Sen. Manchin’s hearing aid

December 14, 2010 at 7:53 am 47 comments

By Adam Bink

90 minutes ago, Courage Campaign launched the e-mail below to turn up the volume on Sen. Joe Manchin, asking West Virginians to write a letter to the editor in their local paper. Joe Manchin, you’ll recall, was the only Democrat to vote against the bill that would ensure repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.

Following the vote, he hedged extensively. His statement said “…I believe the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy will be repealed someday – and probably should be repealed in the near future.” He also said, “While I am very sympathetic to those who passionately support the repeal, as a senator of just three weeks, I have not had the opportunity to visit and hear the full range of viewpoints from the citizens of West Virginia.

Then he went on Morning Joe and said “It’s something that probably will be, it needs to be repealed, and it will be repealed.” He also, oddly, echoed Sec. Gates’ reasoning that the military should be doing this on its own timetable (which, as I wrote yesterday, is a justification for Congress moving on this rather than allowing the courts to do so). Here are his full comments:


So in short, Manchin is a little confused and very all over the place.

On Friday at the rally I attended on Capitol Hill, former Army Sgt. Pepe Johnson from Clarksburg, WV, who was discharged under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, put it best:

“I was disappointed yesterday in Senator Joe Manchin from the state of West Virginia. I was embarrassed because Joe Manchin decided to be a lone ranger and vote against the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, saying he’d only been in office for three weeks, said he didn’t have a chance to hear from the people of West Virginia. Well, Joe Manchin, if you can’t hear me now, you better get a hearing aid.

That ain’t likely to happen. So, we need to turn up the volume.

If you’re in West Virginia or know someone who is, ask them to take a few minutes to write a letter to the editor. Courage can tips and tools to get you/him/her started and a guide. In small states like WV, these go a long way- especially for wavering Senators like Joe Manchin who has only been in office, as he himself said, for three weeks and is up for re-election in 2012. They are cautious as hell, and that’s an opening for us.

And if you’re in another state with a target Senator- the list is here- you can do the  same. You’ve been driving calls, and letters are another way to bring attention.

The e-mail action is below.

Update: As an aside, it’s come to my attention that a free-standing bill has been introduced in the House by Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA), the original lead sponsor, and by Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the Majority Leader. More on that later.

————————————

Dear Adam —
Last week, Sen. Manchin was the only Democrat to vote against the bill that would ensure repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.

The next day at a rally on Capitol Hill, former Army Sgt. Pepe Johnson from Clarksburg, WV, who was discharged under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, put it best:

“I was disappointed yesterday in Senator Joe Manchin from the state of West Virginia. I was embarrassed because Joe Manchin decided to be a lone ranger and vote against the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, saying he’d only been in office for three weeks, said he didn’t have a chance to hear from the people of West Virginia. Well, Joe Manchin, if you can’t hear me now, you better get a hearing aid.

Boy, he’s right. But unless we get lucky, that ain’t gonna happen. So we’ve got to turn up the volume.

Can you take a few minutes to write a letter to the editor of your local paper explaining why YOU think Sen. Manchin should support repeal? Click here to get started.

After the vote, as Pepe pointed out, Sen. Manchin said, “While I am very sympathetic to those who passionately support the repeal, as a senator of just three weeks, I have not had the opportunity to visit and hear the full range of viewpoints from the citizens of West Virginia.”

That means that Sen. Manchin is keeping an open mind- and that’s one open mind we have to fill. Sens. Lieberman and Collins have introduced a stand-alone bill (S. 4023) and we need Sen. Manchin’s vote.

Sen. Manchin has hedged on repeal for weeks now. After the vote, he said, “…I believe the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy will be repealed someday – and probably should be repealed in the near future.” He’s right, and West Virginians have a strong tradition of supporting repeal with Sens. Byrd, Rockefeller and Goodwin all doing the right thing. We know they and our military’s leaders helped get Sen. Manchin to where he is today. Now it’s up to us to push him over the finish line.

