Will Scott Brown become the new Dave Reichert on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?

December 3, 2010 at 1:00 pm 31 comments

By Adam Bink

In June, I did a piece at my home blog, OpenLeft.com, titled “How not to pander to the LGBT community on DADT“. It was about various Republican members of the House of Representatives voting against repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, then turning around and saying they wanted to vote for it but just, sigh, couldn’t get there. Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA) was a classic example, who said:

“Let me be clear: I am not suggesting homosexuals should not be able to serve openly in the military. One of the greatest duties of this Congress is to protect the freedoms and liberties of all Americans. I hope we can all agree that it is unjust to deny people the right to pursue the American Dream and realize success and opportunity in the workplace. That’s why I’ve supported legislation such as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. However, I believe policy decisions affecting the military must reflect the input, perspectives, and judgment of the generals in command, and a decision on this issue must be entrusted to them. We must continue to support the men and women who are risking their lives each and every day and ensure that they have the best training and equipment available to carry out their duties.”

I wrote at the time:

Reichert is trying to have it both ways in terms of wanting to get LGBT community support. Since January, everyone has bent over backwards with the purpose of helping individuals like him are moderates or from tough districts have enough “cover” to get to a yes vote in favor of repeal, and he still can’t do it. The President announces at the SOTU. Sec. Gates and Admiral Mullen testify in support. Colin Powell and even Dick Cheney (you read that right, Dick Cheney) come out in support. Last week’s CNN poll put the public at 78% in support, a number that goes back, give or take a few points, for three years. Then a compromise is made to give the Pentagon review even higher attention and priority and to require the President, Secretary of Defense, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to “certify” that this is essentially good for the country. Then a 60-day waiting period is added to the language, post-certification.

All of this, and Reichert still can’t bring himself to vote for repeal? Please. Don’t come ’round here saying you really wanted to vote for repeal but just couldn’t bring yourself to do so after the entire world bends over backwards to give individuals like yourself all kinds of reasons to support repeal. The same goes for Jim Webb and anyone else using that excuse.

This afternoon, my crystal ball did it again, as Sen. Scott Brown put himself in a place to support DADT repeal and announced such. It’s great news. Unfortunately, Brown did not commit to voting for cloture on the underlying bill.

Cue Joe Solmonese:

The largest gay rights organization, Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement that Brown’s announcement was “welcomed” but ultimately “of little value” without a commitment to advance the underlying bill.

“The true measure of whether or not one supports an end to this policy will come as the Senate considers if they will begin debate on the defense bill. Make no mistake, a vote against the motion to proceed is a vote against DADT repeal,” HRC President Joe Solmonese said.

Exactly right. Scott Brown will get no love from me if he tries to have it both ways by announcing he supports repeal and refuses to advance it, then turns around and says, gee, he tried his best. Not good enough, particularly because he nearly screwed us over by announcing his opposition in committee.

Brown knows full well that if repeal does not advance this year, it has a slim-to-none chance of doing so next year. This is our last shot, and tax cut politics be damned, Senator. So he stays on my target list, and he should on yours. Call 202-224-3121 and ask Brown, along with the other swing, Senators listed in this State of Play post, to commit to repeal and to vote for cloture the motion to reconsider.

Update: Over e-mail, the following excerpt of a press release is also spot-on.

“Given that Sen. Brown signed on to the GOP letter earlier this week, saying that they would obstruct all lawmaking until their demands of specific tax cuts and spending bills are met, we would like to remind Sen. Brown that our community and America is watching,” said Claire Naughton, Co-chair of Bay State Stonewall Democrats. “We hope that, as a soldier, Sen. Brown is aligned with what military leaders have been saying in Senate hearings: that the military is based on a culture of integrity and DADT demands just the opposite.”

Entry filed under: Don't Ask Don't Tell.

NOM vs. the judicial branch Security comes before politics- every day becomes more critical to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

31 Comments Add your own

  • 1. sweetleopardess  |  December 3, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Unfortunately, Dave Reichert is my congressman, but fortunately Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell are my Senators. I’m hoping that Reichert will not win re-election in 2012, but it’s been hard to find someone to unseat him.

  • 2. Alan E.  |  December 3, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Just subscribing

    • 3. Kathleen  |  December 3, 2010 at 1:16 pm


    • 4. StraightForEquality  |  December 3, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    • 5. Ann S.  |  December 3, 2010 at 3:22 pm


    • 6. JonT  |  December 3, 2010 at 3:33 pm

  • 7. Richard A. Jernigan  |  December 3, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    And we should all keep a very close eye on the votes WRT to passing ENDA and UAFA, as well as repealing DADT and DOMA, and when those who voted against it come up for re-election, mobilize all the forces and vote them out of office, and vote in some folks who will actually work for the betterment of the nation and help this nation live up to the ideals of its Constitution.

  • 8. Martha  |  December 3, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Just talked with Senator Brown’s office and I was told that he plans to vote for cloture on DADT. I pray this is true. .

