Skip to main content

As has been reported, the DREAM Act and Don't Ask Don't Tell votes will be included in next week's defense authorization bill in the Senate.

Cue "shaking fists at clouds" John McCain, who apparently thinks there's no room for human rights in the military. This is from his prepared statement, via e-mail:

"....We learned on Monday that before we go home for this election cycle, there will be no debate at all on the Defense Authorization Bill except for three amendments handpicked by the Majority Leader for narrow political reasons two months before an election. One of those amendments will be on banning the use of so-called ‘secret holds.’ Another will be on the DREAM Act, which allows the children of immigrants who entered the country illegally to become U.S. citizens.... The Majority Leader has no business putting these two amendments on the National Defense Authorization Act, and certainly not as two of only three amendments that will even get to be voted on at a time when our military is engaged in two wars overseas, and when numerous defense issues demand the Senate’s time.

That leads us to an amendment to strike the provision in the bill that would repeal the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law as the only other issue the Senate will be able to debate and vote on....

“Now, the Majority will say that this amendment does not actually ‘repeal’ ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell;’ it merely authorizes its repeal pending a certification from the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that a repeal would not harm military effectiveness – just those three officials, and not the four Service Chiefs, or Congress for that matter. [T]he Senate will turn its responsibility to legislate on this important matter over to three officials who have already publicly stated their support for repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ It is a blatant message of disrespect to our men and women in uniform that Congress is unwilling to even wait to hear what the force has to say on this important matter before pushing ahead with a controversial, political vote two months before an election

It was actually a pretty fun floor speech to watch as McCain wound himself tighter and tighter. A tour de force of sputtering outrage from the Maverick. He might have a point that secret holds aren't particularly relevant to this legislation, but on DREAM Act and DADT, he's full of hot air.

The DREAM Act is specifically included in the DoD's strategic plan for the coming fiscal year. Military service is one of the paths to citizenship these young people could follow. Margaret Stock, a retired Lt. Col in the Army Reserve has stated:

Potential DREAM Act beneficiaries are also likely to be a military recruiter’s dream candidates for enlistment ... In a time when qualified recruits—particularly ones with foreign language skills and foreign cultural awareness – are in short supply, enforcing deportation laws against these young people makes no sense. Americans who care about our national security should encourage Congress to pass the DREAM Act.

As for DADT, is McCain really questioning the authority of the Commander in Chief, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to make this determination? Sounds like it to me. So if a Democratic Commander in Chief is strengthening the military by allowing thousands of willing and able people to serve, Congress can override his decision, but if it's a Republican flouting torture bans, well, that's the way it goes.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 01:30 PM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site