The Decline and Fall of John McCain

I think David Foster Wallace is turning over in his grave. What has become of John McCain since that late August day he picked Sarah Palin as his running mate is just too horrifying for words. So, we;re now stuck with an image of an out-of-touch old man who is hanging onto senatorial power by submitting to his electorate’s worst instincts. Watch and weep:

One wonders if he really believes this bullshit:

As for their superiors, McCain casually mentions the commander in chief and defense secretary, “neither of which I view as a military leader.”

Is this all about his being a sore loser? Anyway, it gets worse:

We send these young people into combat, we think they’re mature enough to fight and die. I think they’re mature enough to make a judgment on who they want to serve with and the impact on their battle effectiveness.

One wonders if Harry Truman pondered this as he integrated the Army in 1948.

Andrew Sullivan has been following this debate, well, most of his adult life. He has read the Pentagon Report on DADT whose findings McCain is working very hard to dismiss, and…well, from the horse’s mouth:

Anyone who doubts the professionalism of today’s military would do well to read the Pentagon Report on DADT. First, it’s a massive undertaking, involving hundreds of thousands of responses, 95 face-to-face meetings, and a range of views from everyone who might be affected. It’s one of the most impressive reports I’ve ever read from a government agency.

It’s also extremely calm and fair. If you’ve been in the thick of this debate as long as I have, you’ll know how rare that is. The tone is empirical, and judicious. It does not gloss over some serious objections – such as moral and religious ones – and grapples directly with some of the more emotive issues, such as sharing showers or sleeping quarters. It feels in no way skewed or prejudged.

And the report is absolutely clear that straight servicemembers by large majorities have few problems with openly gay servicemembers. 69 percent of them acknowledge they have fought or worked alongside gay men and women already. A staggering 92 percent of those were fine with lifting the ban. Again: when you know someone is gay, all the fears and stereotypes tend to evaporate. This is not a surprise. The men and women of the US military are among the finest in the land; they want to do the job at hand, not deepen social division or posture politically. They are not bigots.

I remember once – this is in 2004 I think – when I started working at one of my jobs, I was on an Advanced Technology Project [ATP] within the National Institute for Standards and Technology [NIST]. I was on a treadmill watching ABC News when I saw the figure of McCain attacking the ATP as Corporate Welfare. I knew right there that our project would be the last ATP project any of us would ever see. If I saw the McCain of today attacking it, I would just have a chuckle. A feeble old guy and his mouth. The world has moved on without him.

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Ron Gordon

Math nerd in his early 40’s who seems to have an opinion about everything and an inability to keep it to himself.