Punishing allies, rewarding foes

PUNISHING ALLIES, REWARDING FOES…. Senate Democrats successfully added a measure to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to this year’s defense authorization bill, leading to a Republican filibuster that Dems couldn’t overcome. Frustrated by the outcome, Andrew Sullivan is blaming … those who agree with him.

Jason Mazzone made the case that the Senate GOP was prepared to kill the defense bill over the DADT measure, and there wasn’t much Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) could do about it.

Without elaborating, Sullivan replied:

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.

I’ve read this several times, trying to wrap my head around it. I’m afraid I’m still at a loss.

Reid successfully pushed for the repeal provision to be included in the bill and supports ending the dangerous, discriminatory status quo. Sullivan agrees with him.

Angle is a crazy person who hates gays, and if elected, would fight to, among other things, keep DADT in place. Sullivan disagrees with her.

But if given a choice, Sullivan would choose to vote for the borderline-insane candidate he disagrees with, because of the procedural strategy on legislative amendments Reid utilized? It’s better to defeat a senator who you agree with and elect a senator who’ll work against you?

DADT should be repealed. Republicans, for now, have ignored decency, popular will, and the judgment of the president, the Defense secretary, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and unanimously rejected the repeal effort. Logically, then, those who support repeal should … reward Republicans?

I just don’t see how this makes sense.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.