By a vote of 65-31, the Senate has voted to repeal “Dont Ask, Don’t Tell.” All that’s left now is for President Obama to sign the legislation, which I’m sure he will do as quickly as possible.
Earlier in the day, the Senate voted 63-33 to invoke cloture. Six Republicans voted in favor of doing so: Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, Mark Kirik, Scott Brown, Lisa Murkowski, and George Voinovich. On the final vote, two conservatives, John Ensign and Richard Burr, joined in to support repeal.
Of that entire group, the only Senator whose view on the subject I credit even slightly is Scott Brown, who has served for 30 years in the National Guard. But Brown must run for re-election in left-liberal Massachusetts. And, political calculation aside, I do not credit Brown’s views nearly as much as those of, for example, John McCain, a true expert in military affairs whose son serves in the Marines and opposes repeal.
It’s clear to me that there will come a day when DADT can be repealed without an appreciable risk to the military and its personnel, such as the risk described by Gen. James Amos, Commandant of the Marines, of American soldiers dying on the battlefield as a result of the decrease in unit cohesion he thinks repeal will produce. The testimony of Gen. Amos, and the data contained in the Pentagon’s study showing the views of the people who actually fight for this country, led me to conclude that day has not yet arrived.
All we can do now is pray that it has. For although in theory the repeal won’t be implemented until the president, the secretary of defense, and the chairman of the joint chiefs all say that the armed forces are ready it, there’s little chance that Obama will countenance any defense secretary or joint chiefs chairman who isn’t willing to certify right away that the armed forces are ready.
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