Metro Weekly

McCain at the Gates: “It’s Not the Policy. It’s Not the Policy.”

From the Wonk Room to Towleroad and from The Washington Post to Mediaite and The Rachel Maddow Show, the exchange between The Advocate‘s Kerry Eleveld, me and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has made the rounds.

Although that exchange clearly merits note and reflection, what’s not been getting the attention it deserves is another comment made McCain in the news conference that I point out in my report on today’s happenings. From my report:

[W]hen asked about his previous concern about passing legislation prior to the conclusion of the Pentagon’s implementation review, [McCain said,] ”I’m also very concerned about this survey itself. This survey itself is how to best implement repeal. What we really need is a survey that says what would be the effect on battle readiness, morale and recruitment.”

When asked by Metro Weekly to clarify those remarks, McCain pulled back somewhat, saying, ”Obviously, I need to know how this survey was conducted, I need to know how complete it was, I need to know all of the aspects of it, and that’s how I’ve always operated and how I’ll continue to operate.”

This is important, and cannot be lost in the stream of Harry Reid-bashing that is the expected cry from many today.

This statement — one that McCain tried to pull back when questioned further about it — showed McCain’s hand. This is the plan of attack for a Republican-run Senate should their fortunes this November so dictate.

Once the Pentagon implementation review is done, McCain and his fellow Republicans will not be happy waiting for the review because that would no longer stall repeal. At that point, they — McCain told reporters today — will move on to attacking “this survey itself.”


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