I don’t understand the Senate. Especially the Democrats in it.
The headline on Huffington Post this evening reads GOP Filibusters Repeal Of Gay Military Ban. But that’s not accurate. A filibuster occurs when Senators take to the floor and endlessly pontificate on the merits or issues with a proposed piece of legislation. The
Republicans Tea Party did not filibuster. They just used their 40 vote minority to block an important piece of legislation.
Given that nothing gets done in the Senate these days anyway, the Democrats should have forced the GOP into a real filibuster. Keeping the Senators in Washington through Election Day. Going at it 24/7 on C-SPAN. Forcing the Republicans to explain why, while we are fighting two wars, we fire qualified Arabic linguists and combat pilots in whom we have invested millions in training. Forcing the Republicans to explain why these brave young men and women are coerced into hiding who they are or risk being kicked out of the military.
All of the arguments that the Republicans are using are the same ones that were around in the opening days of World War II against African-Americans – the “other” would be a detriment to unit cohesion. The “other” would not be able to perform his or her duties. The “other” would be a distraction to the fighting forces. Democrats should use the filibuster to their advantage by having the Republicans explain their Neanderthal, blatantly un-American, and increasingly unpopular position on national television.