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"Mr. Independent" Toes Party Line on DADT

By Chuck Sudo in News on Dec 10, 2010 2:00PM

Photo from Rep. Mark Kirk's website
Mark Kirk talked big during his swearing in about taking a bipartisan, centrist approach to being Illinois' junior senator. Given an opportunity to walk the walk yesterday, voting with Senate Republicans to filibuster a procedural motion to consider next year's defense authorization bill and, by extension, bring the repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy to a vote. This despite support for the repeal from 78 percent of Americans, a majority of military members and the recommendation of Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

An unnamed Kirk staffer also said that his office's phone lines were busy with calls from Illinois residents asking the senator to vote for a DADT repeal. Certainly a repeal of DADT would fall under the "social moderate" part of Kirk's governing philosophy, right?

Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, one of the repeal's proponents, expressed disappointment with the move. "This afternoon, process triumphed over those principles," he said. Lieberman and Maine Senator Susan Collins are expected to move fast to bring the measure back for another vote. But they admitted that it could be difficult to see passage in a lame duck Congress with building tensions.