Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 12, 2010

THAT OUGHT TO BE A FUN DINNER TABLE.... The repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" would actually be pretty easy at this point, were it not for the efforts of one man: Sen. John McCain (R). The anti-gay Arizonan has spearheaded the opposition to repeal, and has so far succeeded in protecting the discriminatory status quo and ensuring the mistreatment of American servicemen and women (even if that means lying about the policy).

This week, McCain's efforts picked up a new, high-profile critic -- who just happens to be his wife.

Sen. John McCain's wife Cindy appears in a new ad that harshly criticizes the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, and government officials and religious leaders generally, over what she and others describe as complicity in the bullying that has led to a rash of highly-publicized suicides among gay youth. [...]

In the ad from the NOH8 campaign -- an activist group formed in response to Proposition 8, the California ballot measure that banned same-sex marriage -- Cindy McCain seems to be suggesting that her husband is partly responsible for the bullying that has claimed a number of gay teens' lives.

"Our political and religious leaders tell LGBT youth that they have no future," Mrs. McCain says in the ad, which features her alongside celebrities such as Denise Richards and Gene Simmons. "They can't serve our country openly."

The same spot features Cindy McCain asking, "Our government treats the LGBT community like second class citizens -- why shouldn't they?"

What a good question. Maybe her husband could take a moment to respond.

In the larger context, we're well past the point of remembering the more honorable iterations of John McCain, which are long gone and aren't coming back. But I can't help but think there's something tragic about the conservative senator picking one last issue -- discriminating against gays and undermining military readiness during two wars -- to champion towards the end of his lengthy career.

History will not be kind. Neither, apparently, will dinner conversations at the McCain household.

Steve Benen 8:35 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (26)

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John's daughter side with her mother, too, so I understand.

However, I guessing that this won't be mentioned at the Thanksgiving table any more than the McCain women stood up for the gay community when anti-gay sentiment was used to get Bush re-elected.

Posted by: Mark-NC on November 12, 2010 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

I don't understand McCain's opposition. When it was it was proposed and Bush's generals came through and talked about their concerns, then he at least had a leg to stand on. Now, the generals are with Obama, the troops don't care and McCain....? Homophobia is bad enough as an unfortunate by-product of a policy, but when its the policy in and of itself, it is especially foul.

Posted by: Joe Dunbar on November 12, 2010 at 8:42 AM | PERMALINK

I think old Johnny Mac has a homosexual encounter in his past that he feels guilty about...just sayin'

Posted by: John R on November 12, 2010 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

So will one of Sen McCain's pals in the media now press him to comment on whether he agrees or disagrees with his wife on this issue?

Sigh. Of course not. Neve mind.

Posted by: Basilisc on November 12, 2010 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

That assumes John can remember which house they are all supposed to be having dinner in.

Posted by: MW on November 12, 2010 at 8:51 AM | PERMALINK

John R beat me to it!

In British (all boys) boarding schools homosexuality was (and is?) rampant. Not too surprising, given the adolescent sexual urges and the lack of feminine outlets.

One could make the same case for Annapolis (and Yale, and Harvard, and a lot of other male only colleges) in the 1960's.

And didn't McNasty also go to a boys only prep school, before the Naval Academy? Hmmm?

Posted by: DAY on November 12, 2010 at 8:51 AM | PERMALINK

I would love to ask McCain how he can call the US Military the best in the world while simultaneously admitting that it is so fragile that he feels it must remain one of the only armed forces in the world that doesn't allow openly gay men and women to enlist or serve.

Men with criminal records have been allowed to enlist, but those with expertise essential to the Military are unable to serve because of who they choose to be with on their on time, e.g. Translators, Fighter Pilots, etc.

What an effing putz.

Posted by: Kiweagle on November 12, 2010 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

Perhaps. But I think this is not Cindy arguing for John. This is Cindy giving him cover. He had to tack right to be reelected. But he doesn't want to be seen that way forever. So look- he is a moderate because in his family everyone speaks her mind

Posted by: vickijean on November 12, 2010 at 9:15 AM | PERMALINK

Payback time for John's long string of bimbos, I guess. How dare they try to steal her man, and her main shot at being first lady, after she stole him fair and square from the first Mrs. McCain?

Don't worry about those dinner table conversations, there won't be any. The McCains spend very little time together, from all accounts.

Posted by: T-Rex on November 12, 2010 at 9:15 AM | PERMALINK

What I've read is that John and Cindy lead fairly separate lives anyway. So there may be no such conversation, if it is indeed not what another poster suggested, a calculated attempt to provide John cover for his bigoted positions.

Posted by: Simon S. on November 12, 2010 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

John's just uncomfortable because someone might, you know, make a pass at him the next time he's on a military installation. If not for DADT, that would happen all the time because McCain is like, you know, so HAWT and everything.

Posted by: Skip on November 12, 2010 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

@vickijean - Not only is that extraordinarily cynical, but it cheapens a badly needed public service announcement that can only benefit society regardless of whatever motivation she might have.

