Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Reid, Cher & Teddy bears

[Update: I've been included on an email thread circulating today among gay servicemembers at Nevada AF bases. The anger at Obama/Reid is real over today's DADT failure. -sf]

I'm getting back to work today, but there are a few interesting stories out there today that figured I'd just touch on in rapid-fire manner:

* Reid and DADT: The Harry Reid campaign better be ready for some serious blowback that could harm his already narrow re-election chances now that the Senate has failed to advance the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell today. Victory was within reach, but Reid couldn't keep the vote of Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine and Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts from going bye-bye because Republicans want an opportunity to make other amendments to the bill. Reid is known as a master legislative technician; it won't cut it with gay activists that he couldn't find ways to placate her and if he vilifies her as simply trying to stymie the process. These are the few Republicans willing to come over to his side and they've openly supported repealing DADT; they're part of the bipartisan solution to so much of the stall of the Obama agenda. Many wonder why he couldn't let Republicans make amendments and then get them voted down if they're that horrible. Reid, after all, is the guy who managed to get that health care bill through despite significant public opposition; if he can't figure out how to make DADT repeal happen when the vast majority of Americans support it, why should gay voters in Nevada re-elect him?

I've already received emails from two prominent gay Las Vegans with serious followings who are alarmed that disaffected gay voters will stay home on Nov. 2. "I don't even know what I can say to people who say Harry's let us down," one note read. "I mean, if Harry can't get this done for us now, what good will he be when he has a smaller majority?" Translation: Harry or no Harry, Congress will be in gridlock for the next few years, so maybe punishing Democrats now while there's a Democratic president who can backstop acts of the GOP that progressives dislike is worthwhile? Sharron Angle may be anathema to gays, but the reality is that the Republicans won't have a 60-vote majority, either, so she's not going to have any impact anyway except for, perhaps, her entertainment value.

The thinking goes like this: Maybe bouncing Reid & Co will lead the next crop of Democrats to act since this one, even with all its power, didn't? Gay activists are furious with ineffective, silent Obama, yes, but they don't get to punish him for another two years. DADT repeal is low-hanging fruit; Reid doesn't get points just for trying. P.S. Gaga ain't coming to rally for you now, Pinky.

* Cher. Hard to believe, but she's over. The Colosseum at Caesars Palace announced today they're putting tickets on sale on Saturday for her final set of performances in her three-year contract. Where did the time go? Wasn't it just yesterday that I was suggesting ways to fix that thing? Those shows are Jan. 11-Feb. 5. So, anyhow, what's next, Caesars?

* Teddy bears. Buried in a health piece in the R-J's quirky View section today was a claim that a study recently showed a quarter of men in a British survey admitted they pack teddy bears while traveling for business. I called bullshit on Twitter and Facebook, but now I'm more alarmed that CNN is more than happy to buy this load, see?


Anonymous said...

As a gay airman at Nellis, I can assure you I will not vote for Reid if he fails on this. Angle's nuts, but that just means she'll be easy to beat in 2016. Reid underestimates the anger over this because he's got gays on his staff telling him it's not a problem. Maybe they need to lose their jobs, too.

atdnext said...

WHAT??!! So Reid got a vote on DADT, and he's a failure? But if he had waited even longer to schedule a vote, he would have been a failure? This is just a lose-lose situation, and IMHO it's ridiculous.

So why should we bash Reid and coddle Republicans like Susan Collins bringing up non-sensical procedural issues? Harry Reid is on record saying he was willing to work an agreement over how many amendments would be allowed. This was just the GOP holding DADT repeal hostage by not even allowing a final vote on it.

And the impact a "Senator Sharron Angle" would make would be loss of funds for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs here in Nevada, loss of support for LGBTQ community centers in Nevada, and of course an assured NAY vote on anything regarding our civil rights. This is NOT some petty game, and this election has real consequences.

I just don't see how it makes sense to get rid of Reid in favor of a total bigot like Angle.


Andrew: I'm sorry, I'm confused. Are you claiming that the Gay and Lesbian Center of Nevada receives federal support? I've never heard that. Please explain and specify?

atdnext said...

Actually, Steve, I'm still trying to figure that out.

However, I do know that Reid's office paid for the new TV at The Center's youth room after the old one was stolen.

And I do know that Reid's folks, the county Dem party, and the Stonewall club all pitched in to help when The Center wanted to redo its library.

And whenever The Center and other local LGBTQ organizations have a concern, Reid's office has been very receptive. I doubt Angle would even care. She'd probably be worse than Ensign!


Andrew: Just got off the phone with Candace Nichols of the GL Center of Southern Nevada. They get no federal or state grants, as I suspected. They do get a little bit of money that comes via the CDC in a very complicated route for HIV prevention programs, but there's been no change of any sort in that under Bush v Obama, she said. Also, I thought Angle would be powerless and irrelevant if elected, anyhow. Isn't that a common pro-Reid argument, that we'd go from 1st to 100th? Suddenly, she's got control over all sorts of aid? How'd that happen?

The point is this: Democrats had 59 and 60 votes. They couldn't even end DADT or pass ENDA, both of which have broad public support. Blame Republicans? Sure. But what difference does it make now? Reid's never going to get that big a majority again, so it appears civil rights gains that are sought don't happen either way, do they? The civil rights outcomes are identical under either party.

atdnext said...

Steve: Did you ask her about the new David Parks Library at The Center? And the TV in the youth room?

And yes, because Angle would have no influence, overall the state would suffer real consequences. This is more in general, but nonetheless last I checked gay people go to UNLV, work in the gaming industry, enjoy public lands, and take advantage of the many things Reid has done for this state.

And in regards to Senate process, it's not like Reid can snap his fingers and magically wave away DADT. He got a vote on it, and he's trying to get the 60 votes to repeal it.

The difference is that the Republicans are essentially holding it hostage because they want to offer unlimited amendments to stall this vote and delay other legislation, like Obama's tax cut proposal. They're not innocent in this game, and I find it ridiculous that groups like RightPride are trying to say whatever they can to distract from the fact that their GOP heroes Ensign & Cornyn OPPOSE repealing Dadt.

Jeff in OKC said...

Can you imagine having any kind of sensible discussion with a woman who says you are an abomination before the Lord? She is like the Klan dealing with African-Americans.

Jeff Simpson said...

Punishing Harry Reid because he wasn't able to marshal enough votes to bring the defense authorization bill with DADT repeal up for a vote right now would be foolish and could delay what certainly will be its eventual repeal.
If Democrats lose the Senate majority this year it will be six years until there will be enough winnable Republican seats for the Dems to regain the majority. Anyone who thinks that a Republican majority or even a Reid defeat would advance a repeal of DADT is a fool. The perfect is the enemy of the good; Harry Reid is a good man and is doing his best in a tough political climate. People can't be patient forever, but Reid is not the villain. Lashing out at your friends only strengthens your enemies.
Folks who want to repeal DADT should clearly vote FOR Reid and against Angle.

Airman at Creech said...

Jeff: Whether the D's retain a smaller majority or lose it, the outcome will be the same. They didn't get it done when they had an historic majority; the argument that they need to be there to get it done with a much smaller -- or no! -- majority is baffling.

I'm on that email thread Steve referenced on Twitter yesterday, by the way. Harry Reid is a lying tool as far as I'm concerned. And Obama could have signed an executive order a year ago halting discharges. The Democrats don't care about gay people, they just want our votes and money. Sickening.