Yet, now that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretary of Defense think "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" should go, Sen. McCain is backtracking like there's no tomorrow. In fact, Sen. John McCain is so dead set against a repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," he's threatening to filibuster any attempt to pass legislation that would start to repeal the military's ban on gays and lesbians. That includes the "compromise" legislation that emerged this week, that would attach a repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" to the defense authorization bill coming up for a vote this week, maybe even tomorrow, in the U.S. House and in the Senate's Armed Service Committee. To hear Sen. McCain say it, he'd walk in front of a speeding train if it meant preventing gays and lesbians from serving openly in the U.S. military.
"I’ll do everything in my power," McCain said, to avoid a repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." That includes helping organize a filibuster on the entire defense authorization bill.
McCain was joined by Mississippi Sen. Robert Wicker, who added that if repeal language is adopted and worked into the defense authorization bill, "I will not sign the conference report, and there will be an attempt to filibuster the bill on the floor. It's a major mistake."
Funny, I always assumed a "major mistake" meant tarnishing the U.S. military's reputation, making America less safe, and preventing well qualified soldiers from entering the ranks of the military. Which is exactly what "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" does.
That's why people are imploring the Senate Armed Services Committee to get behind a repeal for "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Sign on here if you haven't yet.
In good news, at least when it comes to ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," two Senators announced today that they're down with compromise legislation to repeal this bad law. The first was Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who actually became the first Republican Senator since "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" became law to call for its elimination. That's huge, though not entirely a surprise, given that Sen. Collins was widely expected to be down with repeal.
Perhaps more surprising was the news that Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, who as recently as this past Monday was indicating that he'd be against repeal legislation, decided today that the "compromise" legislation moving forward was good enough to earn his vote. Sen. Nelson could be the vote that carries this "compromise" legislation forward, though by no means is anything in the clear just yet. All the more reason to continue to stir the Senate Armed Service Committee's pot by supporting a repeal.
Opponents of repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" are definitely desperate at this point. The American Family Association is comparing gay troops to Hitler. The Family Research Council is saying that gay troops would turn our military into one giant gay pride festival. And now, Sen. John McCain is threatening to filibuster an entire defense spending bill.
If only Sen. John McCain was doing everything in his power to make our country safer, instead of fueling the fire of anti-gay voices in this country.