Monday, December 20, 2010

John McCain's Ongoing Erosion: Don't Ask, Don't Tell Edition

Posted By on Mon, Dec 20, 2010 at 10:25 AM

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post examines Sen. John McCain's furious and unsuccessful efforts to thwart the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell:

McCain's statement on the floor was roughly one part argument, four parts tantrum. "So here we are about six weeks after an election that repudiated the agenda of the other side," he said, and those who would repeal don't-ask-don't-tell "are acting in direct repudiation of the message of the American people." (Actually, polls show support for repeal.)

He bemoaned "this bizarro world that the majority leader has been carrying us in," and taunted: "Maybe it will require another election." The Arizonan suggested those who vote to repeal would have blood on their hands. "Don't think that it won't be at great cost," he said, punctuating his words by bouncing on his toes and chopping with his left hand. It will "probably," he said, "harm the battle effectiveness which is so vital to the survival of our young men and women in the military."

McCain famously said in 2006 that he would support repeal once military leaders recommended it. Instead, he led the opposition to repeal. McCainologists in the Capitol speculate that on this and other issues he's driven less by policy consideration than by personal animosity. A decade ago, his antipathy toward President George W. Bush led him to seek common cause with Democrats to thwart a Republican president. Now his antipathy toward President Obama has made him a leading Republican hardliner.

Read the whole appalling account here.

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