Jon Stewart: You know, as I see John McCain doing anything to keep "don't ask, don't tell" from being repealed, it's hard not to remember [chokes up with emotion] it gets worse.It's not just the funnymen who are noticing. Yahoo!'s blog The Lookout says supporters of "don't ask, don't tell" are running out of reasons to oppose repeal.
John Oliver: Hello, Senator McCain. We know you're going through a tough time with this "don't ask, don't tell" thing.
Jason Jones: But trust us ...
Sean Hayes: It gets worse.
Wyatt Cenac: Seriously, it's all downhill from here.
JJ: The head of the military doesn't even agree with you.
SH: Your own wife doesn't agree with you.
JJ: Your own wife! Holy s***!
JO: She's very attractive, but that is irrelevant to this discussion.
WC: But it gets worse ...
SH: ... because sooner or later, gay people are going to wind up serving ...
WC: ... and then twenty years later, they'll make the documentary about it.
JO: And you know how every documentary about some big social change has a bad guy ...
JJ: ... the guy who fought it tooth and nail, long after it was obvious to everyone else what needed to be done?
WC: You know, the George Wallace character. That's gonna be you ...
SH: ... saying stuff like ...
WC: ... "Black people don't belong in a white man's military," or ...
SH: ... "I have no problem with Catholics ..."
JO: "... I just don't want one in the White House taking orders on a special Pope-phone to Rome," or ...
JJ: ... "A lady astronaut? But what about the gazongas? Won't they get in the way?"
WC: That'll be you, and the narrator will say something like, ...
JO: ... "Senator John McCain fought the move every step of the way, using increasingly obvious stalling tactics."
WC: Although they'll probably pick somebody with a better voice than John's.
JO: Yeah, you know what, Wyatt? You can go f*** yourself.
WC: I'm just saying.
SH: Anyway, it'll be part of your legacy.
WC: It gets worse.
JO: It does get worse.
JJ: It gets worser.
SH: You have no idea how much worse it gets.
McCain isn't giving ground:
"The military is at its highest point in recruitment, in retention, in professionalism, in capability," McCain said on CNN's "State of the Union." "So to somehow allege that this policy has been damaging the military is simply false."Recruitment is up because it always goes up during an economic downturn such as we've been enduring. Retention is up because the military cannot afford to let people leave (remember those infamous stop-loss orders during George W. Bush's term?). Professionalism and capability -- is John McCain saying gays are unprofessional and incapable, and that they would reduce those qualities in the military? That's just this side of homophobic. Do you really want to narrow your support to the most regressive and bigoted voters in Arizona, Senator?
"I want to know the effect on battle effectiveness and morale, not on how best to implement the change in policy."As I've said before, how units perform in the field is a function of how well they trust each other to do their jobs, not how well they like each other or what they think of one another's private lives.
Senator, what would you think of a policy that excluded Mormons from serving because anecdotal evidence suggested they disrupted unit morale? Would you be supporting a ban on openly-declared Mormons serving?
John McCain, as The Daily Show illustrated in a terrific then-and-now video montage preceding the aforementioned spoof PSA, is fighting with his own previously-expressed views. He said he would support repealing "don't ask, don't tell" when the military leadership was ready to end the ban. When the Secretary of Defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff expressed their willingness, he backpedaled and wanted a study done. Now that the study is done -- it's due on President Obama's desk tomorrow -- McCain is saying it's a flawed study. What next, Senator? Do you want each and every service member individually to appear before you to testify as to whether he or she supports the ban?
Here's where supporters of "don't ask, don't tell" are likely to take some solace:
Among Marines and other specialty combat troops, resistance to openly gay service is higher than the overall average of 30 percent. Between 40 and 60 percent of combat troops say they think repealing the policy will be bad for troop morale. (Opposition is lower among troops who say they have served with a gay comrade before.) Military chaplains are also very strongly opposed.Glossing the final report -- it's over a hundred pages long, so I haven't been able to read it in depth -- the objections raised by those disposed to maintain the ban appear to be based either in the usual tired misconception that openly gay troops will engage in ridiculously stereotypical misbehavior (flamboyant dress, propositioning of straight troops, etc.) or in religious strictures against homosexuality. In short, the supporters of "don't ask, don't tell" are living in a world in which it's all right to consider gays second-class citizens.
Nothing that John McCain or any other supporter of the ban has said addresses what I said in October about it:
As a nation, we weighed discomfort against honor -- and we deemed discomfort more important.Nothing that John McCain or any other supporter of the ban has said addresses what I asked earlier this month:
That decision was indefensible.
[H]ow long will we continue to shortchange our armed forces and dishonor our fellow citizens by catering to those who have an irrational fear, a fear that is without foundation, whose root cause they cannot even explain because that root cause does not exist?Senator, you already look like a hypocrite. No, actually, you already are a hypocrite in my eyes, and you're teetering on the brink of out-and-out bigotry.
Would it satisfy you if the military segregated gays into separate units, as the military segregated African Americans in an earlier age? After all, that was the approved solution when we last institutionalized prejudice under color of military regulations.
An ugly vision, isn't it, Senator? Yet that's where your unprincipled opposition to repealing "don't ask, don't tell" leaves you.
And as The Daily Show said, it gets worse.