Archive for December 9, 2010

Profiles in Humiliation

December 9, 2010 Leave a comment


I wrote just three days ago about John McCain’s disgraceful fight against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. There may be no need to re-visit the issue, but after today’s Senate vote “against” repeal of DADT, I can’t help myself. (The quotes surround “against”, of course, because in a normal universe, a vote of 57-40 in favor of repeal would not be called a vote against it, but in wacko-US-Senate universe, you need 60 votes to do anything. An issue for another day.)

Three votes short. How did this happen? Susan Collins was the lone Republican voting for repeal. Where, among others, was Scott Brown, who said just last week that he supported repeal? But the real question is, how did John McCain turn into such a dickweed?

I suspect the real answer is that he always was one. (See entry under dumping first wife.) But some think he was once a man of principle. Esquire writer Chris Jones for example. Here’s what he wrote last week. I think he’s too kind.

Over the last four years, since 2006, McCain has become one of the great American tragedies. He will be studied in history books for the wrong reasons.

This week, he has clashed bitterly with the military’s leadership — including Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen — over the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” It’s just the latest in a long series of about-faces and sellouts.

McCain, in his waning years, has become a traitor to reason. He has erased every good that he’s done.

In October of 2006, speaking about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” he said: “The day that the leadership of the military comes to me and says, ‘Senator, we ought to change the policy,’ then I think we ought to consider seriously changing it.”

Now that leadership has come to him, after careful study and thought and internal debate, and has made a loud and unwavering appeal to the Senate to strike the seventeen-year-old compromise. Never mind that it’s unconstitutional. It’s a hateful, outdated law from a different time.

Most of the kids joining the military today were toddlers when “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was instituted, and there is now concrete, factual, surveyed evidence that they think differently than the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines with whom McCain served in Vietnam.

Really, though, McCain’s opposition has less to do with the substance of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and more to do with the blackening of his own heart.

Categories: Politics

Mariners Make Moves

December 9, 2010 Leave a comment

Jack Cust

[Elaine Thompson, AP]

And here I was afraid the Mariners would stand pat over the winter rather than making the bold moves that will get us back to respectability after our 61 win, 101 loss 2010 season. Boy was I wrong. In the last 24 hours, we’ve signed Jack Cust and Miguel Olivo.

Okay, Cust and Olivo aren’t Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford (just signed by the Red Sox), but the Mariners don’t have Red Sox kind of money. We must be content with a little less.

I know. This sarcasm isn’t becoming. But I don’t know how else to react. How excited am I supposed to be? A year ago, we were coming off an unexpectedly successful 85-77 season, and then we signed Cliff Lee. Anything seemed possible. This of course turned out to be an illusion. We didn’t address the holes in our lineup, and we paid for it with a historically low-scoring team. The thing is, are Cust and Olivo the answer? Every little bit helps, but Cust and Olivo will both be 32 when the season starts. Their best seasons may be behind them.

I’ll be patient. These may just be the first steps in a broader plan. Still, it’s a lot more fun this week being a Red Sox fan.

Categories: Baseball