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Connecticut Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman, the formerly-Democratic Senator many progressive Democrats love to hate, reportedly will be the prime sponsor of a bill that will repeal the controversial Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy that bans admitted gays from serving in the military.

New York’s Daily Intel notes:

Over the weekend at CPAC, former senator Rick Santorum accused military leaders of misleading America over what was best for America when they came out in favor of repealing “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” the unpopular policy banning gays from serving openly in the military. “Political correctness is reigning in the military right now,” he said. “Some people say: whatever the generals say! I’m not too sure that we haven’t so indoctrinated the officer corps in this country that they can actually see straight to make the right decision.” In case Santorum’s complete lack of personal experience with the military wasn’t enough to make you question this view, a study came out today revealing that quick adoption of openly serving gays in foreign armed forces had no bad repercussions….

…..This news, combined with polls that increasingly show the majority of Americans back a DADT repeal, should make it all the less surprising that far-right Democrat (of sorts) Joe Lieberman plans to become the chief sponsor of such a bill in the Senate. All Americans should be granted “an equal opportunity to do whatever job their talents and sense of purpose and motivations lead them to want to do β€” including military service,” he told columnist Jamie Kirchick in the Daily News. “When you artificially limit the pool of people who can enlist, then you are diminishing military effectiveness.” Lieberman’s role as chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee and member of the Armed Services Committee will likely lend weight to his endorsement with Republicans, who have warmed to him as Democrats have simultaneously cooled. It will also put liberal Democrats in the position of having to back a measure fronted by a senator they increasingly distrust and even despise.

It’ll be particularly interesting to see (a) the timing of this attempted repeal (after or before the mid-terms?) and (b)how Arizona Senator John McCain votes on it. McCain had long indicated he wanted this repeal but now, locked in a tougher-than-usual race with a conservative talk show host, he has been moving to the right and came under withering criticism in recent weeks for seemingly doing an about face on this issue. When the votes are cast on this, will we see the Old McCain, the New McCain (or the New Old McCain?).

SOME MORE COMMENTARY ON THIS STORY:

The Hill:

Supporters of the repeal gained momentum this month when Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, both testified in support of changing the policy.

Mullen and Gates asked for a year to study exactly how to enact a repeal, but Democrats have pledged to move forward regardless.

“It’s not a question on the review to see if we’re going to do it,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said earlier this month. “It’s just a question of how we can protect people as we go forward with the repeal.”

Lieberman, a military hawk who has sided increasingly with Republicans on defense-related issues, could help garner the support of moderate Republicans.

The Huffington Post:

Just when you thought Joe Lieberman couldn’t frustrate and perplex liberals any further, he is going off to become chief sponsor of the most significant piece of socially progressive legislation that Congress will deal with this year.

Queerty gives five reasons why having Lieberman be the pointman is a lousy idea.
Tapped:

I’m still not sure why “frustrating and perplexing liberals” is such an accomplishment, but personally I’d be glad to see more “frustrating” and “perplexing” behavior along these lines.

Joe Sudbay:

We’d been hearing for months that Senator Lieberman, who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, would be the prime sponsor of the Senate bill to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Today, the NY Daily News reports that Lieberman is going to introduce the legislation. Given the Senate’s gridlock, the best hope for success is for the Senate Armed Services Committee to include the repeal language in the must-pass Department of Defense authorization bill. The President has a role in this process because the Pentagon sends its policy recommendations to the Senate and House Armed Services Committees. It would be a very clear indication that the White House wants the repeal included in the Defense authorization bill if Obama makes that DADT repeal recommendation.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen poll after poll after poll showing strong support for allowing gays to serve in the military. Even the Cheneys support repeal. This has become one of those issues that transcends politics for the American people. It’s a no-brainer. The President has said that he wants the law repealed. He can help make it happen this year. We’ve reached a point where failure to do so will reflect poorly on the President. The political risk comes from not delivering.