Letters to the editor, especially in small states like West Virginia, will go a long way towards pushing Sen. Manchin over the finish line. Can you click here to write one telling Sen. Manchin to support repeal? We’ll help guide you.

Sen. Manchin’s election over a month ago was one of the closest in the nation. We fought for him. And he’s up for re-election again in 2012. Now it’s time for him to fight for us.

Click here to tell Sen. Manchin if he wants us to fight for him, he’s got to fight for us. Write a quick letter explaining why you, as a West Virginian, are telling Sen. Manchin to support repeal. If he can’t hear us, we’ve got to turn it up.

In solidarity,

Rick Jacobs
Chair, Courage Campaign

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

SLDN and legal partners file lawsuit against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” House Dems to introduce DADT repeal companion bill, vote expected tomorrow

47 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kathleen  |  December 14, 2010 at 7:59 am

    Reply
    • 2. Ann S.  |  December 14, 2010 at 8:04 am

      §

      Reply
      • 3. StraightForEquality  |  December 14, 2010 at 8:12 am

        Reply
        • 4. JonT  |  December 14, 2010 at 10:01 am

          Reply
  • 5. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  December 14, 2010 at 8:03 am

    Let’s repeal Manchin! ; ) subs

    Reply
  • 6. Richard A. Jernigan  |  December 14, 2010 at 8:06 am

    I have called Senator Manchin and given him my feelings about this. I will happily call again.

    Reply
    • 7. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  December 14, 2010 at 8:08 am

      : ) good example Richard…. I will too…

      Reply
      • 8. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  December 14, 2010 at 8:12 am

        done! A gentleman answered on first ring and insured he would forward my comments on to the senator.

        Reply
        • 9. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  December 14, 2010 at 8:25 am

          hopefully its a good insurance policy…(I get annoyed at my own typos!)

          Reply
    • 10. adambink  |  December 14, 2010 at 8:10 am

      Great example, Richard.

      Reply
  • 11. Ronnie  |  December 14, 2010 at 8:10 am

    “It’s something that probably will be, it needs to be repealed, and it will be repealed.”

    Then stop being one of the ingrates who stand in the way of repeal…..it really is that simple…. <3….Ronnie

    Reply
  • 12. Chris From CO  |  December 14, 2010 at 8:11 am

    If he believes it should be repealed he should vote to do it. The military can’t move to repeal the DADT, they don’t have the authority till congress gives them the authority. It is true the armed service chiefs say don’t want to repeal at this time, but they also said they feel they can speak to Robert Gates on this issue, and be heard. Point being the ban will not be lifted immediatly after the senate vote it will pass the authority to the military, who will be able to do it in there own time. Under the direction of the armed service chiefs who will report to Robert Gates. The senate needs to pass the authority over to the military. Just my view.

    Reply
  • 13. Ed  |  December 14, 2010 at 8:42 am

    AHHH!!! We are the victims!!!!

    Chuck Cooper playing the victim card….

    Reply
    • 14. Richard A. Jernigan  |  December 14, 2010 at 9:05 am

      When are they going to realize that their arguments in favor of discrimination are as thin as Charles Cooper’s hair?

      Reply
    • 15. Ann S.  |  December 14, 2010 at 2:02 pm

      Somebody call the WAAAAAAHHmbulance.

      Reply
      • 16. Ann S.  |  December 14, 2010 at 2:03 pm

        There’s a reason most of us who were there from P8TT left before he spoke. I didn’t want to be ill there in the Court’s library.

        Reply
      • 17. Kathleen  |  December 14, 2010 at 2:09 pm

        I still can’t bring myself to watch it. Does Tyler break into tears? I’d watch that.

        okay, I should step away from the computer … having a crappy day and now my mean girl side is showing.

