As an ER nurse, I understand that adults, when confronted with a traumatic crisis, often regress developmentally. A highly functional adult when confronted with a sudden change in their world may act like a petulant teenager. But it is a very rare thing to see a geriatric statesman, who purports to be a national leader, revert to acting like a toddler on national television. John McCain’s deplorable behavior, widely seen on video, during an interview about his work to stop repeal of DADT was only missing him saying, “Liar, liar, pants on fire” or him sticking his fingers in his ears and shouting, “LALALALALALA” to avoid hearing the truth about the true implementation of this misguided policy.
I may be giving Senator McCain too much credit. After all, most of us, when confronted with the true fact that we have betrayed the Core Values we claim to embrace, would find that a traumatic event. That belief reflects my own bias. You see, both Senator McCain and I are Naval Academy graduates. I automatically presume that individuals such as us act with honor and will always place the best interests of our country above our own petty interests. I realize that honor is not a plebe-issue item. One either has honor or one does not – it is not something bestowed by Annapolis. But rather Annapolis does instill in its graduates how important honor is to the functioning of the Naval Service and leadership for our country. It is one of the reasons that DADT – a policy which mandates lying in order to comply with its dictates – is so corrosive to our Armed Forces. In an earlier blog post I averred that John McCain had no honor because of his flip-flopping on DADT; this week he proved me right.
When confronted with the question concerning the disgraceful, unauthorized pursuit of Major Mike Almy, a decorated Air Force officer, Senator McCain refused to acknowledge that DADT has weakened our security by forcing dedicated, combat-tested individuals from the service merely due to their sexual orientation. Simply put, John McCain lied through his teeth about DADT implementation and its effects for his own political gain. By the way, Major Almy testified in court, under oath, about how he was pursued and discharged. The government did not challenge those facts. He also testified before the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee, before Senator McCain himself. During that testimony, John McCain wouldn’t even look Major Almy in the eye. I would like to believe that was because McCain’s inner compass led him to feel shame at his dishonorable defense of an indefensible law. But, I won’t bet on it.
Disgusting. Contemptible. Disgraceful. These are just some of the words used to describe Senator McCain’s actions this week. I would also add tragic. Tragic because the actions of a younger John McCain while a prisoner in Hanoi reflected the highest sense of physical and moral courage. His actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Naval Service. So, he knows what courage and honor look like. His present course of action then reflects a conscious abandonment of those values; abandoned because he wants to advance his partisan ideology and save his political hide – even when doing so has been shown to harm the United States by undermining our national defense and weakening our military.
09-23-10 By Paula Neira, RN, CEN, Esq., LT, USNR (1985-1991) |