Now you can follow Joe Gandelman on Twitter.

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JOE GANDELMAN, Editor-In-Chief
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Copyright 2010 The Moderate Voice
  • Axel Edgren

    Clock.
    Broken.
    Twice/day.

  • JSpencer

    Axel.
    Nailed.
    It.

  • Silhouette

    Yup on the broken. Nope on the getting it right by accident. Our troops are engaged with an enemy that will increase hostilities towards an openly-gay military. Predictably there will be more strikes against troops therefore [like it or not, right or wrong, caving or not, this will be the actual result]. So rest easy that gays may be able to advertise [covert: “solicit”] their homosexual status, even if it will cost live in real time.

    • jchem

      So in other words, we shouldn’t repeal it because if we do, we will tick off our enemies. Why don’t you just go all the way and demand Sharia law for the military? Using your logic, our enemy should just drop their guns and welcome us into the fold. War would be over and we could be at peace.

      Liebermann certainly has a lot of issues, but at least on this one, he deserves to be commended for taking the lead.

      • Silhouette

        So in other words, we shouldn’t repeal it because if we do, we will tick off our enemies”
        *****
        Exactly, for that and many other reasons besides; like coed housing that will become mandatory. Putting openly gay people in with members of the gender they’re attracted to opens the doors for opposite-gender housing as well. The ligitation will become a nightmare.

        We should do everything within our ability to keep our troops safe. If you want to weigh both issues on the scale of logic, we put the gays [who can already serve, albeit having to keep their mouths shut as to their sexual preferences] wishes to advertise their sexuality on a scale opposite keeping our troops safe by not ushering in an openly gay military, I know what the clear and concise choice must be.

        It’s not up for debate whether or not the enemy will strike more often and harder against what they will surely see as “increased infidelism” in our ranks. They will, rest assured. It’s whether or not we want to make some liberal political statement at such a cost. Like many decisions the military makes, it’s a difficult one but they must be strategic above all.

        An afterthought:

        I can see why Cheney supports openly gay military. It will predictably increase attacks and justify counterattacks to which seems to get him hot and bothered, speaking of weird kinks actualized. He undoubtedly has an ulterior agenda besides warm human compassion for left-leaning people like gays. My money is on his profit margin increasing as military engagement escalates. It seems to be his pattern.

        And as we all know, Liebermann is a DINO servile to the Cheney agenda: aka: the GOP agenda. So his introducing the Bill no longer seems so odd and incongruous. Yep, in fact it fits like a glove. A “well-OILED” glove. [couldn’t resist the pun.. = ) ]

        • DdW

          Back to the showers issue,again.

          Is that a gut feel, too?

    • DdW

      Our troops are engaged with an enemy that will increase hostilities towards an openly-gay military. Predictably there will be more strikes against troops therefore [like it or not, right or wrong, caving or not, this will be the actual result].

      What are your sources? Can you quote some authoritative military journals,studies, experts on this?

      Or is this just your anti-gay “gut feel”?

      I would imagine that this is the reason the Israeli military with its “openly gay military” does so badly in battle…

  • DdW

    General Petraeus (USA Today):

    The U.S. commander overseeing troops in Iraq and Afghanistan says he’s not sure that troops in the field care about the sexual orientation of fellow servicemembers

    The New York Times:

    A comprehensive new study on foreign militaries that have made transitions to allowing openly gay service members concludes that a speedy implementation of the change is not disruptive. The finding is in direct opposition to the stated views of Pentagon leaders, who say repealing a ban on openly gay men and women in the United States armed forces should take a year or more.

  • Schadenfreude_lives

    So, let me get this straight (pardon the pun).

    Repealing DADT is a great idea, and will be a solid move forward for gay rights. But only if an acceptable (to the Left) Senator puts forth the bill.

    No wonder the Democrats cannot pass any significant legislation on their own, even with unassailable majorities.

