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Just about the time you think you’re winning, they get faster rats and turbocharge the bastards!

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) – A crook and liar

At some point, Lindsay Graham is going to get tired of trying to help John McCain appear sane, credible and vaguely informed, and just stop showing up at joint things. The verdict is still out, of course, but his performance with reporters on the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell debacle is really amazing. John McCain is either borderline senile, an imbecile or a lying goddamn careerist hack. I know what my bet is… Now, McCain was Navy royalty and an aviator which is a different breed of cat entirely, so he probably has no clue as to what really goes on in actual units. Talk to officers and chiefs from Naval Aviation and you get a picture that looks more like Oliver Perry’s Navy or Stephen Decatur’s than Mike Mullins’. If you hang out on Aircraft Carriers in Officer’s Country, you’re pretty much hanging out in a separate world of semi-private staterooms and linen covered dining tables, or were doing the McCain era. He retired a long time ago, as soon as it became clear that Admiral wasn’t in the cards for him. He has no clue what the Chief Petty Officers, Petty Officers, Limited Duty Officers, and junior officers are doing with their crews.He has no clue as to what the crews are doing to the crew.

For the most part, the military is a pretty tolerant bunch, especially when you compare them to a lot of their defenders; there is an acceptable range of deviance, and if you don’t go outside that range of deviance, you’re fine. Don’t get anybody else hurt, don’t fuck up, don’t let us look bad, and keep your hands off my stuff unless you ask. Pretty simple.

Did I have gay soldiers serving under me? Are the goddamn insurance commercials with the Robert Stack imitator incredibly annoying? Yeah. Did I care? Not really — in my experience, the soldiers I thought might be gay were good soldiers, on time, in shape, willing to do their jobs and try to advance. I had one DADT case that could have been a problem– a young lieutenant, a female West Point graduate and science nerd, hated her boss and hated her assignment, and hated life. I have no idea why she didn’t hate me since I was, at the time and for the sort of unit I was running as First Sergeant, so hard corps that it made most people’s teeth hurt. I liked her, by the way — given the right leadership, she’d have been great. Since she had been flirting with me off and on since she signed in, I was pretty sure she was straight and attracted to adults. I have and had a policy against doing children, and as far as I was concerned, she was a child, so I could laugh at the flirting. She asked to speak to me someplace where she wasn’t going to have to worry about who heard her, and so we walked to the middle of a cement formation area. At night. We were at a training center and in local barracks. It was a pretty weird situation…and that added to her stress, I think. Pre-liberation of Bosnia debacle at Grafenwoer, for anyone who recalls that time 15 years ago.

Anyway, she told me how much she hated her Major, the shops, Sergeant Major and the Group Commander. I was blunt — maybe why she liked and trusted me — and in my patented blister the paint style of those days, told her to “Enjoy being a member of the fucking club, kid! They’re idiots, and I intend to make certain they don’t kill any of my soldiers, including themselves.” Well, she explained that if I gave her a pistol, a straight razor, some MRES and a parachute and dropped her into Republik Serbska territory, she’s gladly bring back Radovan Karadzic’s balls. Or die trying. However, she didn’t think she could take anymore of their bullshit. She asked me what I’d do if she told me she was gay? I did what good leaders have done for centuries confronted with that sort of issue, the unhappy soldier. I said something like this, “If you really are gay, and sincerely want me to know that and to do my job, I will do what I’m supposed to do and have sworn to do, in a way that protects your privacy and trust. But, if you are not a lesbian, don’t tell me that you are for the sake of an easy escape from the Army. You will hate yourself and despise what you’ve done. There are always other ways…” She admitted to not being gay. Think about that one…she admitted to not being gay.

On the other hand, there were lots of instances in my career where I was pressured by the top end to do something about some soldier whom they decided was a pansy. Seriously, I had a Command Sergeant Major whom I generally liked a lot and got along with, get in my face and tell me to do something about that pansy motherfucker (Irony abounded); so, I did. I put him up for Soldier of the Year, which he won. I don’t know, didn’t care and didn’t want to know if he was gay. I’m not, so it was of no interest to me. Should have been of no interest to him. Frankly, I didn’t have time for that crap and neither did he, which I recall telling the Sergeant Major pretty directly. That was then; good NCOs don’t have time for that crap now either…never did. Especially right now…in case the culture warriors haven’t noticed, there’s a real fucking war going on!

So many of our problems arise from our inability to say what we mean or to call things by their proper name. McCain’s argument about DADT is in fact justifying prejudice. I have come to believe that Bill Maher and others who say if you problems with gays in the military, thank you for your service so far and go home. Homophobia is not an excuse for being a jerk. Do gays get beaten up occasionally? Yeah. So do straights. Is it OK to “Stompa Fag?” No…it’s called assault and battery or assault with a deadly weapon or attempted murder.

Frankly, the military is reasonably open even in these political correctness-charged days about the issues around sex. Most of the people are young, in good shape and under stress. Sexual release and some level of banter is a fairly common thing among such groups of people. There are gay cops, firefighters, smoke jumpers and oil rig workers. There are also sexually active heterosexuals. Of the two, sexually active heterosexuals are far more likely to get in your face and make others uncomfortable than gays or lesbians, simply because there are a lot more of them.  I’m pretty sure McCain would have had issues under the honor code about women; under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, adultery is a court martial offense. I’m pretty sure a lot of people would — the issue is good order and discipline, not individual morality.

So, I hope that Harry Reid grows a pair and that the Dems adopt a strategy of bringing stuff up now, and making the Republicans filibuster. Make them vote their conscience. Make them tell folks like Mike Olmey that what happened to them was OK — it’s OK to read people’s private emails. (By the way, anyone who trusts any boss’ assurance that he’s not going to read their private emails is incredibly stupid or naive.  I lead my life like as open a book as I can, yet I would no more write for Vets or for the other places that I write on their machines or using their internet access, and the more outrageous stuff is under my personna. I say things I don’t want a potential or current employer to read; or my wife; or the fucking Dream Police. However, I am not stupid and I know I take a risk even this way.)

McCain has a problem though; at some point, Megan and Cindy are going to stare at him and call him out. There have been rumours of Cindy doing that for years. He’s a bully, and a loudmouthed liar, and a lot of us mistook the loudmouth for truth. As did I.

When Theodore Roosevelt talked about the “bully pulpit” of the Presidency he meant bully in an anchronistic sense, the “best” or the “stongest.” McCain has tried to get that pulpit over the years and has demanded it, thinking that a bully pulpit is just what a bully needs. He doesn’t deserve it, he disgraces his heritage, and he’s a lousy example of why things have gone to hell. He had the position to make things better by showing grace and honor, and instead shamed us all. And, what’s worse, continues to do so…

As for my Lieutenant friend? She finished her commitment to the Army, got a great job in biotechnology, and married a classmate from West Point and has a bunch of kids. Bully for her…

View the original article at Veterans Today

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