“Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” Repeal Shows Congress’ Effectiveness

By Nathan St. Pierre ’12

On December 18, 2010, the Senate was able to make a landmark decision vote for the rights of gays by voting to repeal the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy. In a vote of 65-31 even eight Republicans were able to put party ideals aside and vote on this repeal. This represents one of very few moments where at least some of the Republicans have been able to work with the Democrats and let change has leak out of the coffin that it has been slumbering in.

It’s no surprise to anyone that the Democratic Congress during the years 2008 to 2010 has been extremely disappointing. Approval ratings for Congress have dropped to 13 percent according to a new Gallup poll; making it the lowest legislative approval rating ever recorded. While Congress has succeeded in passing the stimulus bill and healthcare reform, those bills alone have not nearly produced the results that the general public was expecting. When the public voted overwhelmingly Republican in the 2010 elections, it appeared to me that this was the final nail in change’s coffin because of bipartisan gridlock and Republicans made sure Obama gets as low as an approval as possible. But with the large support of the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” repeal maybe the Republican and Democrats can compromise and some economic change can be brought to life from its coffin.

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