DADT: Crunch Time for James Webb

The Senate Armed Services Committee has voted to repeal the Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell statute and give the Pentagon discretion to end the policy.

The vote?  16-12, with Maine’s Susan Collins voting to join all but one of the panel’s Democrats.  The lone Democratic dissenter?  James Webb.

Given Republican homophobic hysteria on the issue, the GOP has predictably threatened to filibuster the measure when it hits the floor.  Since Ben Nelson has already agreed to it, it’s hard to see any other Democrats peeling off, especially because Blanche Lincoln is still locked in a primary.

That means that Jim Webb may be the one who has to decide on cloture.

What will it be, Senator?


  1. MobiusKlein says

    I can't imagine him voting against cloture if he's vote 60.

    Voting against the bill itself, sure.

  2. dave schutz says

    Since women were integrated into the military, I have been puzzled by hostility to gays. Before women were in, there was a plausible argument (I think not correct, but plausible) that unit cohesion was threatened by romance in the ranks. And the same argument applied to presence of gays. Once they brought women in, they had to deal with it: lots of norms and rules about not promoting the person with whom you are sleeping, etc. And once you have done that, bringing gays in seems like a freebie, to me: you have already built the culture for dealing with the possibility of romance. Better, in fact: gay romance does not lead to pregnancy discharge of expensively trained soldiers.

  3. Henry says

    Dave, hostility to gays was never based on arguments, plausible or otherwise. The arguments were and are a facade for bigotry.

  4. Joe S. says

    I'm not too good with my Senate procedure, but isn't this an appropriations bill, requiring only 51 votes?

  5. Joel W says

    Given that Collins voted it out of the Armed Forces Committee, I assume she'd defect, giving 60 without Webb. Snowe probably would too.

  6. Barry says

    Henry says:

    "Dave, hostility to gays was never based on arguments, plausible or otherwise. The arguments were and are a facade for bigotry."

    I'll second and extend. It's just a continuation of the arguments against allowing blacks in, and then against having integrated units. In thirty years, only the Rand Pauls (and many teabagger equivalents, if you get them drunk enough to open up) will oppose that.