        Reply
        • 18. Ann S.  |  December 14, 2010 at 2:19 pm

          I couldn’t even get that far into it. Cooper was first, and was as halting and incomprehensible in his delivery as he was inside the courtroom. There’s the bit where he bemoans the “lack of respect” shown his arguments by our side (I don’t really know WTF he’s talking about, unless it’s the next bit) and then he hauls out those 7 million voters and twists the “rational basis” argument into “they called us irrational” (again). I gave up after that. Life is too short.

          Reply
  • 19. Bob  |  December 14, 2010 at 9:19 am

    I particularily like today’s challenge, writing a letter to the editor, I defenitely hope there are some takers on that, there are many great writers on this site,,,,, many who have had letters published, ANN S being the latest most deserving of all the kudos she recieved….

    here’s hoping people take to the challenge,,,,and also for those budding writers, this issuch a great learning opportunity, look forward to anyone sharing their letter here……

    and of course the phone calls….

    has therre been a publication of the stand alone bill yet???

    will they publish it in advance for people i.e. senators to read,,,,,,,,,,,

    Reply
    • 20. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  December 14, 2010 at 9:40 am

      @Bob
      I’ll take your challenge to take the challenge! ….will need to wait until tonight though as crazy busy @ work….however, I still took a moment to call his office as a result of Richard’s example and post. Together we can all make a difference! Hoping some post their letters here (in addition to posting @ the courage campaign website).

      Reply
      • 21. Bob  |  December 14, 2010 at 9:46 am

        @Greg, woot woot, love that you will take the challenge, so looking forward to reading your letter.

        we’ve just upped the stakes in our cc grassroots movement, lobbying from home,,,, learning how to engagee elected officials by phone,,,,,, we’re doing that and learning what to ask…

        the letter writing thing moves us along in terms of sillls, I’m sure some will be really good at it……

        eventually we’lll be able to break thes down into sections, according to peoples comfort level… e-mail , phone calls, letters to the editor,,,, next time we have to jump we can do all together………woot woot….

        Reply
  • 22. Chris From CO  |  December 14, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Why do they believe we are not respecting them. We do but at the same time we can’t sit around and wait for their minds to catch up to us. We have to make a move forward towards equality in all its forms. Im pro one man and one women as much as I am two men, or two women. I love the relationship my parents have, it makes me strive to have one, just as good with my partner. If they respected us as much as they say they would drop this case because its the respectful thing to do.

    Reply
  • 23. Randy  |  December 14, 2010 at 9:32 am

    I would love to comment on this but I’ve only been reading this blog for three weeks.

    Reply
    • 24. Mark  |  December 14, 2010 at 10:02 am

      Good answer

      Reply
    • 25. Bob  |  December 14, 2010 at 10:05 am

      @Randy, please, tell us what you think, you feel like a newbie, three weeks qualitifies you, take the leap, write what’s on your mind, your input matters,

      Reply
      • 26. Randy  |  December 14, 2010 at 2:10 pm

        @Bob, well said. That’s exactly what I would say to Manchin! Sorry, was just being sarcastic in my earlier post. It’s a bit idiotic what he said, especially having just come from a campaign. Was he not out talking to voters about issues during that time? It’s a cop out in the most bureaucratic way…

        Reply
  • 27. Sagesse  |  December 14, 2010 at 9:38 am

    There’s this Defense Dept Working Group report out there… can the man not read?

    Reply
  • 28. Bob  |  December 14, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Murkowski,,,,aide says he has not seen the written bill

    Msnchin, same no response yet ,

    Gregg, I’m getting to like his aide, who seems the most willing to talk, he says Gregg, voted no before, but that doesn’t mean he may vote different, depending on wording of this bill, which is a slightly different from his definite no when I phoned two days ago,,,,,,

    I want to read that bill??? any links??

    Reply
    • 29. Kathleen  |  December 14, 2010 at 9:44 am

      You could try Lieberman’s office and see if there’s a way to get a copy of the bill – by email or fax, etc. If you get it, email it to me and I’ll Scribd it.

