John McCain’s Bizarre Closing Rant On “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”
Dana Milbank sums up John McCain’s inexplicable behavior as the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy was being repealed.
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.”
Only, it’s not true. “The American people” favored the repeal of DADT.
Saturday’s debate on the repeal of the “don’t-ask-don’t-tell” policy was only half an hour old when the Arizona Republican burst onto the floor from the cloakroom, hiked up his pants and stalked over to his friend Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). Ignoring Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), who had the floor, McCain hectored the men noisily for a few moments, waving his arms for emphasis.
When McCain finally stormed off, Durbin shook his head in exasperation and Lieberman smiled. A minute later, McCain returned – he had apparently remembered another element of his grievance – and resumed his harangue.
McCain’s closing argument on the Senate floor was bizarre, equating allowing gays to serve openly in the military with soldiers losing limbs.
“Today’s a very sad day. The commandant of the United States Marine Corps says when your life hangs on the line, you don’t want anything distracting. . . . I don’t want to permit that opportunity to happen and I’ll tell you why. You go up to Bethesda Naval Hospital, Marines are up there with no legs, none. You’ve got Marines at Walter Reed with no limbs.”
McCain turned and, without another word, walked into the cloakroom.
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