Main | Thursday, November 18, 2010

Will Sen. Mark Kirk Vote Against DADT Repeal In Senate Like He Did In House?

Senator-elect Mark Kirk (R-IL) will be seated on November 29th, putting him in the unique position of being able to vote on the repeal of DADT twice. Earlier this year as a House member, he infuriated LGBT supporters and reversed his previously pro-gay record by voting against the repeal, a move most said was a transparent attempt to pander votes from his teabagger opponent. Today NBC Chicago calls on Kirk to return to his socially liberal roots.
Since Democrats will hold a 58-42 majority during the lame-duck session, Reid needs two Republican votes to prevent a filibuster. Kirk has a chance to make up for his last vote, and regain his reputation as one of the few pro-gay Republicans in Washington. The Pentagon is expected to release a report on Dec. 1, saying that allowing gays to serve openly will not harm military morale. Kirk could use that as cover for changing his position. Kirk was a socially liberal congressman when he represented his North Shore district, but swung to the right during the Senate campaign, leading one commentator to call him “an ideological windsock.” The Don’t Ask Don’t Tell vote will be Illinois’s first chance to find out what kind of senator we elected: the independent voice we saw in Congress, or the partisan hack we saw during the campaign.

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