      Reply
    • 30. adambink  |  December 14, 2010 at 10:30 am

      Thanks for the report, Bob.

      Reply
  • 31. Ronnie  |  December 14, 2010 at 9:53 am

    New PSA from We Give A Damn.org…featuring Straight Allies, Kathy Najimy & husband Dan Finnerty….I give a damn about marriage….do you?…..<3…Ronnie:

    Reply
    • 32. Alto  |  December 14, 2010 at 4:59 pm

      I’ve always liked Kathy Najimy. Now there’s one more reason.

      Reply
  • 33. Bob  |  December 14, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Duh Kathleen, with the brains, Liebermans’s aide, was great, he says, the stand alone bill, has the exact same wording as the Defense Authorization Bill,,,,(that part referring to DADT repeal, that wording of the repeal of DADT, is the exact same wording, now on it’s own in a stand alone bill)

    He says if he can find a copy anyway, he will e-mail it to me, up here in Canada.
    I wasn’t quick enough to have your e-mail number ready…

    He also said any Senator that says they havent had a chance to read the bill, is just using that as an excuse, they have the wording, which was taken from the Defense Authorization Bill….. hope this helps……

    and I might phone again and tell thos aides that, and see what they say….. of course I always ask to tell the senator to vote in favour of repeal….

    Reply
    • 34. Kathleen  |  December 14, 2010 at 10:19 am

      Well done, Bob. I really appreciate all the work you’re doing on this. If you get it from Lieberman’s office, forward it to me and I’ll put it up on Scribd. In the meantime, maybe someone can locate the language from the NDAA. I’m having a major low function day, so getting it up on Scribd is about all I’m good for today.

      Reply
  • 35. anonygrl  |  December 14, 2010 at 10:32 am

    If anybody can get ahold of a paper copy and has a fax machine, I suggest faxing the copy TO the Senators who say they have not had a chance to read it.

    I can’t from work… all I can do here is watch you marvelous people do things, then make calls when I get home.

    Reply
    • 36. anonygrl  |  December 14, 2010 at 10:37 am

      And, (not that I want to dump the job on Bob) think how effective it would be if the copy were coming from CANADA. NO excuse for the Senators to claim they had troubles getting a copy to read then.

      (OK, this picture tickles me, and I am giggling at the idea of Bob, in a fur hat,and a parka, sitting in an igloo WAY up north, faxing pages down to Senators sitting in their fancy offices in DC, and making them feel like idiots, so they are yelling at their aides, who are running around like chickens with no heads, to go get a copy of this bill NOW! I mean ABSOLUTELY no offense by that, Bob… it was just a goofy image that popped into my head and I thought I would share it.)

      Reply
      • 37. Bob  |  December 14, 2010 at 5:12 pm

        Anonygrl, I love it, that’s the typical picture that comes to mind, but I’m in the warmest corner of Canada, the rain forest,,,, so I’m in gumboots and a raincoat, shleping wood into the fire,,,,,

        but I would love to send a message to those senators, if I had a fax machine,,,,,,,,,,,

        I love the list with all those e-mail contacts, but I’m a bit illiterate, or internet challenged, would love to find the include all button on that one, and send them the stand alone bill……….

        Keep writing anonygrl, you got talent, and I’ll be the exkimo in your story and live in an igloo any day, letter to the editor coming up, or better yet, cartoon piece, a picture speak a thousand words……

        Reply
  • 38. Rhie  |  December 14, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Watching

    Reply
  • […] 3: I’m told Pepe Johnson, the veteran discharged under DADT who we quoted in our e-mail blast to West Virginian Courage Campaign members on Monday, stopped by Sen. Manchin’s office at 11 AM EST to deliver a boatload of petitions urging […]

