Give tea party credit for defeating 'don't ask, don't tell' bill
By now, Senate Republicans have received the message “loud and clear.” They need to cast conservative votes to stay in the good graces of the ultra-right wing of their party.
That’s where the tea party comes in. And on Tuesday, the party scored another victory.
GOP senators blocked an attempt by Democratic senators to adhere to the wishes of military officials and repeal the loathsome “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that’s responsible for kicking gay soldiers out of serving their country.
While a military spending bill that included the repeal got 56 “yes” votes on Tuesday, it could not get the 60 votes needed to overcome a GOP filibuster.
The legislation will come up again, but whether that’s before the Nov. 2 elections is anyone’s guess.
My thoughts: Don’t expect it. Republicans won’t want to be seen voting for a policy that would appear to recognize the rights of gay people.
Meanwhile, GOP senators will continue to label the policy as being out of step with mainstream America. It’s not. Earlier this year a CNN poll showed 78 percent of Americans backed repealing the policy.
But remember, the GOP doesn’t really care about what liberal or moderate Americans think. It’s all about keeping the base happy.
And these days the tea party crowd and its ultra-conservative view of government policies rules the Republicans’ mindset.