Rachel Maddow had tough words for both the GOP and the Obama administration after the defense authorization bill that could have led to the end of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy was held up by a filibuster in the Senate.
Maddow, who has been a fierce and prominent advocate for the repeal of the law banning gays from serving openly in the military, delivered a 12-minute denunciation which led to one conclusion: the filibuster had nothing to do with the procedural issues Republican Senators raised on the Senate floor and everything to do with anti-gay politics.
She played clips of Republican Senators talking about everything from their inability to add amendments to the bill to concern that a military study of the efficacy of lifting "Don't Ask" was being sidelined. Then, Maddow contradicted all of those statements, pointing out that the bill would have explicitly put the question of a repeal into the military's hands, and that Republicans would have been allowed to add their own amendments.
Ultimately, Maddow concluded, the reason for the filibuster was clear:
Today Republicans did a historic thing. They chose to block funding for the entire U.S. military, and they did it not because of any of that window dressing procedural stuff they are trying to hide behind today. They did it because they want to keep this anti-gay policy in place. This is about the gays.
She also played clips of Republican Senators decrying the "far left agenda" of allowing gays to serve openly, and of predicting damage to the military if "Don't Ask" is repealed.
Maddow also noted that, in her interview with Vice President Biden, he had said that the reason the Obama administration was still enforcing "Don't Ask" was because "that is the compromise we basically had to make to get the votes to finally repeal it."
Clearly, she said, if that was true, then the other side did not hold its end of the deal up. She then asked if the White House would now cease enforcing the ban:
The White House could decide right now tonight to stop implementation of this policy pending the military's review. The right wants a culture war against gay people That's a war that in 2010 anti-gay politicians lose and pro civil rights politicians win. Does the White House leave that on the table and walk away, or do they try to win?