By Burgess Everett
If everything goes as planned, gay rights history will be made on Thursday in the Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Wednesday set up the the final series of votes for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act — which prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity — culminating in a vote final passage on Thursday afternoon if the bill passes a key, 60-vote threshold procedural test in the morning.
Senate passage of ENDA seemed more and more likely Wednesday after the Senate unanimously accepted an amendment by Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) protecting religious groups exempted under the legislation from government retaliation. That amendment likely secured the vote of several other Republicans pushing for that language, including Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
By Ian Reifowitz
I’ll leave the legal analysis to others who are far more expert than I on that matter.
My point is this: for all those who may have temporarily, let’s say, forgotten or even denied that there is any substantive difference between the Democratic and Republican parties, this decision should remind you exactly what those differences are.
The decision was 5-4. The justices who voted to declare parts of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional were all appointed by Republican presidents, including two by George W. Bush, who took in office in 2001.
Do you still think there’s no difference between Republicans and Democrats?
Look, this has not been a good couple of weeks for our government, and a lot of liberals have been rightly agonizing over just how much they support the Democratic Party.
To those people, I say this: Criticize President Obama all you like, and criticize the Democratic Party or various figures for whatever you think needs criticizing. It’s important to speak out, as speaking out can help move our party and the President in the right direction.
But don’t forget that there are real, substantive differences between the two parties. They are not the same. The Democratic Party is better than the Republican Party for our country, for our economy, for justice, for equality, and yes, for liberty. Barack Obama is better than Mitt Romney or John McCain would have been on all those counts as well.
To deny those facts is to deny reality. Furthermore, denying those facts makes it more difficult to motivate progressives to do what needs to be done to achieve the broad, progressive goals we share.
The two parties are not the same. And that matters. [Full Quote]
THE U.S. SENATE
Senator John McCain, irrepressible interventionalist, recently visited Syrian rebels and caused much doubt and controversy. He wants President Obama to involve our young military in the religious and civil war in Syria. Syria is not a Christian nation. We should not send our young patriots to die for them. The problems in Syria must be solved by diplomatic means. We have the world’s greatest military and we are the most powerful nation on earth. However, we should use our power to help solve the world’s problems–when we can–through means that don’t require bullets, blood and dying. IMHO. —GoodOleWoody
When do they start revealing the skeletons in Paul Ryan‘s Closet?
John McCain shocked this blogger when he went on Fox and candidly told the nation the real reason why Republicans are unfairly withholding confirmation of Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense: Revenge! Pure and naked! Yesterday, McCain appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Moderator, David Gregory, played video of McCain’s revenge admission…and the senator refused to own up to his statement and reverted to a sane politically correct response. Did McCain lose his balls or does he not realize that the public follows every word of his frequent appearances on TV? John, we know what you said. You cannot now disavow your quest for revenge against your alleged friend, Chuck Hagel, and, against the entire Democratic Party for the way past Republicans were treated in confirmation hearings, e.g., John Bolton. In some instances like this a doctor is called in to adjust the patient’s medication. Simply looking into his mirror does not work for Senator John McCain. Once again our war hero is acting badly. —GoodOleWoody