    • 9. adambink  |  December 3, 2010 at 1:59 pm

      Hearing different things, unfort.

  • 10. OldCoastie  |  December 3, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Thank you, Adam, for the live blog this morning… very helpful.

    I’m not holding my breath on DADT as it seems more a bargaining chip than anything… but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

    • 11. adambink  |  December 3, 2010 at 1:58 pm

      You’re welcome.

  • 12. Ronnie  |  December 3, 2010 at 1:52 pm



  • 13. sweetleopardess  |  December 3, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Scott Brown’s statement today in favor of repeal . Fortunately, he does NOT seem to be a Reichert.

    “I have been in the military for 31 years and counting, and have served as a subordinate and as an officer. As a legislator, I have spent a significant amount of time on military issues. During my time of service, I have visited our injured troops at Walter Reed and have attended funerals of our fallen heroes. When a soldier answers the call to serve, and risks life or limb, it has never mattered to me whether they are gay or straight. My only concern has been whether their service and sacrifice is with pride and honor.

    I pledged to keep an open mind about the present policy on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Having reviewed the Pentagon report, having spoken to active and retired military service members, and having discussed the matter privately with Defense Secretary Gates and others, I accept the findings of the report and support repeal based on the Secretary’s recommendations that repeal will be implemented only when the battle effectiveness of the forces is assured and proper preparations have been completed.”

  • 14. Rebecca in Chicago  |  December 3, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    So, this is slightly OT, but I just discovered that Brown posed nude in Cosmopolitan in 1982 after winning their “America’s Sexiest Man” contest.


    But on the flip side, if there was evidence of a female Senator posing nude, even at the age of 22, she would get ripped apart for it. (Krystal Ball is an example.) D^%n double standard!

    • 15. Judy  |  December 3, 2010 at 2:46 pm

      Did you just call that a Double-D standard?

      • 16. JonT  |  December 3, 2010 at 6:31 pm

        Oh stop! :)

    • 17. Dave in ME  |  December 4, 2010 at 5:59 am

      Yowza, he sure did. That is one handsome man, but not as handsome as Jon Hamm who played Senator Brown in an SNL skit a few months ago. THAT was pretty funny: http://www.hulu.com/watch/124880/saturday-night-live-new-senator.

      Dave in Maine

      • 18. Kathleen  |  December 4, 2010 at 10:36 am

        That’s hilarious. Thanks, Dave. I hadn’t seen that skit when it ran.

  • 19. Rhie  |  December 3, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Just watching

  • 20. Mandi  |  December 3, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    OT: my disclaimer first; I’m not a troll so be nice ronnie. After nearly falling out of my chair with the comments posted about Dr. Laura’s recent rant about dadt, I read an article about her. It said that she came under fire several years ago for commenting that being gay was a biological error…
    Shouldn’t we be celibrating the fact that she’s agreeing that being gay is biological and therefore immutable?

    Just my thoughts and please keep in mind that I’m on a cellphone and can’t spell.

    • 21. Alan E.  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:03 pm

      That didn’t stop her from saying vile things about gay people, though.

    • 22. Richard A. Jernigan  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:06 pm

      It would be a lot easier for us to take this news about Dr. Laura at face value if she had shown a conclusive pattern of progression through change from her previous position. There is also the fact that she does have a new radio show beginning in a few weeks, and from her previous actions, she has shown that she will do anything for ratings.

  • […] The immensely-insightful Adam Bink writes this afternoon, “Will Scott Brown become the new Dave Reichert on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?” […]

  • 24. Sagesse  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Fingers crossed.

  • 25. Mandi  |  December 3, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    My point was: because she is so consistantly vile that her grudging admittance should be shoved in the collective faces of the other insane far right folk and their sheeple.

    • 26. Kathleen  |  December 3, 2010 at 5:10 pm

      As I commented when I first heard this news – When the homophobes are calling for repeal, you know it’s overdue.

  • 27. Jim  |  December 4, 2010 at 8:46 am

    Pres. Obama has said he wanted Congress to undo DADT, before the courts did, because he thinks DADT is unconstitutional. Just wondering if Congress does NOT undo DADT by the end of this Congress, will Obama then withdraw his (DOJ) appeal, and let the court decision’s that DADT is unconstitutional stand, thus forcing the military to end the policy. Does anyone know if Obama does withdraw the appeal, can a single member of Congress or the Senate then appeal?

    • 28. Kathleen  |  December 4, 2010 at 10:57 am

      I’ve been told that there is precedent for letting members of Congress defend acts of Congress in the courts when the Executive branch has chosen not to. Sorry, I can’t point to examples, have just been told that they exist.

      • 29. Ann S.  |  December 4, 2010 at 2:57 pm

        Right, isn’t there a member of Congress currently attempting to defend DOMA because he doesn’t think the DOJ is doing a good enough job?

  • […] I wrote yesterday, Sen. Scott Brown announced his support for repeal, although he did not say if he would vote for […]

  • […] wrote this past week on whether Scott Brown, who just announced the same thing with the same caveats as Murkowski, would […]


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