Pro-repeal Senators say they’ve got 60 votes for DADT, including several GOPers

The lame duck session represents so many hurdles, so little time, but there is this.

Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, the Connecticut independent, said Thursday that he and other opponents of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gay service members had secured the votes to authorize its repeal — provided that Senate leaders allow a free-flowing debate on the wider military policy bill that includes the repeal.

At the press conference, Lieberman mentioned GOP Senators Collins and Lugar are prepared to vote for the Defense bill. And I got a big chuckle out of this.

“The movement to end the injustice of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is alive and well and we are going to keep fighting — in the spirit of the American military — until we get the job done,” he said. “And we will get the job done.”

Mr. Lieberman conceded, however, that he had made no progress in persuading Mr. McCain, a close friend of his, to withdraw his opposition.

That is just too cute by half. I’d love to be a fly on the wall watching “Joementum” (snark) try to bargain with his pal “Walnuts” (no snark) to get him to come over to the side of equality.

UPDATE from Joe: Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade reports that Nevada activists have been told Senator John Ensign wants DADT repealed and is prepared to vote for cloture on the Defense bill after the Pentagon’s study is released. Via Igor Volsky, according to an Alaska reporter, that state’s newly reelected Senator, Lisa Murkowski “said that she would ‘not vote against a bill that had that repeal in it.'” Murkowski has been back and forth on this issue over the past couple days. So, this thing is fluid. It’s all about timing and process now.

The key thing to remember is this paragraph from the NY Times article, to which Tim linked:

Leaders of the new House Republican majority have indicated that repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” is not a priority for them, making it unlikely they would approve the bill again. That means if the repeal language is not approved by the end of this year, it will be effectively dead.

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