Whispers around Capitol Hill are the Defense Authorization bill was never meant to pass. Tuesday’s cloture vote in the Senate on the annual Pentagon budget went down in a 56 - 43 vote. The two Arkansas Democrats Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor both crossed party lines and voted with Republicans. Senate majority leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat voted no, so the vote could be brought up again at a later time.
“Senator Reid has no reasonable expectation that an immigration bill was going to pass, or he wouldn’t have done a hail Mary at the very end knowing how badly he has gummed up this authorization bill”, said Senator John Cornyn, Texas Republican.
Tacked on to the defense bill were controversial measures like the repeal of the military policy known as Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the pro-amnesty immigration bill called the Dream Act, and allowing abortions on military bases.
Many around the hill were skeptical the bill would get pass a cloture vote given the controversial subject matter and believe Democrats only wanted to fire up their most activist liberal base: pro-amnesty activists, LGBT activists, and pro-choice groups.
However, if Democrats really wanted to be successful with the agenda pieces above, they would have dealt with the measures months ago. Instead, Democratic lawmakers gave their activists hope that something good for the base could happen this week, knowing very well the bill would likely fail. Furthermore, such a move not only stabs their own liberal base in the back but also punishes our men and women in our military at the same time.
Will this kind of tease bring out liberals to the polls in November? It may bring out their progressive faithful; however, Democrats on the hill may not be considering that social conservatives were fired up during this week’s debate too, and they are revved up to vote themselves.
In the end, Americans are still struggling under a rough economy and trying to make Republicans and conservatives appear mean and hateful will not mean much when millions are still out of a job.