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I have a lot of pet peeves, and as of late, a particular nasty one has begun to flare up with a degree of frequency that causes me an endless amount of irritation.
What pet peeve you may ask?
Whey the peeve that comes about when people who are incredibly passionate about a particular issue, say the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, have a tendency to ignore any and all facts that don't pertain/fit their rose colored view of the universe.
In case you've been either living under a rock or been living your life with your focus exclusively on your personal problems (as it should be), then this past Thursday (12/9) a repeal of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy was narrowly defeated in the Senate.
And true to form, all the blather by the pundits, activists and other assorted individuals whose sole purpose in life is to make life a little more miserable for everyone else who isn't like THEM, immediately started blaming the G.O.P. for the failure of the repeal to go through.
However, lets take off those blinders shall we and take a closer look at the FACTS (you know, those things that most people conveniently disregard when they don't want to be proven WRONG) surrounding this issue.
1} The G.O.P. wanted more time to consider the broader defense authorization bill, of which the repeal was a component thereof. Also, the G.O.P. vowed to block all legislation until a stalemate over the expiring Bush era tax cuts was resolved.
2} In spite of the G.O.P vow (which was either a good thing or a bad thing), Senate majority leader Harry Reid decided to call for a quick vote that Thursday over the objections of supporters for the repeal (yes, I said supporters).
3} End result was that everyone was caught off guard and the vote failed by three votes, which coincidentally was the total amount of senators absent from the vote.
Now, I don't know about you, but if I was in the same shoes as Harry Reid, I would think twice about flexing my power and bullying of the minority party into voting for something. Especially since my bullying lead to a serious decline of my party's fortunes.
Let's face it folks, sometimes you do have to play nice, and would it really have hurt to let the G.O.P debate the defense authorization bill for a few days while at the same time letting a deal that some liberal Democrats found repugnant go through, in order to get what you wanted in the end?
To sum it up, the defeat of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell should not be laid 100% squarely at the feet of the G.O.P.
A key Democrat was involved in this defeat, and in spite of the promise of two other prominent senators (one an indy and one a Republican) to reintroduce the repeal as a stand alone bill, this probably will wind up being a court mandated repeal.
So please, if you're gonna blame the G.O.P., then you must blame Harry Reid for the defeat as well, because his ego was simply too huge to let something like a compromise on an item that he intensely disliked dictate how he was going to do this.
He wound up doing things his way.
And guess what peoples?
His way killed what little hope you had for repeal the normal way.
Not the G.O.P.