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Does Lieberman/Collins Bill Signal End to Democrat Support-LGBT Rights, or the End of the Democrats Entirely?

Don’t mistake this post. I’m thrilled to see some Senators actually step up and try and take action to govern our country, and in areas of LGBT Rights that is rare indeed! So, this post should not be misconstrued as anything negative about the Lieberman (I-CT) and Collins (R- ME)  stand alone bill to repeal DADT. On the surface, and in most practical ways, if this thing works it will be perfect. But I’m interested in posing some questions about what such a move in the Senate actually means, in the bigger scheme of things when it comes to the government and the future of LGBT Rights.

First, I should say that all week I was so irritated with the game and BS flying around Washington, I needed to zone anything DADT out for the sake of my sanity. I guess a good blogger wouldn’t have done that, but hey, it is what I needed. Secondly, for the details on this bill and where it might be in the process, check out Box Turtle Bulletin, and their post about this.

What will it mean if a sole independent and a moderate Republican are able to do what the President and the entire Democratic Party has been unable to do all all year? Thismwould fly in the face of everything that stands as commonly understood knowledge about Washington.

Common Myths:

  • The only way to accomplish anything is to have the majority. The President and the Democrats want to believe this one. Most of us have known for a while, it isn’t true, but they still seem to miss that point.
  • The Republicans have gays and only care about tax breaks for the wealthy.  This one holds a greater level of truth, but in reality, the Republicans are not a single monolithic party either, and while they seem to know when to fall into line, they also act with some individuality, especially when it will suit them.
  • The Tea Party movement owns the Republican Party. This may be the most fallacious of these myth statements.
  • The Democrats care about their LGBTQ base and their inability to accomplish anything is because of the Republicans.

All of these are untrue, some to a greater or lesser degree.

But here is what I think will happen if Lieberman and Collins can be successful as viewed in my crystal ball:

  • A horrific, unjust law that is detrimental to National Security will disappear based on a timeline imposed by the Military. This doesn’t make it a done deal, but it does make it look more possible to actually happen.
  • LGBT advocates will be elated!
  • The President will  have even less currency with the LGBT movement than he know has. Most activists will realize that there is no value to any attempt to work with the President. In fact, LGBT Rights may move further ahead if we find ways to work against the President than with the President.
  • Gay dollars will stop flowing to the DNC at their current rate.
  • Groups like the HRC may be diminished even further than they currently are.

This doesn’t mean that everything becomes rosy for LGBT Rights. It simply means that all of the existing rules will no longer apply in the same way. Some will be out the door completely, others will be in question, but all of it will be a new playing field. I think it also means that the Democrats no longer have any claim to LGBT Rights, and they (the Dems) will have no one to blame except themselves.

This is from SheWired.com:

Two prominent senators introduced a bipartisan bill Friday to end the ban on gay and lesbian troops serving openly in the military.

Introduced by senators Joseph Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut, and Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, the bill comes after the Senate failed to win enough procedural votes Thursday to move forward on the National Defense Authorization Act, which included an amendment to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

According toThe Washington Post, Lieberman and Collins collaborated on the idea for a stand-alone bill to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” during Thursday’s failed vote. Senate majority leader harry Reid reportedly told Lieberman that he would fast-track the bill to a full vote, rather than force it to go through the committee process. Democratic aides told the Post that a vote could come late Tuesday or Wednesday after senators consider the impending tax cut legislation.

White House officials said Friday that President Barack Obama wishes to explore all legislative options to repeal the 17-year-old law during the lame-duck session, which is drawing to a close.

In other words, two of the least most influential Senators may have crafted a real bipartisan bill that Harry Reid and the White House can support. Something neither Mr. “Bi-Partisan” President nor the majority party could do. That means that the Democrats can’t be expecting to bring back independents, or GOP moderates, and those Democrats who want to see real work accomplished will continue to flee the party of inability. Progressives and many other Democrats have been clamouring for standing for principles, but they also want to see real work accomplished. This stand alone bill looks both principled, and as if it actually does something.

Of course, it is still too soon to tell. Vote is expected on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Photo By wanderinghome

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