Thursday, December 02, 2010

How soon is now?

So John McCain is against the impending repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," despite consensus from top military leaders, saying the time to enact the repeal is not now.

Let's parse that, shall we?

First off, seemingly everyone from Robert Gates on down wants to see this rule tossed. In the military, authority is everything. As a veteran, McCain should know that. And while it's certainly his right to disagree, he has to know that this repeal WILL happen. It's only a question of when.

Ah, when. There's your second sticking point. McCain says the time for repeal is not now. I could argue that with the ranks as thin as they're spread these days, and with hundreds (if not thousands) of service members thrown out in recent years for disclosing their sexual preference, there actually couldn't be a better time. 

But I think McCain's larger point is more important, and a more prescient preview of what we're about to see for the next two years. The GOP, faced with a lot of tremendously popular (and practically inevitable) reforms ahead, will eschew ideological opposition and say, "Now is not the time." The party will cite the war. The economy. Widespread hardship. Other woes they helped create. At the same time, they'll push for more of the same things that helped make things this cruddy in the first place. And when it comes to their babies, cost will not be an object. After all, there will be more pressing needs. The war. The economy. Widespread hardship. Other woes they helped create. 

In San Diego Charger terms, Republicans would have had Ryan Leaf replace Drew Brees. Never mind that Brees had turned Leaf's 1-15 team into a division leader in four years — Brees didn't snare the Lombardi Trophy, so obviously what the team needed was a return to the immature, arrogant and petulant ways of his predecessor. The one who promised everything but instead devastated his team, the effects of which were felt far past his tenure, and wound up being one of the worst investments in pro football history. 

And when the going gets tough, they'll tell you that you don't change quarterbacks in the middle of the game. After the miserable loss, they'll tell you that he'll do better next week, and there's no reason to change quarterbacks. After the season, they'll tell you he's too much of an investment not to keep for another year. There will never be a situation when a substitution is called for, at least as long as their guy's behind center.

Of course, today's GOP is a bit different than Ryan Leaf. 

Leaf learned from it.

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