Ding dong, the policy is dead!

Cross-posted at Eclectablog.com.

Fer cryin' out loud, was that so hard?

Rachel Maddow tweeted it second best:



Who tweeted it best? Lt. Dan Choi of course:



What's he talking about? At Netroots Nation last year in Las Vegas, I was privileged to watch history being made when Lt. Choi gave Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid his Westpoint ring along with his discharge papers, saying the ring no longer meant the same thing to him as it did when he received it. Senator Reid said there was no way he would keep it because he didn't earn it but, rather, that he would hold onto it and keep it safe until DADT was repealed.

Video and more after the jump.

Take two minutes to watch this. It is powerful.



Well, that day was today.

This afternoon, just before the vote, Senator Reid tweeted this:



Here's the most galling part of this entire spectacle for me. The Senate has been unable to pass the Defense appropriations bill for months now because Senate Republicans filibustered it to keep DADT from being repealed. Finally, this week, following the lead of the House of Representatives, they split off DADT repeal as a stand-alone bill. This morning they got cloture allowing it to (finally) be voted on by a vote of 63-33. Then, this afternoon, they passed the repeal on a vote of 65-31.

Puzzle me this: why on earth wouldn't they vote for it as part of the appropriations bill but would vote on it as a standalone? That is galling.

So why did they vote like that? Might it have been a positive outfall of the deal the President was able to negotiate with them over tax cuts and unemployment benefits extension? I say very likely so.

Probably the most sickening thing that happened in the vote today was Senator John McCain's pathetic and nauseating last-minute flailing on the issue. This past week we heard Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos utter these insulting words, describing the presence of gay Americans in the military as "a distraction":

"I don't want to lose any Marines to the distraction. I don't want to have any Marines that I'm visiting at Bethesda [National Naval Medical Center, in Maryland] with no legs be the result of any type of distraction."

Yes, you read that right. He's blaming the future loss of limbs by soldier in battle on their gay comrades in arms.

Today, as he was forced to watch the military policy he so loathes take its final death gasp, Senator McCain had this to say:

Today's a very sad day. The Commandant of the United States Marine Coprs says when your life hangs on the line, you don't want anything distracting it. Mistakes or inattention or distraction cost Marines' lives. I don't want to permit that opportunity to happen and I'll tell you why. You go up to Bethesday Naval Hospital. Marines are up there with no legs. None. You've got Marines at Walter Reed with no limbs.

Pathetic. Sickening. Beyond offensive. And uttered by an aging, bitter Senator who should be retired. For shame, Senator McCain, for shame.

But, to end on a happy note, today is a victory for the LGBT community and for anyone and everyone that was involved in the process of repealing this odious military policy. I received a tiny smidgen of personal gratification when I learned that, after spending time over the past three weeks phonebanking into his district with other OFA volunteers, Ohio Senator George Voinovich voted FOR repeal. While it is sad and unfortunate that the DREAM Act was not passed today, the repeal of DADT is an historic achievement.

Actually makes me kinda weepy.

I'm just sayin'...


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