When John McCain led the filibuster of the Defense Appropriations Act yesterday, he blocked far more than the DREAM Act and repeal of DADT. Here are just a few of the other blocked provisions, courtesy of Mother Jones.
- No permanent military bases in Afghanistan.
- Report identifying hybrid or electric propulsion systems and other fuel-saving technologies for incorporation into tactical motor vehicles.
- Protection of child custody arrangements for parents who are members of the Armed Forces deployed in support of a contingency operation.
- Improvements to Department of Defense domestic violence programs.
- Department of Defense recognition of spouses of members of the Armed Forces.
- Department of Defense recognition of children of members of the Armed Forces.
- Enhancements to the Troops-to-Teachers Program.
- Fiscal year 2011 increase in military basic pay.
- Improving aural protection for members of the Armed Forces.
- Comprehensive policy on neurocognitive assessment by the military health care system.
- Authority to make excess nonlethal supplies available for domestic emergency assistance.
And those were just some of the progressive provisions. On the conservative side, there are these, and more:
- Prohibition on the use of funds for the transfer or release of individuals detained at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
- Prohibition on the use of funds to modify or construct facilities in the United States to house detainees transferred from United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
- Prohibition on use of funds to give Miranda warnings to Al Qaeda terrorists.
What did they gain with their filibuster? Traction with so-called values voters? They didn't have any problem with them anyway. Denying the Democrats a victory over a 17-year old self-inflicted wound? Making a stand against children of immigrants? What big, brave people they are. Do they seriously think there are no gay Republicans? As one of my Twitter friends remarked earlier, if Ken Mehlman couldn't convince them, no one could.
This was a mean-spirited, cut-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face exercise in homophobic politics and it's ugly, especially with John McCain leading the charge. The same John McCain, by the way, who said all he needed was for the leadership of the military to come and say the policy should change. And so, they did. Even after testimony from the joint chiefs of staff, McCain didn't adhere to his own conditions for cynical, self-serving political reasons.
I have a question for Senator McCain. Here it is:
When you die for your country, the grave marker doesn't identify you as gay or straight. Your blood is as red as the guy next to you with the wife and three kids. You deserve to be treated equally. That's all.