Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 29, 2010

THE STATE OF PLAY FOR DADT REPEAL.... Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the leading anti-gay opponent of repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," appeared on CNN yesterday to insist that the status quo is "working." It was an odd claim -- we're kicking fine soldiers out of the military, at a severe cost, without a good reason. Nothing about this "works."

Hoping to defend his incoherence, McCain went on to blast President Obama for even committing to the change in policy in the first place.

"The fact is, this was a political promise made by an inexperienced President or candidate for Presidency of the United States."

This is cheap, pathetic rhetoric. Obama didn't make a "political promise"; he outlined a policy agenda, which included this shift in service requirements. It has, in case McCain hasn't noticed, been endorsed by the Defense Secretary, the Joint Chiefs chairman, a majority of the public, a majority of the House and a majority of the Senate.

What's more, Obama's not "inexperienced"; he's been the president of the United States in a time of a crisis for the last 22 months -- giving him exactly 22 months more experience in the big chair than the senator from Arizona.

I don't imagine I'm the only one thinking the once-credible "maverick" is still a little bitter about losing the 2008 race (and what was left of his stature).

Still, if there was any hope that McCain might show some decency on this issue, and take seriously the wishes of the vast majority of the country, he made clear those hopes are in vain. It's legacy time, and McCain wants to be remembered as the anti-gay crusader who fought progress at all costs.

Of course, it's not just McCain. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) also appeared on one of the Sunday shows, and insisted that DADT repeal was likely to die in the lame-duck session. As he sees it, it has "nowhere near" the Senate support it needs.

I guess we can debate the meaning of the word "near." As of today, the defense spending bill that includes the repeal provision has 58 supporters and 42 opponents. If two Republicans break ranks allow the Senate to fund the troops, repeal will pass. So where's this "nowhere near" talk coming from?

Nevertheless, these remarks underscore what will be a huge week in the larger DADT push. The Pentagon's report on military attitudes will be released tomorrow, followed by Senate Armed Services Committee hearings on Thursday and Friday. Mark Thompson has a report on the state of play, including the fact that the final showdown on this may come as early as next week.

Steve Benen 1:35 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (16)

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Comments

If the Amerikan sheeple had 'done the right thing' and elected John McCrap president, he would not have needed to change his position and DADT would already be a thing of the past.

John McCrap is a bitter, vindictive old man who never forgives any slight, whether real or imagined. The only difference between McCrap of today and McCrap of 20 years ago is that he is now 20 years older and 20 years more bitter. His has been a life of 'deserved entitlement' from his Naval Academy days thru his naval aviator days thru his politician days. He, like Bush Lite getting into Yale as a legacy, would never have achieved a damn thing in his life based upon his merit. Life becomes bitter when you are born on 3rd base, believe that you hit a triple, and are pissed off that you were not given a home run!

Posted by: AmusedOldVet on November 29, 2010 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Well. President McCain is pretty clear on DADT..I wonder what he would have thought of Candidate McCain.

Posted by: Jamie on November 29, 2010 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

I'm curious: Suppose the Republicans decide to dig their heels in deep, and kill the defense bill. No money for bullets and bombs; no money for stationing the GW off the Korean coast; no money for base operations and force readiness.

No money at all.

Obama tells Gates to bring everybody home. Worldwide. Every last member of the United States Armed Forces given an immediate stand-down order, followed by an unpaid vacation---which happens to result in several million unemployed people with mondo firearms experience threatening to tear down every last shack, shanty, and outhouse that's got a member of the GOP caucus hiding in it.

Am I the only one who sees the GOP as being "terminally suicidal" these days?

Posted by: S. Waybright on November 29, 2010 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

I was pretty amazed at the national Republican Radio story this am, going on about now the Marines is the one branch that most opposes repeal.... 40% of the Marine respondants and most of their brass are against repeal. Then, abut halfway through, someone does the higher math, and points out - gee, that means 60 % are FOR repeal! And at the end, they conclude with: Well; They are Marines. They will do what is ordered.

We have a civilian governed military. IF we get DADT repealed, the military's job is to implement.

Period.

Posted by: bigtuna on November 29, 2010 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

On Meet the Press yesterday, Sen. Kyl said that Sen Reid

"wants to do the Dream Act in order to appeal to certain segments of the Hispanic community. The 'don't ask, don't tell' policy to appeal to the gay and lesbian community. To appeal to the unions, he wants to do the so-called firefighters federal unionization bill."

How insulting to assume that only "the Hispanic community" cares about enacting the DREAM Act, and only "the gay and lesbian community" cares about repeal of DADT. When Harry Reid and President Obama implement these initiatives, they're appealing to me -- a straight white male who, like millions of Americans who vote Democratic, care deeply about the human rights of our fellow citizens. It's typical of the Republican mindset that they cannot fathom how anyone but the victims of policies that oppress and discriminate against minorities could possibly care about such oppression and discrimination.

Posted by: Mike on November 29, 2010 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

Gay or straight - sexual misconduct is what it is! Define such military misconduct, set up protocols, and let DADT repeal fly!

Patriotic Americans, Gay, Straight, or somewhere inbetween, need to be validated, not punished by homophobes like McCain! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on November 29, 2010 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently, the 12th Century is appealing to more than just the Taliban. . .

(I'm working on my designer line of burkas. . .)

Posted by: DAY on November 29, 2010 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

In his mind, McCain is always the principled, elder statesman. His loss to two men he considered unworthy, in 2000 and 2008, will always rankle. He will die bitter.

Posted by: Rathskeller on November 29, 2010 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

i thought little lindsey might be against DADT for... um, personal reasons. after all, he may not be telling, but a lot of people are asking.

Posted by: mellowjohn on November 29, 2010 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Sen. McCain proved he wasn't presidential material by endorsing the Bush/Cheney re-election campaign in 2004. He erased all doubt about this by choosing Palin as his VP candidate in 2008. Even his friend Sen. Graham should recognize this by now. It appears that McCain is suffering from Obama Derangement Syndrome (we see a lot of this in South Carolina).

Posted by: MuddyLee on November 29, 2010 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

Lindseed Graham, one more self-hating closeted Republican queen.

Posted by: Jew Paul on November 29, 2010 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

The rough mantle of reality doesn't matter to John McCain. Unfortunately, it doesn't matter to his followers, either.

Posted by: Mark on November 29, 2010 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Senator Orval Faubus McCain has a nice ring to it.

Posted by: allium on November 29, 2010 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

John McCain has PTSD from Vietnam. He has been disintegrating for a long time. And Linseed Graham is probably a little on the gay side. It sure would be nice if we knew for sure. He is such a sleaze. Maybe he will be voted out next election. (crossed fingers)

Posted by: rca on November 29, 2010 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

We have harassment and frat laws on the military books already. Hate crimes against openly gay people are already outlawed. DADT is redundent.

The military needs to acknowledge who DADT really protects, those who are "uncomfortable" (to the point of brutality, some of them) with being around gay soldiers. The military needs to acknowledge these people, not gays, are the problem.

Posted by: Skip on November 29, 2010 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

I don't imagine I'm the only one thinking the once-credible "maverick" is still a little bitter about losing the 2008 race (and what was left of his stature).

But you may be the only one here thinking that McCain was "once credible".

He's a bump in the road.

Posted by: Squeaky McCrinkle on November 30, 2010 at 1:08 AM | PERMALINK
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