On the very same day that Sen. Joe Lieberman introduces the Senate’s first bill to repeal "Don’t ask, Don’t Tell", its most prominent co-sponsor, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (MI), publicly begins to undercut the effort to the New York Times:
OTOH: If the repeal is included in the FY 2011 Defense Authorization Request, opponents would have to secure 60 votes to filibuster the entire bill. Seems like a no-brainer, right?
The senator's remark is yet another in a series of conflicting messages that give rise to concern that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" will not be repealed this year—and with the likelihood of Democratic losses in November, possibly for many years to come. Levin has repeatedly pushed the idea of a moratorium, which is opposed by gay activists, the armed services and (allegedly) the Obama Administration. The Defense Department's Working Group on DADT Repeal suggests full repeal could be "years away". And only two weeks ago, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs twice refused to say the President wanted to see DADT repealed this year. This was only weeks after the President's State of the Union where he called for a repeal "this year".
Public option anyone?