McCain Hits Bottom, Digs

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Here is John McCain, in full-throttled white populist mode, spinning DADT's repeal as plot by the elite Georgetown-Manhattan axis of America. The notion, which McCain pitches here, that DADT is a victory for people who either never served in the military, and don't know anyone in the military is demagoguery. Worse, it's of a piece with McCain's habit of setting his clock according to his own disposition. 


So Robert Gates, an Air Force vet, disagrees with John McCain, and by the factual lights of McCain, Gates is dismissed as as "political appointee who's never been in the military." Admiral Mike Mullen,Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs, disagrees with McCain and is transformed into someone who McCain does not "view as a military leader." And a policy with the support of nearly 80 percent of the American, can only be viewed through the machinations of Georgetown cocktail parties. Even the military itself, in McCain's mind, is bent to his prejudice. By implication he defines it as  provincial outfit almost totally rooted, not in a time or a place, but in the smallness of McCain's square mind.

We have, of late, taken to avoiding comparisons between the struggles of gays and the struggles of blacks. And yet, in this instance, the notion that DADT is actually a Georgetown cocktail party plot, surely recalls the notion that "Lincolnism" is actually the work of miscegenaters.  The case is different, but the disinclination to argue on the grounds of facts, the proclivity for changing the subject, the penchant for deceitful ad-hominem, and the bigoted appeal to fear, is the same as it ever was.

All talk of patriotic sacrifice and the true nature of the senators heart is vaccuous. You are what your record says you are. In this business, here is the record of John McCain.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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