Sen. Joe Lieberman said Thursday that repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” as part of the National Defense Authorization Act is no longer a question of votes, it’s a question of process.
“I am confident that we have more than 60 votes prepared to take up the defense authorization with the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ if only there will be a guarantee of a fair and open amendment process, in other words, whether we’ll take enough time to do it,” Lieberman told reporters at a press conference, naming GOP senators Susan Collins and Richard Lugar as yes votes. “Time is an inexcusable reason not to get this done.”
Lieberman, an independent, was flanked by 12 of his Democratic colleagues — a core group that seemed intent on urging the Democratic leadership to allow enough room in the Senate schedule for a debate that would be acceptable to Republicans. The senators talked about working over the weekends, and Sen. Mark Udall offered to go straight through until Christmas Eve.
Even Jim Webb seems to be backing off of his earlier opposition, citing the huge Pentagon study on the effects of DADT repeal, unlike his colleague, fellow veteran John McCain, who has no principles.