Wednesday, February 03, 2010

McCain and DADT: latest in a pathetic history of lies, opportunism, and betrayal

It's not that John McCain hates the military.  It's just that, like everyone else around him, soldiers exist to be exploited for his own political ends.  Three years ago, John McCain stated that, should the military's top brass support repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell, he would be behind the change. Now, tainted by three years of divisivenes, a Republican Party that has surrendered to racists, conspiracy theorists and fundamentalists, clinging to national party status when a majority of its members are not sure Obama was born in the U.S., (while a fat majority believe the president should be impeached for...something), times have changed. McCain is like the unpopular boy at school who, desperately tagging along with whoever will accept him, changes his beliefs more often than his underwear. McCain's behavior in front of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the Secretary of Defense was as disgraceful as it was opportunistic:

with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen testifying to senators after President Obama's announcement that he would seek a congressional repeal of the 15-year-old policy. Mullen called repealing the policy, which bans openly gay men and lesbians from serving, "the right thing to do" and said he was personally troubled by effectively forcing service members to "lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens." Gates told the Armed Services Committee, "I fully support the president's decision." In response, McCain declared himself "disappointed" in the testimony. "At this moment of immense hardship for our armed services, we should not be seeking to overturn the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy," he said bluntly, before describing it as "imperfect but effective."
Pathetic and ethically indefensible, this latest unpredictable growth in McCain's brain calls into question the entire McCain narrative. Since he knows that, in his own military career, he served alongside brave soldiers of all sexual orientations, he is basically taking a giant whiz on veterans, the joint chiefs, and the Commander-in-chief. It's time to remind readers that, whatever the authenticity of McCain's actual suffering during Vietnam, there is strong evidence that he has since told a series of whopper-quality lies about that ordeal.  He plagiarized Alexander Solzhenitsyn's story about the "cross in the dirt" episode that allegedly occurred during his imprisonment (Solzhenitsyn himself, never above embellishment, likely lied about the episode in the first place). McCain has been particularly nasty on the Senate floor to Vietnam veterans, perhaps thinking he is in some way qualified to judge them and their life experiences. And obviously, he has never shown qualms about exploiting his POW history (whatever it may objectively be) to score political points. It's understandable that he thinks he's entitled to do that; he's enjoyed a life of government-supported privilege for all but three years of his life. But his unwillingness to share that privilege with other soldiers, when he knows deep down that his opposition to the repeal is just another McCain BS story is inhuman and, by the rules he purports to subscribe to himself, unpatriotic.

It's time to write John McCain's political obituary. More philandering than John Edwards, more profane than Dick Cheney, more deceptive than Richard Nixon, and a bigger political whore than Max Baucus, John McCain is everything we don't like about old politics.

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