    Reply
  • 40. V.E. Oropeza  |  December 16, 2010 at 4:51 am

    It continues to amaze me how the homosexual agenda has avoided the real issue; this is a counterculture promoting their lifestyle, under so many guises and myths from being born that way, to comparing their plight to that of black discrimination and women’s rights, to homophobia.
    The unfortunate thing is no one has taken the time to read what research has to say about this kind of lifestyle, much of which is shrouded in secrecy because of the phobias of the homosexuals themselves who are a difficult group to study. But the research that has been done shows that as a group they are wanting in many areas. Suicide, is high among homosexuals, children within the context of a homosexual situation do far less better than children who are within a family unit with a father and a mother. In fact there is no scientific evidence to support the premise that anyone is born homosexual.
    “The attempt to prove that homosexuality is determined biologically has been dealt a knockout punch. An American Psychological Association publication includes an admission that there’s no homosexual “gene” — meaning it’s not likely that homosexuals are born that way.
    For decades, the APA has not considered homosexuality a psychological disorder, while other professionals in the field consider it to be a “gender-identity” problem. But the new statement, which appears in a brochure called “Answers to Your Questions for a Better Understanding of Sexual Orientation & Homosexuality,” states the following:
    ‘There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles….’ “

    Peter LaBarbera founder of Americans for Truth, a newly reorganized national organization devoted exclusively to exposing and countering the homosexual activist agenda points out that homosexual life style’s risky behavior is unhealthy and a dangerous to the public at large.
    The problem is no one seems to be doing their homework: Instead of focusing on the wants and desires of the homosexual; it has become civil rights and discrimination, not their deviate sexual behavior. The homosexual community has done much to use this tactic with effectiveness getting constant media attention in support of their cause focusing on “loving relationships” instead of a threat to manhood and womanhood.
    It is not fear of homosexuals that is of concern, but the deception that lies in the whole ideology.

    Reply
    • 41. Richard A. Jernigan  |  December 16, 2010 at 6:35 am

      And it continues to amaze me that someone who does not know anything about what he or she is talking about runs to the very biased, and also repudiated groups who have no peer-reviewed studies and totally ignores the relevant facts and also refuses to acknowledge the peer-reviewed studies that show that our children fare just as well as other children raised in two parent homes. It also amazes me how those who look at the suicide rates also continue to ignore their own part in those suicide rates through their own enablement, encouragement and empowerment of the bullying that is a direct cause of the bullying. When are you people going to wake up and smell the coffee? When are you going to grow up and accept the facts?

      Reply
    • 42. Ronnie  |  December 16, 2010 at 6:41 am

      No…not really you homophobic, un-American, Fascist pig…

      1) There is not “Homosexual agenda”…that is a lie made up by homophobes like you.

      2) Benighted Troglodytes, like you, don’t even know how to use the word “lifestyle” correctly….examples of “lifestyles” are: Goth, Bohemian, Preppy, Jock, Various forms of Religion, Country, Urban, Surfer, …the list can go on…but nowhere is “Homosexual” listed as a “lifestyle”…that is uneducated propaganda created by morons like you….take a Sociology class before you try to act like you actually have an education.

      3) Our fight for Civil Rights is exactly like that of people of color & women’s rights….same topic different subject….Repugnant Pigs like you thinking you have the right to control every aspect of other people’s personal lives with your selfish inhuman & un-American Dictatorship.

      4) Suicide is high because trash like you threat us like we are not worthy of respect & that we are not human….Get a better education & learn about social stigmatization before you open your nugatory mouth….You have blood on your hands.

      5) Actually, there have been several studies that kids raised in same gender homes do just as well, if not better, then those raised in duel gender homes….Your egomaniacal side choose to ignore them because they don’t prove what you want them to….Arrogance is not an attractive quality….you should work on that.

