Two months ago, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) said Senate Democrats were "too busy to deal with "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." In a new article in The Hill, Durbin and other House and Senate Democrats are worried about the upcoming midterm elections and want to delay voting on the Democrat's "controversial" legislative. They aren't sure that a DADT repeal will be on their agenda in 2010.
Vulnerable House and Senate Democrats want their leaders to skip the party’s controversial legislative agenda for next year to help save their seats in Congress. In the run-up to the 2010 midterm elections, they don’t want to be forced to vote on climate change, immigration reform and gays in the military, which they say should be set aside so Congress can focus on jobs and the economy.... Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, meanwhile, has pushed for the repeal of the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which prohibits gays from serving openly in the military.
Gay-rights activists have put strong pressure on Obama and Democratic leaders to repeal the ban sooner rather than later. Reid sent a letter to Obama last month asking him to provide recommendations on gays serving in the military, noting that Congress is considering “future legislative action.” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said he was not certain whether repealing “Don’t ask, don’t tell” would be on next year’s agenda. One Democratic senator facing reelection in a Republican-leaning state said he does not want to see the issue of gays in the military, immigration reform or even climate change on next year’s agenda.
Durbin, in addition to being the Majority Whip, represents Illinois and is a confidante of President Obama. It's safe to assume that when he speaks on this issue, he's telegraphing the White House's interests.
Would 2011 or 2012 be better times to pencil gays in the military on the Senate's "busy" agenda"? Nah, presidential primary and election. And if gays in the military is too "controversial" for midterm elections, do we really think the House and Senate will pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act next year?