Barring some extraordinary legislative feat, a repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" appears to be dead, finally. "Moderate" Republicans didn't get their ever-shifting demands met before Harry Reid brought it for a vote today, and it lost.
Reid brought the defense authorization bill that included DADT repeal language to the floor, and Republicans, along with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, successfully blocked it from getting 60 votes. The final tally was 57-40 which, as always, is a "no" in the Senate, and precludes the bill from even receiving a debate.
Reid had been negotiating with Republican Sen. Susan Collins yesterday to allow a certain amount of amendments to the defense bill in exchange for her cloture vote. He offered to allow slightly more amendments than are usually debated for a defense bill, and she took it, but then... something happened? Scott Brown, Lisa Murkowski and others who supposedly would vote for repeal didn't like think it was enough? Shocking. Whatever happened, they hit another impasse, and work on the defense bill needed to get started one way or another. So Harry Reid forced a vote with the repeal language included, it didn't work, and now the Senate will proceed without it.
Don't listen to excuses from Susan Collins, Scott Brown, or Lisa Murkowski. They are despicable. They intentionally ran out the clock on an issue that they knew would help Democrats voters if it passed more than it would hurt Republicans if it was killed. Susan Collins did end up voting for it, but only after the final vote count was obvious. Nice.
Update: Joe Lieberman said after the vote that Harry Reid would "Rule 14" a stand-alone version of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal. In Luke Russert's unusually accurate words, "Every Hill journalist just looked up 'Rule 14.'" It would allow Reid to skip committee and bring a cloture vote straight to the floor. Would it get 60 votes if it's not attached to the defense authorization bill, which needed to get moving? We'll believe it when we see it. Susan Collins will probably say, "Oh... uhh... I can't vote for it because... Democrats suck. Goodbye," before returning to her snow cave. But by all means, prove us wrong! You'll all get points — not even symbolic ones!
[Image via Getty]