McCain re-pitches his position on DADT, again

Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) was for repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell before he was against it. Now, he’s neither for nor against it.

That’s right: DADT repeal’s most vociferous opponent now says he’s neither for nor against repeal of the law; he just doesn’t like the timing.

“I do not oppose or support the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ at this time,” said McCain, in a statement released September 16, “but I do oppose taking legislative action prior to the completion of a real and thorough review of the law.”

McCain said he wanted to be sure America’s servicemembers were surveyed and their views concerning repeal considered before Congress takes a vote.

He called the compromise language of repeal—language which calls for a complicated certification process before repeal can take place after a Pentagon study is submitted—a “gimmick.”

But in 2006, while making forays into Iowa for his upcoming presidential bid, McCain said he would support repeal if top military brass said Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) should be repealed.

Then in May of this year, while fighting for his seat in the Republican primary against a right-wing opponent, McCain said he would “without a doubt” support a filibuster if the defense authorization bill included language to repeal DADT.

McCain won his primary on September 14 and, on September 16, released the “I do not oppose or support” statement.

While McCain’s latest statement may sit poorly with people who hate watching politicians re-cast their positions to sail with the political winds, it is good news for supporters of repeal because it suggests McCain’s opposition has softened.

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