Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Whew!!! The lame duck congress swam across the finish line on DADT, getting the Senate to repeal it this weekend. I'd been worried enough to write my senators and ask them to make it a priority, even though repealing it has been their position for the entirety of the time the law has been in force, because I didn't want to see it slip through the cracks and get squished by the incoming freshman. That the vote came on a weekend worried me some too, but maybe that turned out to be smart. Instead of a bunch of 'sky is falling' headlines, these were the top headlines in yahoo news as of my late lunch, monday, pacific time:
  • Early Christmas treat: 2010 solstice lunar eclipse (which I could see right now if it weren't raining for the umpteenth day in a row)
  • Dog in Germany gives birth to 17 puppies (well, dogs do love to eat the feminine hygeine products out of the trash. Maybe someone was taking hormones.)
  • Winter disruptions turn travel bitter and chaotic (there is a ton of snow this year.)
  • Tonight's lunar eclipse comes with a twist (I kind of expected one DADT headline- good or bad - but being edged out by 2 eclipse headlines? c'mon!)
  • Pope: Church must reflect on what allowed abuse (not who? or why? I'm all for systemic abuses, but the question seems distancing in and of itself.)
Those were the most emailed news articles. I checked the top 5 most viewed and most recommended as well and they were similarly devoid of interest in the DADT repeal.

Just for kicks, I went over to HuffPo. Number one most popular article?
DADT repeal passes senate procedural vote.

Other topics were photos of things likely made by child labor, Al Franken's words about civil liberties related to net neutrality, Palin "jabs" Michele Obama's anti-obesity campaign, photos of things we accidentally learn while watching crime dramas (including my favorite: zoomed in shots of grainy photos get clearer!), and something by Michael Moore (trying to surf in on Wikileaks page hits?).

Completely different sets of interests. And the one where a loud minority of people were predicting global meltdown barely made the front page. Which is good and bad.

Now to get the law signed and implemented.

I've been thinking since I ran my poll on this (was it two years ago now?) where the majority reaction was that Obama would wait for congress to repeal it. The slowness of it has been almost as frustrating as the intermittent nature of my spacebar (grr, argh! Orrathergrr,argh!). But it kind of makes sense. One, now it will be a law that will take a great deal to overturn and probably no one will make that effort in a significant way. The other is that if the president had just stated from the start that he wouldn't enforce it by some magical executive privelege, it would have lessened the urgency. Since it doesn't look like many bills get passed without some urgency and urging from a riled up populace, leaving the discriminatory practice active kept it urgent. Two years was a long time to do this, but maybe not so long as it could have taken, and I think it will go easier because of the time and effort put into the studies and repeal. I do think that if they'd accomplished it before the elections that democrats would have been more supportive. I'm not sure they realize that this sort of thing is important for straight citizens too and we expected more vocal, public support for the repeal than we saw.  Still and all, it's mostly done.  As for implementation, sooner is better than later.  Now we can work on repealing DOMA.

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