This will be an incredibly short diary but it is extremely important.
Ben Nelson has said that he will vote FOR the compromise!!!
Ben Nelson's office tells OpenLeft he'll vote yes on a compromise that will "remove the politics and puts the policy at DOD first," giving Carl Levin the 15 votes he needs to advance repeal.
This may be the beginning of the end of DADT!
Here is Ben Nelson's statement:
"I don't believe that most Nebraskans want to continue a policy that not only encourages but requires people to be deceptive and to lie. The 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy does just that. It also encourages suspicion and senior officers to look the other way. In a military which values honesty and integrity, this policy encourages deceit.
"The process being used to repeal this policy is fraught with typical Washington politics, with some suggesting Congress waits until after the November elections and others pushing for a vote before the elections.
"I will support the Lieberman compromise because it removes politics from the process. It bases implementation of the repeal on the Pentagon's review and a determination by our military leaders that repeal is consistent with military readiness and effectiveness, and that the Pentagon has prepared the necessary regulations to make the changes.
"I spoke to Secretary Gates and he advised that while he preferred waiting until the study is completed, he can live with this compromise."
Patrick Murphy is leading the fight in the House to get 217 votes for Repeal. Also, if it wasn't for Nancy Pelosi's leadership, this wouldn't have even happened in the House.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a clear message on the White House’s plan to change the military’s "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy: Don’t wait.
Lawmakers, aides and gay rights activists are crediting the California Democrat and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) with forcing the White House, key congressional players and Defense Secretary Robert Gates all to sign off — with varying degrees of enthusiasm — on a bifurcated plan that would lift the policy later.
In the Senate is the strong leadership from Carl Levin that is making it possible to vote on repeal. He needs 15 Senators to pass it in the committee and now Ben Nelson is on board so there are 15 Senators that will vote YES.