The push to repeal "Don't ask, don't tell" — the federal policy barring gays from serving openly in the military — collapsed in the Senate on Thursday, as Democrats fell three votes short of the 60 needed to overcome a Republican filibuster. Those who want to end DADT intend to try again, but concede it will be difficult to get anything passed during Congress' lame-duck session — and next to impossible once Republicans assume greater power next year. What's the upshot? (Watch an AP report about DADT's standing)
The repeal effort looks finished: The public, the Pentagon, and a significant portion of Congress agree the ban on gays in the military should go, says Bradford Plumer in The New Republic. Plus, it's "the right thing to do, morally speaking." But if the supporters of repeal — including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) — introduce new efforts to change the policy, they'll be blocked by the same procedural tricks that sank them on Thursday. It looks as if "that's it" for the effort to end "don't ask, don't tell."
"The Senate's shame and 'don't ask, don't tell'"
It is still up in the air: This issue won't be going away, says Allahpundit in Hot Air. Lieberman says he'll give it another try with a "stand-alone bill" instead of tucking it into a big defense bill requiring lengthy debate. He'll still need votes from several Republicans, including Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who have pledged to "ignore all other business until after the vote on taxes." But with the public supporting repeal 2-to-1, they'll have "political cover" if they "cave" and agree to repeal the policy.
"Crash and burn: DADT repeal fails, 57-40"
Obama can end DADT whenever he wants: The chance of repealing "don't ask, don't tell" in the Senate may be "next to nil," says Andrea Stone in Aol News, but there are plenty of other "battle fronts and pathways" to ending the policy. President Obama could "use his powers as commander in chief to order all discharges of gays and lesbians to stop," or tell his Justice Department to stop fighting a court ruling on the policy's constitutionality. Congress "shut the door," but Obama can open it again.
"After Senate vote, what's next for 'don't ask, don't tell'?"