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Friday, December 3, 2010

Bizarre, Absurd, Contemptible

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 02: Senate Armed Services Committee ranking member Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) delivers opening remarks during a hearing about the military's don't ask, don't tell policy on Capitol Hill December 2, 2010 in Washington, DC. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced earlier this week that a comprehensive study found that allowing gay men and women to serve openly in the United States armed forces presents a low risk to the military's effectiveness, even at a time of war, and that 70 percent of service members believe that the impact of repealing the law would be either positive, mixed or of no consequence at all. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Kilroy is still here

Openly gay Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) on the DADT debate led by "old, white, straight male" bigots in Congress:

Rachel Maddow hears from former Secretary of the Army Clifford Alexander about "the point of absurdity" this debate has gotten to:

Andrew Sullivan:
I wish I understood McCain. I thought I did once, but it seems increasingly clear that he is a man of near-suicidal vanity and misjudgment (remember suspending his entire campaign to deal with Lehman Brothers, or the insanely reckless selection of an unvetted Palin) and defined by grudges. Much of his shift to the center in 2000 and after was, it now seems obvious, an attempt to sabotage the man who defeated him, George W. Bush. His conduct in the last two years seems very similar with respect to Obama, despite Obama's early attempts to persuade and coopt him.

He's not homophobic. Very close members of his staff have been gay. His longtime chief-of-staff, Mark Buse, was and is openly gay. But perhaps buried in this psyche is something generational. McCain grew up in a world where homosexuality was never spoken of, and subsequently tolerated with radioactive discretion. Gays were objects of pity and sometimes personal affection - but never seen as full equals. And the notion of a core American icon - the American soldier - being equated with gayness - in the open - is something perhaps beyond his amygdala to process.

The alternative explanation for his recent behavior is fathomless cynicism and hollowness. It's important to remember how this torture victim, in 2006, agreed to acquiesce to the CIA using the same torture techniques once used on him on other prisoners. . . .

I don't know how a torture victim can subsequently support the same thing being done to others. I don't know he sleeps at night knowing that he is responsible for tying human beings up for hours on end in excruciating stress positions - especially when he knows firsthand how horrifying this is. But I do know that such a man has lost his soul in the process.

And that is why this week is not the first time that I have felt a great deal of contempt for him. But it's also personal this time - because I know so many servicemembers who serve and have served with great honor, even with the knife of DADT stuck firmly in their backs. By possibly being the one man insisting on keeping that knife in them and twisting it, he has gone from being contemptible to being despicable, an enemy of the American soldier he is so proud publicly to support.


Staircase Witch said...

I am so tired of seeing this country and its national security held hostage to the psychosis of a minority. It's ridiculous, it really is. All of it. As ridiculous, say, as proclaiming that the world is 6000 years old or that it doesn't matter what happens to the planet, environmentally speaking, because God will rapture the saved. As a Christian atheist, I just don't know how much more I can take.

Russ Manley said...

I hear you. Change is grinding on, but exceeding slow with all the buttheads in the way.

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