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11/15/2010

NO,W8: Cindy shifts #DADT gears back to (R)

by Jeremy Hooper

Screen Shot 2010-11-15 At 5.03.20 Am-1First, Cindy McCain shocked us all when, in a web video, she directly challenged her senator husband's resistance to letting gay servicemembers serve openly:

'They can't serve our country openly,' laments wife of DADT repeal's most prominent obstacle [G-A-Y]

We say shocking, because even though the oft-cited roadblocks on the road to repeal are being lifted left and right moderate, Sen. McCain is still quite firm in his anti-repeal messaging. In fact, the senator has even been known to schmooze it up with figures as rabidly anti-LGBT as Tony "gays are "being held captive by the enemy" Perkins, in chats where the two men commiserate about all that nasty "behavior" that the gay soldiers are going to foist upon unsuspecting heteros once the shackles are freed from their combat boots:

Audio: Oh look, it's the man Log Cabin Republicans told us to support, schmoozing with Tony P. [G-A-Y]

So considering the facts (or rather, others' fact-less embraces of anti-gay fallacy), we on the side of basic rights were all like, "Yay for Cindy!" After all, it requires courage to take a public, principled stand like this. Longtime senators' spouses simply do not make moves without thinking about them first, so it was pretty apparent that Ms. McCain had such strong convictions on this particular issue. Convictions that could not be muffled any longer. Convictions that were in need of a prominent push. Courageous convictions that Cindy McCain would never, ever think of walking back in the form of, say, a TV soundbite, YouTube video, newspaper editorial, or perhaps a 132-character tweet...

Screen Shot 2010-11-15 At 4.19.26 Am

Oh. Uhm. So yeah -- that happened.

A pretty irreconcilable turnaround if you ask us. Because at this point, the only stance on DADT that jibes with equality is the one that calls for the full and immediate elimination of this thoroughly un-American, highly discriminatory policy. Anything less is a slap in the face, regardless of whether the gloved hand wears donkey or elephant mittens.

But of course, as stated prior, senators' spouses don't do much without first consulting a host of other factors. Sometimes that consultation begins and ends at the conscience. Sometimes it extends to the stewards of the spouse's political legacy, with Hill staff using the non-elected partner to soften the vote-getter's more hardened stance. Though other times, the reflective Twiiter rollback seems to revolve more around the senator's own desire to keep an overwrought debate dragging into the next decade:

Sen. John McCain said Sunday that the Pentagon should study how ending the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy would impact troop morale and battle effectiveness, instead of reporting to President Obama and lawmakers on how the Defense Department could lift the gay ban.

"Once we get this study, we need to have hearings. And we need to examine it. And we need to look at whether it's the kind of study that we wanted," McCain said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
McCain wants more time before end of 'don't ask' [WaPo]

"And then after that examination, we'll call for a new study -- this one with essay questions. Then after that study, maybe break out the Ouija board. Then after the Ouija board -- because everyone knows Gillibrand moved the thing -- we can defer to the Psychic Friends Network. Then after the psychics, perhaps convince the Mattel corporation to manufacture some life size G.I. Joe dolls that might just appease the gays who want a taste of military life. Then after that, we'll just keep on filibustering this darn thing until that meddling arc of history gets off my lawn!"

Right. No.

The truth: On this issue, Sen. McCain is on the wrong side of history, and Cindy McCain has made the #unfortunatechoice to join in on the feet-dragging. A shame in both cases. Or actually a shame on three counts: His, hers, and that of the gay solider who thought he had a fresh face of support but instead found yet another pair of cold feet.

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