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Is Will for Obamacare Lacking Among Democratic Rank and File?

Perhaps unwittingly, Ezra Klein last week got at why Democrats are unlikely to pass their health care overhaul:  they lack the will to do so:

If 51 Democratic senators and 218 Democratic congresspeople are dead-serious about passing a bill, they can, and will, pass a bill. . . .  If that many Democrats were committed to this project, the other chamber won’t fear their colleagues leaving them hanging out to dry. It’s a fairly straightforward path to passage, and they’d begin walking down it. That they haven’t moved is evidence that will is missing, not that the rules are too complex.

And methinks that in the wake of Scott Brown’s election last month, there is even less will to enact health care reform than there was when the House passed its version of Obamacare last November, with 219 Democrats and 1 Republican voting in favor.

Over at Redstate, Moe Lane does a rundown of the votes Obamacare proponents have lost since November.  And how many of those remaining in the chamber who voted “yeah” are getting cold feet now as the 2010 campaign heats up, with polls showing ever-growing opposition to the president’s plans?

The White House, various liberal and left-wing pundits as well as the Democratic leadership in the House and Senate may have the will to push through this health care overhaul, but I would dare say such will is lacking among members of their party’s rank and file.  They may indeed favor such an overhaul, but given the electoral landscape at present, would rather not bring it up for a vote.

Gay Groups Should Stop Acting as “Appendage” of Democrats

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:00 pm - February 9, 2010.
Filed under: Blogging,Gay America,Gay Politics,Integrity

Reporting that the “largest gay rights group in New Jersey has just voted unanimously to stop giving contributions to all political parties (they only gave to Dem. committees)”, John Aravosis predicts:

I suspect we’ll see other state gay rights groups follow NJ’s lead, which is based on, whether intentionally or not, the Don’t Ask, Don’t Give campaign that . . .  our Netroots allies, launched in November. And perhaps it’s time that national gay rights group did the same, rather than simply serving as an appendage of the Democratic party instead of serving their own community.

(Emphasis added.)

As I’ve written previously, I believe the boycott that John has spearheaded has helped spur the Administration to move forward on DADT.   That said, I’m  delighted to see John recognize yet again what we and other gay conservatives have been saying for many years about HRC and their allied groups.  They act more like the gay auxiliaries of the Democratic Party than independent groups advocating for gay rights.

To be sure, while we offer similar criticisms, we would likely seek different solutions.  We agree on repealing DADT, but part company on other issues.  All that said, I admire anyone who stands for their principles without engaging in name-calling and misrepresentation (or any other form of mean-spirited attack).  From all that I have read on this issue, John, the folks at Queerty and Pam Spaulding have focused on their opposition to Democratic Party inaction on issues of concern to them.

So, kudos to them for standing tall for their beliefs.  And special thanks to John for giving me a great title for a post.

(H/t:  Instapundit.)

Leaning Toward Meg (Whitman)

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:36 am - February 9, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,California politics

While I have made clear my choice in the Republican primary for the United States Senate seat from the Golden State, I have yet to weigh in on the contest for Governor.  Up until recently, I had been equally impressed by both candidates, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner.

This is not to say that I find either an ideal candidate.  I have concerns about both.  It’s just that they would both be better than the likely Democratic candidate former Governor Jerry Moonbeam Medfly Brown.  Given the red ink our state faces, we can’t afford to have Brown back in the Governor’s chair.

I wanted to follow the gubernatorial campaign to see which Republican could better take on an out-of-control state legislature all but controlled by the public employee unions.  From their record in the private sector, it’s clear the Republicans know how to meet a payroll and how to hold the line on expenses.

I always thought I’d just wait until a few days before the primary and vote for whoever was polling better against Moonbeam Brown.  But, Poizner’s actions in recent days have caused me to question his strength of character.  When Mike Murphy, a political consultant working for Whitman, tried to persuade Poizner to withdraw from the race (he trails Whitman by as much as 30 points in polls), the Golden State Insurance Commissioner announced he’d asked law enforcement to “investigate improper conduct” that “threatens the integrity of the electoral process.”

Improper conduct to do what candidates regularly do in contested primaries?

Not the way to respond to such an offer.  Doesn’t really show much strength or confidence  your campaign.  A more secure candidate would have brushed the offer off, saying once the campaign heated up, he’d surge ahead.  A candidate who doesn’t have the fortitude to stand up to an offer from a Republican rival likely wouldn’t have the fortitude to stand up to a Democratic legislators used to pushing the Governor around. (more…)

Gays in the Military: Foreign Armies’ Experience

I have praised the way the president has been moving to repeal Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell (DADT) because he has been working with military commanders to develop a means to effect repeal without compromising the effectiveness of our armed forces.

To see that it is possible for gay people to serve openly while retaining military morale and unit cohesion, one only look at the examples of the nations which allow gays to serve openly in the military, including one nation which faces threats to its survival on an almost daily basis and has thus developed one of the world’s most effective armed services.  I’m speaking of course of Israel.

Thus, I was pleased to learn this week that this spring the Palm Center, a research institute of the University of California, Santa Barbara whose work of late has focused on gays in the military, will will be including officials of the Israel Defense Forces (as well as representatives of other NATO militaries) in a “Washington, D.C. summit of officials and experts from military forces that allow gay men and lesbians to serve openly“.

Dr. Aaron Belkin, Director of the Palm Center, cited three questions raised about “twenty-five foreign forces that allow open gay service:”

Did the decision to allow open gay service undermine military readiness?  How was implementation managed?  To what extent can lessons from abroad help U.S. officials plan for an inclusive policy?

This conference can only help ease doubts among those who believe allowing gays to serve openly in the military is merely a social experiment or perhaps done to please an interest group without regard for the welfare of our armed forces. (more…)