Sen. Manchin (D-WV) using bogus argument about chaplains as reason to delay action on DADT

Speaking of Senate hurdles, West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, is a problem. Sourcing AP, Igor Volsky reports:

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Manchin reiterated his concerns about lifting the ban during a time of war and the effect the change would have on military chaplains:
“They don’t believe that it should be invoked at a point of time when they’re engaged in combat, because it would be a hard transition for them,” Manchin said. “So, if someone’s trying to push that through with a vote quicker, it might not be prudent. I’m not sure if the votes would be there to do that.” [...]

“Do the clergy believe that this makes (it) harder for them to do the mission that they believe in, which is preaching the Gospel and the Bible as they believe, or does it kind of give them a pause, if you will,” Manchin said.

To be clear, the Pentagon’s Working Group survey met Manchin’s first requirement — that is, it concluded that repeal would not undermine unit cohesion — and addressed his new concerns.

I really hate when members of Congress invoke fake religious arguments as a reason to oppose equality. Manchin is letting a few homophobic chaplains determine policy for the military. That’s real leadership, huh?

Didn’t take long for Manchin to become just another useless member of the Democratic caucus.

We still don’t even know if there will be a vote to end the GOP filibuster of the Defense Authorization bill. There’s growing pressure to keep the Senate in session until there’s action on that vital legislation. To move forward, we’ll need 60 votes, of course. Given this latest news from Manchin, we will probably now need four GOPers. The Democrats now have 58 members in their Senate caucus and the charter member of the Democrat’s homophobe caucus, Mark Pryor won’t vote for any legislation that includes the DADT langage. That leaves us at 56 yes votes. We’ll need Collins to lead on this one and bring along three more members of her caucus.

Just feels like the climb, which was already pretty steep, gets steeper every day.

Again, Jim Messina, great job concocting the strategy to push the vote on DADT off until after the Pentagon’s report came out. Thanks. Really. Thanks. Look forward to returning the favor when you’re campaign manager for the reelection.

And, for anyone who doubts that this was the White House strategy, I point you to two letters from senior Obama administration officials: On April 30th, Secretary Gates told members of Congress that he did not want any repeal legislation passed until after the Pentagon report came out. The Gates letter provided repeal opponents with one of their best talking points. Then, there was a letter from OMB Director Peter Orszag on May 24th, after Messina explained the grand compromise on DADT. Orszag’s letter begrudgingly offered tepid support for passage of the DADT compromise language. But, he noted, “ideally” Congress would wait until after the report was finalized. So, here we are. Now that the President has sold out his base on the tax issue, he better devote some time and energy to passing the Defense Authorization bill, which includes the compromise DADT language.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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