I choose to believe that she, and certainly her daughter, are not only genuine about this, but that McCain is furious about being undermined by members of his own family.

And yes, that belief is just as grounded in fact as your opinion is. LOL.

Posted by: Kiweagle on November 12, 2010 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

"The repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" would actually be pretty easy at this point, were it not for the efforts of one man: Barack Obama (D)."

There I fixed it for you. Seriously, you want me to believe that big, bad, powerful John McCain is the only thing preventing DADT repeal? The majority of the country, the majority of the military, hell the majority of REPUBLICANS think it should end. Gates is on board. Obama and the Democrats still have complete control over the presidency and the congress for the next two months. But you are telling me that because of just John McCain, nothing can be done. That's pathetic bullshit Steve, and you know it.

Posted by: Kid Charles on November 12, 2010 at 9:45 AM | PERMALINK

Well, seven houses gives you a lot of opportunities to avoid an encounter at the dinner table.

Posted by: eserwe on November 12, 2010 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

I think old Johnny Mac has a homosexual encounter in his past that he feels guilty about...just sayin'

Eww, ick, yuck, and feh!

Sorry, but we're not taking him even if he did try out for the team. We have our standards.

Posted by: Mustang Bobby on November 12, 2010 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

Cindy is the McCain with all the money, so even when she and John disagree, she's got some clout. They've had an open marriage for well over 20 years now so these disagreements are routine.

Posted by: walt on November 12, 2010 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

It's an issue he can understand. It doesn't have all of those numbers and figures and charts and graphs that can be so confusing. So this is his little piece of the Just Say No pie.

I have a feeling repeal wouldn't be the cakewalk everyone is thinking if just the mean old man would step out of thew ay. I have a feeling there would be enough Democrats against it to sink it with or with out McCain.

Posted by: SaintZak on November 12, 2010 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

I think old Johnny Mac has a homosexual encounter in his past that he feels guilty about...just sayin'

The only guys McCain ever got hot were on the USS Forrestal.

Posted by: hells littlest angel on November 12, 2010 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

A little payback for his calling her the C word, one hopes.

Posted by: digitusmedius on November 12, 2010 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK


DADT.  

HOW about this?

When I was a kid, I watched a lot of Star Trek. In one episode Kirk says, "IF change is necessary and inevitable doesn't logic demand that you be a part of it." Repeal DADT or the courts will do it for you. IF the courts do it, future generations will look at the Republicans and judge them for the prejudiced mofos they were. 

LOOK you can deny gay people equal rights for only so long. IF you can continue to do it to gays, then you can do it to blacks and irish and germans.  Next we can deny women equal rights.  And finally, at the end of the day we are once again treating people as sub-human. Viewing them as sub-human. Hating them as sub-human.

And that inevitably leads to killing them because you see them as less than human.

IT is a SECULAR SIN to deny other people the same rights that you enjoy.     

As far as McCain goes, this is a plot to rehabilitate his image, to make it look as he is more moderate than he is. Nothing happens in the household of a social climbing member of the über rich like the McCains without purpose.

The test is how McCain votes and I would wager that McCain votes exactly as the Repubs want him to vote. And ultimately that is what matters.

Meanwhile...

Increase taxes in the ÜBER RICH... It's a secular sin to let 1/3 of Arizona kids live in poverty and continue to give massive tax reductions to the excessively wealthy.

Posted by: KurtRex1453 on November 12, 2010 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

Whatever her motive for making the ad, I do applaud Cindy McCain for speaking out.

Who were the rest of the people in the ad? I recognised Denise Richards and Ozzy Osborne.

Posted by: phoebes-in-santa fe on November 12, 2010 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

John McCain is a whore - and by that I mean there are no principles he will not betray in his embarrassing attempts to remain in the political limelight.

Geez. It's nauseating to watch the little prick.

Posted by: cmac on November 12, 2010 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

I don't understand McCain's opposition.

Defy President Obama on everything. Simple.

Posted by: g on November 12, 2010 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

Wait...
Denise Richards is gay???

Posted by: smartalek on November 12, 2010 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, one - just one - of the inequalities gay and lesbian servicemembers face is the arbitrary reduction of their separation pay by 50 percent. Once they are outed and officially separated from the armed forces, the amount of money the government gives every involuntarily separated servicemember is cut by custom - not law - by half.

Let's see McCain campaign on that one: "Homos get half."

Talk about second class citizenship.

Posted by: Nanuq on November 12, 2010 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

KidCharles: "Obama and the Democrats still have complete control over the presidency and the congress for the next two months. But you are telling me that because of just John McCain, nothing can be done. That's pathetic bullshit Steve, and you know it."

Ah, there's this little thing in the Senate called the filibuster which can block most actions with only 40 votes, which Democrats don't have. So (1) Democrats don't have "complete control" and (2) McCain is a part of that 40. A couple of Republicans have to cross party lines to get repeal done.

Posted by: dsimon on November 12, 2010 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK
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