The speaker and the leader


Andrew Sullivan gives props to Obama and friends for plotting a path to ending the DADT policy for the American military:

Like 2009’s removal of the HIV ban, which was as painstakingly slow but thereby much more entrenched, this process took time. Without the Pentagon study, it wouldn’t have passed. Without Obama keeping Lieberman inside the tent, it wouldn’t have passed. Without the critical relationship between Bob Gates and Obama, it wouldn’t have passed. It worked our last nerve; we faced at one point a true nightmare of nothing … for years. And then we pulled behind this president, making it his victory and the country’s victory, as well as ours

via Obama’s Long Game: 65 – 31 – The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan.

Obama as the Commander in Chief deserves props for setting the administrative and political course for repeal, Secretary of Defense Gates deserves props for dutifully executing the military review of the policy and advocating for the permanence and political weight of repeal through legislation and Lieberman deserves props as the whip for the bill.

Sullivan left out a few folks. Sullivan wasn’t too hype on Nevadans re-electing Reid in September 2010 when the DADT Repeal combined with DREAM Act bill failed in the senate.

If I lived in Arizona Nevada and had the vote, even though Sharron Angle is beyond nuts, I’d vote for her. Better nuts than this disgusting, cynical, partisan Washington kabuki dance, when people’s lives and dignity are at stake.

via Petty Politics While Gay Troops Fight On, Ctd – The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan.

And in October 2010:

I was arguing last night with someone about Harry Reid. Sharron Angle is a nutcase, obviously. But if I were a Nevadan and had the vote (nearly there), I really don’t think I could vote for Harry Reid.

He is everything I hate about Democrats: incapable of making an argument, a face so weak it changes depending on the way the wind is blowing, a voice so sad you think he’s a funeral director, a man whose appareance on television has never evinced any reaction from me but “where’s the remote?” I just couldn’t pull the lever for the guy. Sorry. So I won’t be surprised if the nutjob wins. And a tiny part of me will feel a pulse of intense pleasure to see him go down.

via Watching The Senate – The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan.

Here is video of Senator Reid promising to repeal DADT at Net Roots nation:

I doubt Sullivan would feel intense pleasure if DADT didn’t pass before the end of the 111th congress while Senator Angle helped to strike it down.

Sullivan also inexplicably blamed Pelosi and McCain for the congress not being able to get anything done:

Between Pelosi and McCain, the sheer difficulty of getting anything done in this polarized climate, even stuff supported by hefty margins among the public, is beyond depressing.

via Pelosi’s Pique – The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan.

As Nancy Pelosi points out in her statement after the house passed DADT repeal, the house under her leadership passed repeal twice:

Last May, the House of Representatives passed the bill as a part of the National Defense Authorization Act. Pelosi said that once the House passes the repeal, it is her hope that the Senate will pass also act before the end of the Lame Duck session of Congress.

“It was a proud day for so many of us in the House [last May], and today by acting again, it is my hope that we will encourage the Senate to take long overdue action,” Pelosi said. “America has always been the Land of free and the Home of the brave. We are so because our brave men and women in uniform protect us. Let us honor their sacrifice, their service, their patriotism, by recommitting to the values that they fight for on the battlefield. I urge my colleagues to end discrimination wherever it exists in our country. I urge them to end discrimination in the military to make America safer.”

via Pelosi Says DADT Repeal Makes America Stronger – The Note.

The productive Speaker Pelosi, in Sullivan’s estimation is as much a hindrance to congressional business as Senator John McCain. The McCain who mounted a successful threat to filibuster DADT and the DREAM Act (the former, legislation he said he would support if the military brass after military brass approved of it and the latter, legislation he had previously co-sponsored with Ted Kennedy). This is a video of Senator McCain gloating during the 2010 lame duck session:

Majority Leader Reid and Speaker of the House Pelosi put in work and got DADT repeal done. They led this accomplishment through the 111th Congress. Sullivan is noted as a conservative thinker, but much of his criticism of Reid and Pelosi is emotional and irrational. You can’t give Obama kudos for playing the “long game” to reach legislative accomplishments and ignore the lead legislators who deliver these bills to Obama’s desk.