With all due respect to Senator McCain, it is impossible to “honor the service and sacrifices” of LGBT servicemen and women, and in the same breath ask them to lie to their comrades, their commanders, their families and friends.
Here’s what McCain said about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in 2006:
And I understand the opposition to it, and I‘ve had these debates and discussions, but the day that the leadership of the military comes to me and says, Senator, we ought to change the policy, then I think we ought to consider seriously changing it because those leaders in the military are the ones we give the responsibility to.
Ok, that’s fairly straightforward: if the military says re-evaluate, then reevaluate. Given that, here’s what the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mullen said today:
Mr. Chairman, speaking for myself and myself only, it is my personal and professional belief that allowing homosexuals to serve openly would be the right thing to do. No matter how I look at the issue, I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens. For me, it comes down to integrity — theirs as individuals and ours as an institution. I also believe the great young men and women of our military can and would accommodate such a change. I never underestimate their ability to adapt. That there will be some disruption in the force I cannot deny. That there will be legal, social and perhaps even infrastructure changes to be made certainly seem plausible. We would all like to have a better handle on these types of concerns. And that is what our review will offer.
Admiral Mullen reaffirmed his position via Twitter (seriously?!) with this tweet:
thejointstaff: Stand by what I said: Allowing homosexuals to serve openly is the right thing to do. Comes down to integrity.
Well, John McCain has apparently forgotten that he trusts the U.S. Military, because he’s waving around letters from anti-gay hack Elaine Donnelly, and raving about the “success” of DADT. Never mind the hundreds of millions of dollars it costs, and the drastic loss of talent the military suffers as a result each year:
But in all due respect, right now the military is functioning extremely well in very difficult conditions. We have to have an assessment on recruitment, on retention and all the other aspects of the impact on our military if we change the policy. In my view, and I know that a lot of people don’t agree with that, the policy has been working and I think it’s been working well.
Actually, this flip-flop wasn’t the most disturbing part of McCain’s speech. This little gem had me trying to shake the water out of my ears:
Many gay and lesbian Americans are serving admirably in our armed forces, even giving their lives so that we and others can know the blessings of peace. I honor their sacrifice and I honor them.
With all due respect to Senator McCain, it is impossible to “honor the service and sacrifices” of LGBT servicemen and women, and in the same breath ask them to lie to their comrades, their commanders, their families and friends. That is not honorable, it’s disingenuous at best.
As I see it, there are two possible explanations for McCain’s flip-flop:
A) He said what he said in 2006 just to make himself look moderate and reasonable, and meant nary a word of it.
B) He’s bowing to the intense pressure of the Republican Right instead of honoring his own beliefs.
So which is it? Is McCain a liar… or a coward?
If you’d like to watch the rest of the political bloviating, click through for YouTube clips of the hearing.
Continue reading “John McCain flips, flops and flaps.”