Dear Associated Press and Yahoo! News:
I take offense at your misleading headline, “Republicans block bill to lift military gay ban,” for myriad reasons.
Namely, with one Republican Senator (well, RINO Murkowski, but I digress) absent, it is impossible for “Republicans” to “block” the bill.
Why, you ask?
Well, with 41 Republicans in the Senate minus the absent sore loser from Alaska, that’s only 40 votes.
Elementary math: 100 Senators (minus) 40 GOP (equals) bill passage with 60 votes.
So why did the bill not pass with the crucial 41st GOP vote absent?
Oh, Democrats voted against the measure?
Whoopsie! Right, you just made a mistake!
Democratic Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor of Arkansas sided with Republicans to block the bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., also voted against the measure as a procedural tactic. Under Senate rules, casting his vote with the majority of the Senate enables him to revive the bill at a later date if he wants.
Emphasis mine. Three Democrats sided with 40 Republicans. Three Democrats, not Republicans, are the reason the bill didn’t pass.
More garbage from the AP:
Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked legislation that would have repealed the law banning gays from serving openly in the military.
The partisan vote was a defeat for Senate Democrats and gay rights advocates, who saw the bill as their last chance before November’s elections to overturn the law known as “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
With the 56-43 vote, Democrats fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance the legislation. It also would have authorized $726 billion in defense spending including a pay raise for troops.
Senate Democrats attached the repeal provision to the defense bill in the hopes that Republicans would hesitate to vote against legislation that included popular defense programs. But GOP legislators opposed the bill anyway, thwarting a key part of the Democrats’ legislative agenda.
Those eevil Democrat thwarters, Lincoln, Pryor, and Reid! Is it any surprise two of the three struggle in their reelection bids?
Allahpundit sees the Reid move as motivation for his base in Nevada:
Reid’s strategy in bundling the defense bill together with the DREAM Act and repealing DADT was, I assume, aimed at forcing a Republican no vote which he can now use to motivate liberals and Latinos in Nevada to turn out for him in November. Which would make sense, I guess, if not for one thing: Wouldn’t he have been better off trying to pass the DREAM Act and repeal of DADT as standalone measures?
No lie. I think ol’ Harry can’t avoid stepping on his own crank at EVERY turn right now. And I’m thankful–no, estatic–that his strategy fell short. More Allah brilliance on why ol’ Harry had no choice but to bungle bundle the bill:
Actually, here’s the real reason that Reid bundled all these bills together — I think: He was worried that if he split them all up and held individual votes on each, they’d be filibustered anyway because of Democratic opposition, not Republican. That would be a double defeat for Reid, not only losing on the vote itself but signaling to his party that he’s a weak majority leader who can’t deliver even on basic liberal items like DADT and the DREAM Act. Consider that he probably picked up a few votes on his own side in favor of this bill precisely because it was framed in the larger context of defense spending; Ben Nelson voted yes because now he can claim he did it “for the troops,” but imagine him having to take a straight up-or-down vote on DADT or amnesty with re-election in 2012. Imagine the embarrassment for Reid if he got Collins and Snowe to vote with him on DADT and lost the vote anyway because Nelson, Lincoln, and Pryor all said no. A vote on DREAM, which could have won multiple Republicans — and lost even more Democrats — would have been even dicier. (Speaking of which, why is Blanche Lincoln still voting with Republicans? Does she really not understand she’s going to lose in November regardless?) Reid likely figured that his best bet here was to lard the bill up with controversial liberal wish list items in hopes of unifying the Republican opposition so that he could then blame their failure solely on GOP obstructionism. If that was the plan, it worked. Anyone seriously believe it’ll do him much good?
No, they’ll see him as the weakling leader he is thirty-odd days before an election. The end result: even with a liberal majority and a number of sympathetic RINOs, Harry still couldn’t pass a basic progressive legislation. What a winner, no?
For background on the shamnesty-bailout–for-illegal-students DREAM act, see Michelle Malkin here and here.
Cross-posted at pjMom.