Senator Hagan supports Lieberman bill to repeal DADT

Earlier this week I reported that Senator Hagan fell short of directly endorsing Senator Lieberman's bill that would repeal the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy directed at gays and lesbians serving our country. I'm happy to report that the Senator's office has called to clarify that she does support Senator Lieberman's bill.

Now, lets get busy and push that door open even more. What can we do in the next few days to expedite the passage of this bill?



So we have all the top dogs in the military signed on to the repeal, and we can assume they have the best interests of the armed forces at heart. I guess that means Do Nothin' Dick will be against it?

More than likely....

I hope the Lieberman bill isn't just another - We've introduced the bill already so STFU - situations.....

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

The quickest -- and most painless -- way forward on DADT

Attach repeal language to the DEFAUTH -- the Defense Authorization bill -- which is now before the Senate Armed Services Committee. That way, it's filibuster-proof.

Everyone working on this bill -- including the White House -- knows this. They did it with hate crimes last year, and it was the way DADT was passed in the first place in the 90s.

I appreciate your work on this Betsy, but if President Obama or Chairman Levin or Senator Hagan were serious about this, it would have been done last year -- or at a minimum attached to this year's presidential budget. It wasn't.

This administration is playing games and still wasting taxpayer money by prosecuting highly-trained members of the armed services for simply being gay.

DADT repeal is low-hanging fruit (hehe) and should have been handled last year. These delays are intolerable and expensive.


It has been reported that Sen. Levin

has indicated a willingness to include the language in the Defense Authorization bill. I'm still getting back on my feet here....have honestly been out of the loop for the past few months. I'll hopefully be up to speed soon. :)

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Cosponsors to date

Sen Bingaman, Jeff [NM] - 3/3/2010
Sen Boxer, Barbara [CA] - 3/3/2010
Sen Brown, Sherrod [OH] - 3/9/2010
Sen Burris, Roland [IL] - 3/3/2010
Sen Cantwell, Maria [WA] - 3/15/2010
Sen Cardin, Benjamin L. [MD] - 3/3/2010
Sen Casey, Robert P., Jr. [PA] - 3/9/2010
Sen Dodd, Christopher J. [CT] - 3/11/2010
Sen Durbin, Richard [IL] - 3/9/2010
Sen Feingold, Russell D. [WI] - 3/9/2010
Sen Feinstein, Dianne [CA] - 3/3/2010
Sen Franken, Al [MN] - 3/3/2010
Sen Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [NY] - 3/3/2010
Sen Kerry, John F. [MA] - 3/9/2010
Sen Lautenberg, Frank R. [NJ] - 3/9/2010
Sen Leahy, Patrick J. [VT] - 3/3/2010
Sen Levin, Carl [MI] - 3/3/2010
Sen Merkley, Jeff [OR] - 3/3/2010
Sen Sanders, Bernard [VT] - 3/9/2010
Sen Schumer, Charles E. [NY] - 3/9/2010
Sen Specter, Arlen [PA] - 3/3/2010
Sen Stabenow, Debbie [MI] - 3/16/2010
Sen Udall, Mark [CO] - 3/3/2010
Sen Udall, Tom [NM] - 3/9/2010
Sen Wyden, Ron [OR] - 3/3/2010

My write up calling for Senator Hagan to sign on as a cosponsor last month:

General Colin Powell who served under Bush, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates who served under President Bush and President Obama, Admiral Michael Mullen the highest ranking officer in the United States armed forces, and General David Petraeus who obviously knows a little something about the current conflicts, all agree that DADT needs to be repealed. President Obama called for DADT repeal during his speech during the National Equality March weekend, and again during the state of the union saying "this year."

DADT repeal proves to have support in the polls, even in NC, where recent polling suggests 67% of democrats and 59% of independents support its repeal. And as luck would have it, we have a senator in this state that says she supports DADT repeal, and who even sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee! No more perfect storm of support on issue or rightness of the cause could occur, and yet, as I look through the list of those cosponsoring the repeal bill, I find her name no where on it.

Please give her a call: 202-224-6342
And shoot her a message:

She said in the primary debate years ago that she thinks the army is all volunteer and it ought to stay that way as her way of support a repeal of DADT. And now shes has repeated that line a few years later. I'm glad she has taken the further step of saying she'll support the repeal bill, but her name should be on the cosponsor list if she wants to stand by what shes been saying for years now.

What can we do?

I guess we could consider BlueNC to be a media outlet...outlet, so one of the things we can do is keep an eye on what Queerty lists as one of six obstacles to this bill's success:

The media. Actually, Fox News is the least of your concerns. Aside from Bill O'Reilly's rhetoric, the cable news network has done a decent job covering the DADT battle. It's networks like CNN that invite hate leaders on their network to perpetrate falsehoods and fear. A great fact sheet from Media Matters offers reporters some concrete ways on how to avoid spreading these anti-gay fairytales grounded not in fact, but hatred. But increasing the populous' support for repealing DADT requires averting their eyes to scary butt sex, and convincing them it'll keep this country safer.

Okay, so: Congressional repeal of DADT won't stand a snowball's chance in hell if the majority of voters (mostly heterosexuals) don't give a shit. It's one thing to answer yes or no on a poll question, but it's another thing entirely to understand the issue well enough to (confidently) speak out in support of it, and write letters and e-mails and make phone calls to their Congress critters.

And how do they arrive at that understanding (or lack of)? Mostly through the media. So the next question (for BlueNCers) is: How can we influence our local media outlets so that they provide their reading/viewing/listening market with solid information to enhance that understanding?

The first thing is doing what we already do, only do it better: Expose that solid information here, in diaries and comments that get people thinking. We can also provide our readers with elements that facilitate action, such as links to pre-prepared e-mails directed at elected officials and other contact info.

The second thing is along the lines of what James calls "whack-a-mole", where we comment at media outlets to counter misinformation or clarify/enhance what is being exposed there. Being snarky and combative is often tempting in these instances, but if that gets in the way of providing good information, information that reporters might be tempted to pursue, that approach could be more counterproductive than helpful.

Don't get me wrong; direct action is good, and you should follow your heart on that. Make the calls, write the letters, march in support. But you should also (constantly) be considering ways to use your words in an effort to increase (to become progressively greater) dissemination of the knowledge that inspired you to act.