Tuesday, September 21, 2010

These are not "social issues"

Steve Benen points out that when John McCain says that he opposes amendments to defense appropriations bills he is either lying or senile.

Fair enough, but before he gets there, Steve writes,

Noting, for example, that the bill includes a repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, and may ultimately include the Dream Act, McCain says the problem has nothing to do with his animosity towards gays and immigrants. Rather, McCain says it's "reprehensible" to "use the defense bill ... to pursue a social agenda."

At first blush, this might seem half-way reasonable. Putting aside the fact that troop eligibility has quite a bit to do with the Pentagon, it does seem awkward to add extraneous provisions to spending bills that deal with unrelated subjects. Last year, for example, Democrats added the Hate Crimes Prevention Act to the defense authorization bill, though hate crimes and military spending don't seem related.


It isn't "half-way reasonable." As Steve himself points out both issues are very much about troop strength.

McCain has zigzagged so much the "Straight Talk Express" should be pulled over for DUI, but repeal of DADT and passing the Dream Act are "national security" issues. One punishes our fighting men and women while they serve, the other fails to reward them after they served.

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