Well, that was fast. After boldly taking a stand against the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy in an anti-LGBT bullying video late last week, Cindy McCain has backtracked. On Friday night she tweeted that she supports her husband, Sen. John McCain’s, stance against the immediate repeal of the policy which bars gay and lesbian in the military from serving openly.
Sheesh, we need to establish some sort of no-take-backs policy when it comes to equal rights. Only two days before, Cindy McCain appeared in an anti-bullying PSA along with a slew of celebrities by the NOH8 Campaign. In the spot she spoke out against DADT and called the government out for not granting gays and lesbians equal rights. See for yourself.
In case you missed her part, she said:
Our political and religious leaders tell LGBT youth that they have no future … They can’t serve our country openly … Our government treats the LGBT community like second-class citizens, why shouldn’t [the bullies]?
Very good point, Mrs. McCain. So then what happened between Wednesday, when the NOH8 Campaign video was released, and Friday, when she tweeted out her retraction? Sen. McCain was on Meet the Press on Sunday where he confirmed his wife’s support of his position on DADT. Sen. McCain has led Republican opposition to repealing DADT and last month vowed to filibuster any attempt to end the policy.
But over the years, his stance has shifted as well. At first he said he would agree to a lift of the ban if military leaders came to him and said it should be lifted. Then he did. (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Adm. Mike Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert Gates both said the ban should be lifted.) Then he said wanted to hear from the servicemen and women on the issue. Then he did (the results of a Pentagon study have been leaked saying 70 percent of service members say it will have a positive, mixed or nonexistent effect, and will be released officially Dec. 1).
So on Meet the Press this weekend, he moved the goalpost again.
(T)his study was directed on how to implement the repeal not whether the repeal should take place or not. A thorough and complete study of the effects, not how to implement a repeal, but the effects on morale and battle effectiveness, that’s what I want. And once we get this study we need to have hearings, and we need to examine it, and we need to look at whether it is the kind of study that we wanted.
OK, so if you don’t like the study have another study? And if you don’t like that study have lots of hearings to see if it’s the study you wanted in the first place, because how could it be when it gave me the answer I didn’t want? Aren’t Republicans supposed to be the ones against wasteful government?
While McCain’s waffling stance on the subject is infuriating, Cindy McCain’s flip-flop is frustrating. Both Mrs. McCain and her daughter, Meghan, have come out in support for gay marriage and posed for individual NOH8 portraits. So they’ve already proved more progressive than Sen. McCain. But perhaps this proved to be just one step too far left for the senator from Arizona to stand, especially when he is ostensibly the political face of opposition for repealing the ban.
The whole spectacle is a disappointing reminder that it’s one thing to call yourself a gay rights supporter, it’s quite another thing to follow through on that support when things get complicated. Look, we’re still poking and prodding our Fierce Advocate in Chief, so the last thing we need is another fair-weather friend. Mrs. McCain, we certainly enjoyed having you on our side for two and a half days. So when you’re ready to be a full-time equal right supporter, you just let us know.