You had to be there probably. But Ava, Wally, C.I. and I were there and that hearing was the most annoying thing in the world. We all had someone who presented an argument we detested and then there were the Republicans.
I tried to word that funny but I'm serious. So many Democrats did such a lousy job. C.I. was attempting to figure out how to cover it. She had to hang up to take five minutes and figure it out. Her big concern, she explained to us (Ava, Wally and myself) was there's a good chance repeal goes down in flames. So she sounded us out on opening with what is at risk at present (not much, Don't Ask, Don't Tell would be gutted but there would be no law outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation). We were all agreed. You couldn't be in that hearing without being depressed. So, yeah, make sure people know that if it goes down in flames, it's not the end of the world. And make sure they know how they were conned and by whom.
Then she took that and also added the parts about, if we have to start over, here's the building blocks we need. To me, that was more valuable than anything else but, then, I really believe it's going down in flames. I may be wrong. That's what I believe though.
Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson and Kay Hagan did a great job. I really think that they knew what they were doing.
For me, the worst was Jack Reed. First, quit spitting into the microphone, Reed. Back off the mike. Second, what was the point of your rambling questions? And do you really think that people who object to repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell are going to be swayed by your line of questions on England and what happened to the British military?
Truly, I wanted to scream when Jack Reed was questioning Gates and Mullen. He was just useless.
I don't dislike him and normally enjoy him. But not this time.
Ben Nelson is a Senator I really don't care for on the Democratic side. But he did a strong job. He spoke about the values the military wants from service members ("honest, integrity and trust") and how Don't Ask, Don't Tell encourages them to lie. A lot of people spoke like they were experts.
Ben Nelson didn't. He acted -- and it may have been real -- like he was really asking questions. Leading me to think, "Thank goodness, a senator not in love with the sound of their own voice!"
Or, more precisely, "Thank goodness, a senator not named Jim Webb." Oh my goodness. What fun Herman Munster must have been in the Reagan administration. That was a joke. I'm sure he was a wet blanket there as well.
I don't like Ben Nelson's voting record -- he's way to the right of me. But I will praise the way he handled his time in the Committee. I think everyone could have learned from him, Kay Hagan and Joe Lieberman.
Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"