    • DdW

      I am sorry, but this treacherous Lieberman chameleon will never be “acceptable” to me.

      He just happens to be doing the right thing now…for whatever treacherous reason.

  • Heaven knows I’ve not been a big Joe fan in the last couple of years, but I’m happy to commend him for this, particularly if he can actually get it through. It seems obvious that our more progressive leaning politicians are too petrified to actually do anything progressive, so if it takes a right-leaning independent to get LGBT military personel the right to serve openly and honestly, hey — I’ll take it!

    I disagree with the queerty article about why this is a bad idea. At the very least, nobody can accuse Joe Lieberman of trying to push a far-left agenda. ETA: I also think that more progressive Dems will fall in line with this, even if Lieberman is the main voice behind the bill, primarily because it is, in fact, a progressive stance, and one that constituants are ready for, by and large.

  • JSpencer

    Schaden, I’m watching your strawman blowing away in the breeze. πŸ˜‰ Of course repealing DADT is a good idea, and believe me, those on the left who support repeal are hardly going to change their minds just because Lieberman is the sponsor. It’s just a tad ironic (and to my mind a bid for attention from Lieberman – who is a showboat) coming from a Senator who is justifiably not trusted by many democrats. That said, his involvement could help smooth some ruffled feathers on the right, so maybe something good will come of it.

  • ProfElwood

    Palin and Lieberman within 24 hours. So much hate, so little time. . .

  • Davebo

    Let’s bear in mind that Lieberman has a history of vocally, publicly supporting legislation (if not sponsoring it) and then turning around to vote against it.

    I give him credit to be sure. But at this point I’ll believe it when I see it.

  • merkin

    “… how Arizona Senator John McCain votes on it. McCain had long indicated he wanted this repeal but now, locked in a tougher-than-usual race with a conservative talk show host, he has been moving to the right and came under withering criticism in recent weeks for seemingly doing an about face on this issue.”

    So to be a conservative in good standing you don’t have to be a homophobe, you just have to act like one on TV.

  • Leonidas

    Another in a long line of good decisions from Lieberman.

  • DdW

    I can see why Cheney supports openly gay military. It will predictably increase attacks and justify counterattacks to which seems to get him hot and bothered, speaking of weird kinks actualized.

    I don’t like Cheney. As a matter of fact I detest the man.

    However, this is by far the most assinine statement I have seen in a long time in support of the anti-gay agenda.

    It is even more ludicrous than the animal husbandry and “can’t share showers” arguments.

    Cheney supports repealing the DADT policy because that will provoke more attacks on our troops, more of our troops will be killed and that’s how he gets his kicks

    Give me a break!

  • Silhouette

    Yeah, how silly of me to assume that Dick Cheney would promote any agenda that would justify launching “counterattacks”..you know…and how well that fits with Joe Liebermann of all people in introducing the Bill to make that a likely happening.

    I’m sure it’s all just one big coincidence that it fits so very well.

    • DdW

      I have to apologize to you, Silhouette.

      How silly of me not to recognize that both Cheney and Lieberman are colluding to repeal DADT so that such will provoke more attacks on our troops, more of our troops will be klilled and both of them will get their “weird kinks actualized.”

      You are right, “it’s all just one big coincidence that it fits so very well”

      Thanks for bringing some lucidity to this otherwise dull discussion.

  • DLS

    Someone had to do it. Lieberman needed to win farther-left support and he’s saner than many other Dems on things like foreign policy, which involves the military. He also was considered a “traitor” by many Dems (and lefties everywhere else), and maybe this was his way to get back in good graces, or it was punishment the Dem leadership chose for him — let him be the one that takes the political risks associated with this.

  • DdW

    Here’s someone who should be able to tell us whether repealing DADT will bring on more attacks on our troops:

    Washington Post…Associated Press:

    Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the top commanding general in Iraq, said he thinks everyone β€” gay and straight β€” should be allowed to serve in the military β€œas long as we are still able to fight our wars”