Webb Votes for Defense Authorization Bill, Including DADT Repeal

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    Thank you Jim Webb!

    Adjusting to reality is what Webb promotes most in the interview, saying that he voted to proceed on the defense authorization bill that includes a proposal to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which prevents gay service members from serving openly in the military.

    “DOD will tell you that the percentage of people in the United States military who are gay and lesbian is about the same right now as it is in society at large, and no one is calling for those people to be discharged from the military.

    “The military has accepted the fact that…there are now and have been in the past gay and lesbian service people. The question is how you deal with this…”

    Without committing to how he will vote on final passage, Webb confirms that he will again vote for the defense authorization bill to proceed.

    I heard this earlier today from Webb’s staff confidentially, and was very pleased. Now, it’s public information, so I can share it.  Thank you to Jim Webb for helping to end this unjust policy! (now, if only Republican Senators would stop being the last homophobic holdouts in the country on this subject…)

    • Mike1987

      sigh…

    • Elaine in Roanoke
    • aznew

      am glad he is voting to allow the bill to proceed.

      But…

      He seems to be positioning himself to oppose repeal of DADT when (and if) the bill comes up for an actual vote (when his vote probably won’t be needed to pass the bill). I base that on the following from the story (my emphasis added):

      “The military has accepted the fact that…there are now and have been in the past gay and lesbian service people. The question is how you deal with this…”

      Without committing to how he will vote on final passage, Webb confirms that he will again vote for the defense authorization bill to proceed.

      Now, not to put too fine a point on it, because even if that is what Webb is doing, the Cloture vote is obviously the more significant one, as a practical matter, and he is coming through on that.

      Even so, it is also essential, IMHO, that Senators cloely identified with the military, like Webb, symbolically support the repeal as well and vote for the bill on its merits, when they have an opportunity to do so.

    • Jim Webb Dem

      Lots of great comments over the past month about Jim Webb and is he a Democrat or Republican… and how could he do this or say that…

      For sure Jim Webb is very independent.

      But just step back and analyze his campaign rhetoric (about fairness), his championing (kudos to his staff) for reform of the justice system (with everything being laid on the table) and with DADT.

      With DADT he promoted and it was adopted by senior civilian & military leaders the process to study & survey the military population at large and then present those findings to congress. That process accounts for all those individuals, who based on their religious up-bringing may harbor severe homophobic attitudes …. even though they serve a secular institution / government. It has fostered a clear understanding of the (military) majority’s view of the situation. It’s very hard to argue against that survey. And consequently it has created the political cover for self -serving politicians to change course (unless you’re a John McCaine hypocrite).

      In my mind DADT came to an end when the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff, Admiral Mullen told the Congress and the American people that this issue was one of INTEGRITY. A quaint but often foreign thought in the minds of many politicians. He hammered that thought home …. it is the crux of the argument to repeal DADT.

      If Jim Webb has any admirable qualities there is one he lives by …. it is INTEGRITY.

      I continue to remain a strong Webb supporter …. and a strong Obama supporter and admire those great leadership qualities that (let’s include Admiral Mullen) they project.

    • Steve Vaughan

      When Webb said he wanted to hear what the DOD study had to say, he apparently meant it.