Democrats basically had a filibuster-proof majority for about three months. That's just not very long.
Bernstein is slightly less forgiving:
I think complaints about DADT or DREAM Act (could have been done quickly enough as stand-alone bills or added to something else) are a lot more legitimate than complaints about comprehensive immigration or energy/climate. There just wasn't the time for those two.
Of course, the next question is whether it's reasonable to blame the Dems (or Barack Obama in particular) because they couldn't hold their last couple of votes, or because they made an error in assuming they would hold Ted Kennedy's seat and thus had plenty of time to work through their agenda. I'm a bit agnostic on this, specifically on DADT repeal. On the one hand, I thought that Obama's take-it-slow, build-a-consensus strategy was a smart one; indeed, I still think repeal is more likely by 2012 than if Obama made it a priority item in spring 2009, without doing the groundwork at the Pentagon, and lost.
But it took Obama over a year to begin a year-long Pentagon review. If he had acted sooner, the review would have been done in time for the vote. Jonathan continues:
On the other hand, I do understand the frustration of repeal supporters. One of the dangers of coalition politics, or party politics, is that your issue will wind up further down the list of coalition priorities than you would like, and I think that's certainly the case here in a sense: surely, if DADT repeal was as important to the Democrats as passing health care or the stimulus, then it would have passed. Beyond that, things get murky...it's awful hard to know whether one's group would be better off threatening to bolt (or actually bolting), and when it's best to charge ahead and try to move up the priority list by demonstrating loyalty and the ability to bring assets to the party.
Well, we sure tried both - see HRC's fellatial treatment of Obama last fall and the subsequent march for equality the next day. For the gays, nothing works. The Dems really really really don't give a shit about us, just about our money.
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