      6) Correction, They have not found the gene that pertains to someones Orientation. Considering there are 1000’s of genes that have not been named because they have no idea what they are used for as well as many more possible genetic combinations…..So someone with a logical mind & not a mind filled with hate, destruction, & a serious control complex, that reflects badly on your credibility, will be able to deduce that they have not found it yet….Just this year they found that there is a gene for stuttering…so get over yourself.

      6) Peter LaBarbera is a Hitler wannabe…& the fact that you put yourself in his company doesn’t exactly make you the paragon of decent human behavior, morality, or being a good a person. The American for “Truth” are nothing but liars spreading nothing but hate, lies, hearsay, propaganda, & speculation…there is not an ounce of truth in it….They do nothing but demean, degrade, & demonize innocent people.

      7) The deception lies within your Autocratic ideology…the same ideology that led to the Holocaust, slavery, the Salem Witch Trials, the Spanish Inquisition, the mistreatment of women as property & chattel to do your bidding, the denigration of the Natural Americans (i.e. Native Americans…aka. Aboriginals) …that list, too, can go on for quite a bit…..People like you are a threat to Humankind, Nature, & American Freedom.

      8) I was born Gay…& since you can’t prove otherwise…what is in my heart & soul…trumps your repugnant selfishness to control every aspect of my personal life & force me to live my life how you demand violating not only my 1st & 14th Amendment rights as a naturally born American citizen but the rights guaranteed to me by birth through nature as well…..GET OVER IT!!!!….<3…Ronnie

      Reply
      • 43. Ronnie  |  December 16, 2010 at 6:51 am

        ugg…see, this is what happens when you try to educated a homophobe in the morning before you have your coffee…TYPOS, wrong words, & forgetting some words…(cringes)….on #5…Kids in same gender homes do just as well, if not better in some cases, then those raised in dual gender homes…fixed….Oh & I used the #6 twice..(sighs)…..time for coffee…. mmmmmmmm….<3…Ronnie

        Reply
        • 44. Richard A. Jernigan  |  December 16, 2010 at 6:54 am

          I have some Vanilla Creme Espresso ready, Ronnie. Will that help?

          Reply
          • 45. Ronnie  |  December 16, 2010 at 7:08 am

            Ooooo…yes…that would be perfect…with a fluffy french cruller to go with it…morning bliss…lol…<3…Ronnie

    • 46. JonT  |  December 16, 2010 at 10:48 am

      It continues to amaze me how the homosexual agenda has avoided the real issue;

      It continues to amaze me that people still think that there is actually such a thing as the ‘Homosexual Agenda’. I guess that makes you a part of the christianist agenda?

      “The attempt to prove that homosexuality is determined biologically has been dealt a knockout punch. An American Psychological Association publication includes an admission that there’s no homosexual “gene” …

      This sounds like NARTH/christianist propaganda. I doubt there is actually a ‘gay gene’, anymore that I believe that there is a ‘straight gene’. An irrelevant argument.

      Suicide, is high among homosexuals, children within the context of a homosexual situation do far less better than children who are within a family unit with a father and a mother.

      Ahh yes. You might investigate why suicide is ‘high’ among GLBT’s. Hint: People like you who try so hard to make life a living hell for gay people is the primary reason for that.

      And as for your second statement regarding the suitability of gay people to raise children – perhaps you should look at some actual peer reviewed research showing the exact opposite, rather than the christianist propaganda spouted by the likes of NARTH, FoTF, and others of their ilk.

      Peter LaBarbera founder of Americans for Truth…

      Oh geez, now you quote porno pete? Really? The thing about porno pete’s ‘research’ is that it’s all bunk, without a single peer reviewed study anywhere to be found. It’s propaganda, the kind you christianists just gobble up like $2 whores at a republican fundraiser.

      Anyhoo, nice try, thanks for playing.

      Reply
  • 47. Richard A. Jernigan  |  December 16, 2010 at 7:42 am

    Or French toast made from challah that was baked with a cinnamon/sugar blend topping would also be great!

    Reply

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