Pueblo Politics: Lady Gaga calls on fans to pressure McCain on Don't Ask Don't Tell

2010-09-17T15:20:00Z 2010-09-17T16:30:01Z Pueblo Politics: Lady Gaga calls on fans to pressure McCain on Don't Ask Don't TellRhonda Bodfield Arizona Daily Star
September 17, 2010 3:20 pm  • 

Singing phenom Lady Gaga is going after U.S. Sen. John McCain — and calling on her legions of fans to oppose what she characterized as his “shameless filibuster” to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

In a more than seven-minute clip on youtube, Gaga said repealing the 1993 law, which bans members of the military from serving if they are openly gay, is a matter of civil rights. She’s also been mobilizing her followers on Twitter. McCain’s 1.7 million Twitter followers are dwarfed by the star’s more than 6 million Twitter fans.

With the repeal embedded in a larger defense bill, McCain has threatened to filibuster the bill to keep it from a vote. He said he first wants a “meaningful survey” of the impact of its repeal on the morale and efficiency of the armed services.

An Arizona-based grassroots group of community organizers on Thursday interrupted a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, urging McCain end his threat.

Gaga said the law itself is unfair and refuses homosexuals the right to serve their country, regardless of their value to their units.

McCain, who has tweeted back and forth with Jersey Shore star Snooki, isn’t interested in engaging with this particular celebrity.

Asked for a comment, his spokeswoman declined. But McCain did say in a Friday radio interview that while he was glad Gaga was paying attention, the move is a "pure political ploy" by the Democrats to politicize national security.

Democratic challenger Rodney Glassman supports a repeal of the law. “Troops should not be drummed out of the military for who they are,” said his spokesman, Blake Morlock, adding it’s another example of a McCain inconsistency as he continues a shift to the right.

In 2006, McCain indicated he would listen to military leadership if they pressed him to change the policy. More recently, Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services committee that it was his “personal belief” that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly would be the appropriate thing to do. McCain said Mullen was speaking from a personal standpoint, and said he still wants an official review.

Watch Gaga’s video and McCain’s protest below.

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The Arizona Daily Star's Pueblo Politics blog includes stories and related items from the Tucson and Pima County political scene written by Star reporters Becky Pallack and Joe Ferguson.

Have a political topic you would like to see in the blog or suggestions? Email Becky Pallack at bpallack@tucson.com and Joe Ferguson at jferguson@tucson.com

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