If it means working through Christmas Eve dinner, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is ready. When it comes to overturning “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” that’s how committed he is to playing Santa to a microscopic number of homosexuals who want to pink-ify the military. And he’s not alone. Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) would gladly forgo the figgy pudding to ram the Defense bill through Congress “if it takes that.” But while they’re off trying to stuff HRC’s stocking, Democrats risk playing Scrooge for the rest of America, who needs Congress to focus on the December 31st tax hikes–or risk waking up to a $2,300 invoice from the IRS on January 1.
Whose priorities will win out? The nation won’t know until after Thanksgiving when the real Capitol showdown begins. This week, both parties have been holed up in their conferences–surfacing just long enough to take shots at the other side’s position. Democrats are still warring internally over whether to extend all of the tax cuts on a temporary basis–or to make middle class cuts permanent and wallop small businesses. Republicans, on the other hand, are in firm agreement that everyone in America deserves fair and lasting tax relief. While the parties lock horns on taxes, arguably the biggest issue on their Thanksgiving plate, the liberal majority is scrambling to find the time–and votes–to pass bills on immigration, nuclear surrender, the budget, and defense (all payoffs to special interest groups that spent millions to support Democratic candidates).
As far as most Americans are concerned, Democrats should be cleaning out their desks, not flooding the calendar with last wishes. What’s worse, it doesn’t give these issues the intense and honest debate they deserve. On “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which is sure to be a headline-grabber, there should be in-depth dialogue about the Pentagon’s survey and its shortcomings–not superficial show hearings to check off the list en route to repeal. The same is true of the START Treaty, which would put significant limits on America ‘s missile defense. Yet here is President Obama, trying to muscle a nuclear surrender through Congress before cooler heads prevail. On both issues, the White House is gambling with national security. Instead of deliberating with our new leaders, this administration is on a reckless sprint to weaken the military and neuter its arsenal. (If you’re someone who feels indifferent on missile defense, you won’t be after watching the trailer on 33minutes.com. The Heritage Foundation has spent years warning about the threat of nuclear attack if Congress ratifies this treaty.)
Whether or not the President successfully hustles his agenda through Congress depends on eight Senate fence-sitters: Republicans Richard Lugar (Ind.), Olympia Snowe (Maine), and George Voinovich (Ohio), and Scott Brown (Mass.), as well as the Democrats’ Mark Pryor (Ark.), Ben Nelson (Nebr.), Judd Gregg (N.H.), Jim Webb (Va.) and Claire McCaskill (Mo.). I encourage you to click on those hyperlinks and ask these senators to respect the wishes of the American people and punt on these major issues until the 112th Congress arrives.