Adam Serwer opines:
During the Bush years, liberals complained about his "imperial presidency," and so the idea that Obama should simply end the policy by fiat would seem hypocritical. But the use of an executive order to end a policy a majority of Americans, including conservatives, want to end, is no more undemocratic than Republicans' use of procedural maneuvers to thwart an up or down vote. Republicans holding the legislative process, and the fundamental rights of gay and lesbian servicemembers, hostage to their own homophobic prejudices, would still be the greater act of tyranny.
Yglesias puts this debate in context:
Filibustering defense appropriations bills is politically risky. And to do it in order to support a hugely unpopular position on a related issue is a giant risk. It’d be one thing if 60% of the public was on the Republicans’ side about DADT. But it’s not. Instead this is a 70-30 issue that cuts against them.
But not only are they getting away with the filibuster, they’re turning their obstruction into a political winner by forcing the progressive community into circular firing squad mode.