The vote was 56-43 yet the AP report claims "Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, had been seen as the crucial 60th vote because she supports overturning the military ban" ... alleging if she had voted for it, all of the Democrats who did not would magically have changed sides, including both those in Arkansas who said all along they were against it.
What it means outside AP partisanship is that few in Congress, Democrats included, actually wanted it ... or cared. No way the Democrats who did so would have voted against it unless they had an okay from party leadership to let this go away during campaign season; Democrats want to look like they are making an effort for equality but don't want to be the 'gay' party so they got some press and managed to get news organizations to blame Republicans.
But when the other side has a bulletproof majority, there is no need for bipartisan efforts, they can do whatever they want whether the other side votes for it or not - so Republicans get to go into campaign season sticking to principles, right or wrong, and never having accountability for hard choices but appealing to their base, while a fractured Democrat majority claims without more lopsided majorities they are stuck. How many Senators do they need now, 63? A majority in both Houses of Congress and the same party in the White House has meant nothing.
But that doesn't mean we should infer that only Republicans are the obstacles to a repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell', when obviously Democrats didn't want it gone either. Instead, their fear of losing their overwhelming majority in November has made them afraid to push issues they claim to believe in - but they will probably lose seats anyway because disenchanted Democrats won't show up at the voting booths, motivated Republicans will, and Independents will want change - and that means losing control of one half of Congress. At least if they pushed issues important to their base, they would lose with integrity intact.
Instead, it looks like it must be campaign season again, because the Associated Press can only find fault with one party in a bipartisan fiasco.