Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The military authorization bill

The Republicans used the phony 60 vote minimum to prevent the annual miliary authorization bill from being debated and voted on. They claim that their beef is the procedure by which a handful of amendments -- mostly Democratic -- were attached: majority leader Reid has limited Republican amendments at the same time. Among the amendments were a repeal of the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy, and a measure that would provide an easier path to citizenship for certain illegal aliens who arrive as young children.

The PTR is, as usual, full of crap. The party has long been anti-gay even though it has its share of closeted homosexuals. It is also reluctant to allow the Dems to pass anything that would play well with Hispanics -- a constituency it has itself feebly courted, without much success. (Maybe we should make the traditional PTR trivium of God, Guns and Gays into a quadrivium by adding Gringos?)

Nevertheless, the decision by Reid and other Dems to pack these amendments into the authorization bill is simply continuing a totally crappy tradition long used by both parties. It is basically cynical and does an injustice to gays and hispanics. It's also a stupid tactic. They should have had separate measures and forced the Republicans to vote on each. Susan Collins and Scott Brown would then have had to put up or shut up on DADT. Also, the "DREAM Act" (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act) would be very hard to vote against, even for the Scrooges in the PTR.

Bad politics all around.

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