This week, Republicans in the Senate successfully showed their collective contempt for our men and women in uniform and in the process they made our military weaker and our country less safe.
Led by John McCain -- the upper chamber's cranky uncle -- Republicans blocked Democratic efforts to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the ban on gay men and lesbians openly serving in the military.
If McCain's comments after the repeal effort failed are any indication, members of the Grand Old tea Party fail to grasp the finer details of the policy or how it has been implemented. Worse still, they are defiant in their ignorance.
Speaking with reporters, the former Republican Party standard bearer was pressed about members of the military who had been outed -- in other words, those who didn't tell but were asked anyway.
McCain said, "We do not go out and seek. Regulations are, we do not go out and seek to find out if someone's sexual orientation. We do not!" A contention he repeated again and again as journalists attempted to offer him examples of troops who met that very fate.
You'd think Arizona's senior Senator would have been familiar with at least one such example. After all, as ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee he heard testimony from Michael Almy, a 13-year Air Force veteran who was discharged after emails to his same-sex partner were discovered.
Why let facts get in the way when animus towards the gay community on the right pays such handsome political dividends?
For McCain, it is a sad footnote for a man whose family has given so much to the armed services. For gay men and lesbians who have served or are currently serving in silence, McCain's words and actions border on desertion.
Those opposed to repealing the discriminatory policy usually claim that allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly would undermine unit cohesion, that repeal would adversely affect retention and that the public does not support such a move.