I’m not usually one for “as it happens, edge of your seat” blogging. But this caught my attention: According to Steve Bennen’s count, the number of senators who have signed on as “yes” votes for repealing DADT has now hit the 60 mark.
The recent attempt to bundle repeal with the defense spending authorization failed, possibly because the support isn’t actually there, or because Harry Reid bungled the political diplomacy. Regardless, a new stand-alone bill was hastily brought up, and has already passed the House.
If the votes are there in the Senate, all that body has to do is fit time for the bill into its madcap pre-Christmas schedule. Nothing’s certain, but we may be on threshold of the day when gay Americans can finally serve openly in the military as equals.
UPDATE – As banal as it seems, it looks like the simple question of time really is going to be the deciding factor on this:
In a strongly-worded statement released last night after the standalone vote, Reid expressed strong support for the standalone repeal measure (he’s a co-sponsor) but also said that with Republicans threatening scheduling shenanigans to focus public attention on spending bills, he just can’t be sure if there will be time for the Senate to take up DADT repeal again.
“We are very quickly running out of days in this Congress. The time for week-long negotiations on amendments and requests for days of debate is over,” Reid said, referring to the protracted negotiations with Collins before the failed cloture vote on the defense authorization bill last week, which was the first time the Senate took up DADT repeal.
“Republican Senators who favor repealing this discriminatory policy need to join with us now to stand against those who are trying to run out the clock on this Congress,” Reid said.