Thursday, December 2, 2010

Can I tell you how I really feel about John McCain?

Every time I think I couldn't dislike John McCain any more than I already do, he opens his mouth.  And these days, all he seems to open his mouth about is Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT).  From all he has said, it is now clear that the distinguished senator just flat doesn't like those icky, nasty gays and doesn't want them serving in his precious military.  First, he said he would support repeal of DADT when military leaders said it was ok.  Apparently that doesn't include the Defense Secretary and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who have both supported repeal.  Then he said he would support repeal if a survey was conducted of service members that would determine what effect repeal would have on morale and readiness.  That survey has been done, shows the vast majority of respondents think repeal would have no detrimental effects and yet the distinguished senator still is not satisfied.  Because it wasn't the right kind of study.  And it's flawed.  And there are typos.  And it should have been printed on ivory paper.  And we didn't get responses from any dogs serving in military police K-9 units.  And who knows what other nonsensical, illogical reasons he'll come up with to keep stonewalling on repeal.

Now he's resting his opposition on a part of the survey that demonstrates that combat forces have the highest level of concern about repeal of those service members responding.  In testimony at the capitol today, Defense Secretary Gates noted that those members tend to be younger and with less military experience, suggesting that their concerns could be mitigated with training.  The distinguished senator responded with this telling comment, "We send these young people into combat, we think they’re mature enough to fight and die. I think they’re mature enough to make a judgment on who they want to serve with and the impact on their battle effectiveness.”

Think about that response for a minute.  John McCain would really allow service members to decide who they want to serve alongside?  So if service members proclaimed they no longer wanted blacks in the military, McCain would go along?  Or Muslims?  Or Jews?  Or Arabic-Americans?  I can't quite believe he would really allow service members to decide to that extent who they want to serve next to.  Isn't the whole idea of the military that you serve next to who your superiors tell you to?  The truth is that McCain would not make that statement in reference to any other demographic group besides gays.  Because gays are different, they aren't born that way, they make a lifestyle choice that he and many others in the military find icky and it's perfectly ok to keep those icky, nasty gays out of the military.

It is time for John McCain to stop pretending that he would ever, under any circumstances, vote to repeal DADT.  It is far likelier that he would vote to reinstate the complete ban on gays serving in the military that preceded DADT.  All of his conditions for repeal have been met and he's still stonewalling, so let's just call it what it is.  Frankly, I might respect him more if he would be honest and admit he just doesn't like gays.


Moxie said...

I overheard a couple people in line at the store the other day talking about the potential repeal of DADT (a couple of 20 somethings) and the conversation went something like this:

Man 1: I don't understand why repealing DADT is so controversial, I mean seriously, there are ALREADY gays serving with honor and distinction in the military.

Man 2: Its the old farts still living in the past who have no clue that the world has moved on and that being gay is not a big deal.

Man 1: Yeah, I guess these guys are just our generation's segregationists. 60 years ago they didn't want blacks in the military either and now people look back and talk about how ignorant that was.

Had my hands not been full of items I was about to purchase, I would have given both those guys a high five and a big fat kiss.

S said...

My parents are both now in their 70s (Mom just got there yesterday). They also just don't see what the controversy is. There just isn't any real problem, there aren't any logistics to work out, and there isn't any reason gay men and women shouldn't be allowed to serve in the military without having to worry that an innocent slip of the tongue could lead to discharge.

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