do it proudly

Dare I say it? Dare I even think it?

Hell yes! The Senate has voted to repeal Don’t ask don’t tell.

Here’s what I was thinking early this morning when it finally seemed possible.

My congressional correspondent phoned in to update the story on the “don’t ask don’t tell” debate — the debate over repealing the military’s repulsive policy requiring gay men and lesbians to lie if they want to serve their country in one of the armed services.

The update? Four Republican senators — who had previously said they would vote to repeal only if the Senate passed a spending bill to keep the government running — now say they will vote to repeal no matter what happens with the spending bill.

The House and the Senate, of course, passed a continuing resolution to fund the government through Tuesday — the funds would have dried up Saturday otherwise. But Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Scott Brown — yes, the C0smo senator — have all committed to vote yes on the repeal.

And Joe Lieberman, the Democrat-turned-Independent senator who usually acts like a Republican except, inexplicably, on this issue — says he thinks he has a couple more “yes” votes from the Republican side.

But just those four are enough to invoke cloture.

See, my colleagues often shorthand voting in the Senate to say that the Senate requires 60 votes to pass a bill, but that’s not true. It requires 60 votes to end debate and vote. But the Senate still only requires a simple majority to actually pass the bill.

The Party of No, of course, has determined that they will stop Democratic measures any way they can, and that, ironically includes refusing to allow debate to end and a straight up or down vote to take place. Ironically, because just a few years ago the Republicans howled like mad men if Democrats tried that trick.

But anyway — can it possibly be true that sometime on Saturday, 60 senators will vote yes to cloture — setting up the repeal vote that will almost certainly pass?

Dare I say it? Dare I even think it? Are we really on the verge of the first gay-positive civil rights vote in years?

Republicans seem to see the writing on the wall, so they’re doing what comes natural to them — they’re threatening to screw up something else to keep Congress from doing the right thing. In particular, Sen. Bob Corker (go ahead, make any joke about his name you want) is threatening to fuck up the START vote, which quite a number of Republicans are trying to mess with anyway.

Years ago, in my other life as a journalist with the lesbian and gay press, I covered this debate when it first crashed down on us. Bill Clinton made a move to end the military’s policy of not allowing gay men and lesbians to serve at all and ended up enshrining what was already going on — that gay men and lesbians served in silence — in the code of law.

So many protests, rallies. Gay veterans proudly wearing their colors. To no avail. Sam Nunn, the supposedly Democratic senator from Georgia who headed the Senate’s Armed Services Committee, would have none of it. “Don’t ask don’t tell” — and it’s rarely mentioned and rarely enforced third part, “don’t pursue” — was the law of the land, and the gay illuminati turned their attention to marriage.

And now … and now … In a few hours, the Senate will take that cloture vote. Is it possible that for once in their sorry lives, the Democrats won’t cave to Republican bullying and do what they should have done years ago? Is it possible that by this time next week, “don’t ask don’t tell” will be confined to the proverbial dustbin of history?

It’s hard to fathom. It’s hard to believe. And Lieberman, the sponsor of the bill in the Senate (it’s already passed the House), is being “cautiously optimistic,” that favorite phrase of my colleagues when they don’t want to say for sure what’s going on.

I’m very optimistic at this point. But we know it ain’t over til it’s over and until all the votes are counted.

Meghan McCain said her daddy would filibuster this bill. John “Mean Old Man” McCain just can’t bear the idea of faggots and dykes in his military, never mind that we’ve been there for centuries. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” he said about the policy.

Well, John, it is broke. Gay men and lesbians are forced to lie to serve their country. That’s about as broke as it can get. And John, enough of your fellow Republicans disagree with you that your filibuster will amount to nothing.

I hope. I sure as hell hope. It’s about goddamn time.

The homophobia that has kept this policy in place is what’s out of place. And if this really does come to pass, it’ll be a stark reminder to the regressive Republicans that progress happens, whether they like it or not. All they can really do is make it harder.

Our full and complete civil rights — and this is one huge step toward that — are non-negotiable. We’ve come too far now. There is no putting that genie back in the bottle.

But is it really going to happen now? Dare I think it? Dare I even say it?

The only people saying no are a bunch of homophobic politicians and a marine commandant.

Yes. Yes, I think. This time, the answer is yes.