McCain Babbles About ENDA

After Cindy McCain signed a postcard to her husband, Sen. John McCain, asking him to vote for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a reporter asked him if he planned to vote for it. What he got was a whole bunch of irrelevant babbling in response:

When asked what lingering concerns he had about backing ENDA, McCain replied, “Whether it imposes quotas, whether it has reverse discrimination, whether it has the kinds of provisions that really preserve equal rights for all citizens or, like for example, busing. Busing was done in the name of equality. Busing was a failure. Quotas were a failure. A lot of people thought they were solutions. They weren’t. They bred problems.”

Polls show that a majority of Americans support making it illegal to fire LGBT individuals, and young voters — including Republicans — are more supportive of gay rights than older voters.

Yet McCain insisted young people would share his concerns about the legislation.

“I think the young people know we do not need reverse discrimination, they don’t believe in quotas and they don’t believe in some of the programs we saw in the name of racial equality implemented in the past which turned out to be counterproductive,” he said. “Ask people in Boston if busing turned out to be a good idea.”

I love how he pretends he has no idea what’s in the bill, which has been in Congress for about a decade now, for crying out loud. It has absolutely nothing to do with busing (does he think they’re going to bus gay kids to schools filled with straight people?) or “reverse discrimination” or any of the other irrelevant bugaboos he brings up.

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  • keithb

    I guess he is saying that if the law proposes remedies like bussing or “reverse discrimination” he would not vote for it. But was busing ever mandated by law? Wasn’t it always court (gasp, judicial activism!) ordered?

  • “Mom! Grampa’s using dogwhistles from the past again!”

    “Oh, dear. Time for your nap, grampa.”

    “No! Forced busing!”

    “Naps are not forced busing, grampa. Off to bed for you.”

    “No! Quotas!”

    “Bed is not quotas, grampa. And when your son gets home, we’re going to discuss putting you in a home.”

  • Cindy may be cutting off grandpa’s allowance. Or worse yet, not passing on the DC cocktail weenie invitations.

  • iknklast

    It’s always “amusing” to me how they continue to point out that affirmative action had so many bad consequences, none of which they name. The bad consequences? Men sometimes find themselves working for a woman boss, taking orders from a woman. White bigots might find they have to tolerate and work with non-white colleagues and sometimes even be in a subordinate position to non-white supervisors. White men suddenly realize that the employment pool is larger, with a huge number of qualified women and non-whites in competition with them for the jobs.

    Sure, there were probably abuses of affirmative action. But I don’t think those are what most of these folks mean when they talk about the bad consequences. I often read a white man (even liberal ones) that, even when writing in support of affirmative action, will feel the need to throw in a gratuitous comment about how they themselves have lost a job to a less qualified woman (or minority). Why are they less qualified? This isn’t indicated, leading one to conclude that the mere status of them being in the minority makes them less qualified. In reality, I have rarely met anyone, anywhere, ever who lost out on a coveted job to a more qualified individual (in their telling of it). For those of us who are women (and/or non-white), we know exactly what it is like to lose a job to a lesser qualified individual just because they happen to be male (and/or white).

  • eric

    Sure, there were probably abuses of affirmative action.

    This is not any form of affirmative action. Nobody (AFAIK) is proposing that gays get +5 points on their federal employment application or anything. It just makes ‘being gay’ an illegal reason to fire people or not hire them.

  • I had assumed Cindy’s endorsement was an orchestrated publicity stunt. If so, it wasn’t orchestrated very well.

  • After Cindy McCain signed a postcard to her husband, Sen. John McCain, asking him to vote for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act,

    I wonder if he sent her a card in reply calling her the C-word again.

  • Thumper; Immorally Inferior Sergeant Major in the Grand Gynarchy Mangina Corps (GGMC)

    What the fuck is “busing”? For a start, it looks as if it should be spelled “bussing”. Or is it pronounced “buh-yoo-zing”? Anyway, what is it?

  • Thumper @ 8,

    keithb@ 1 and Thumper, “bussing” is an alternative spelling for “busing,” but it is also an old-fashioned term for osculation.*

    * kissing, from the Latin osculum meaning kiss

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Thumper … @ # 8 – You must be relatively young, and/or foreign.

    In the USA, busing (“bussing” means kissing) signifies, politically, an attempt to bring some racial balance to segregated schools when housing has been so ethnically separated that just sending kids to the geographically nearest school meant they’d still have no inter-racial contact.

    Somehow, this “separate but equal” system ended up with the white schools getting all the resources and the black schools getting the leftovers, everywhere around the country. So, civil rights activists sued, and judges ordered school districts to assign students to schools in proportionate ratios, which usually involved sending many of them outside their immediate neighborhoods – via buses.

    This generated a lot of resentment and backlash, and more than a few burned buses. It also produced another chapter in the endless mythology of whites-victimized-by-liberals/gov’t/darkies/THEM, to which legend Sen. McCain now pays his obligatory homage, and gave birth to the church/home/privatized-schools movement now attempting to destroy US public education.

    Oh, and also a much-better-educated generation of African-Americans, and a somewhat-less prejudiced generation of Euro-Americans, but we’re all supposed to believe that would have somehow happened anyway.

  • Hmm, I just read that “to buss,” meaning to kiss, may be derived from the French baiser, meaning to kiss. Makes sense.


    Sorry for the derail. I can’t resist etymology.

  • M can help you with that.

    the French baiser, meaning to kiss

    Well, it used to mean that, but rather less often so now.

  • garnetstar

    I am entranced by the vision of lots of professionally-dressed gay people being bused around from workplace to workplace every morning and evening. Presumably the buses would be draped with rainbows? And signs saying “We’re Here! We’re Queer! Get Used To It!” And straight people would have to sit in the back?

  • vmanis1

    Sorry, I haven’t been able to take Sen McCain seriously for many years. His flip-flop-flips are truly legendary. Most recently, he was one of the 45 Republican senators who voted for a motion to express regret for ending the shutdown and raising the debt ceiling. But McCain reaches new heights of lunacy. During the Benghazi hearings, he convened a press conference to announce that the Senate was being given no information; he had to miss a briefing session on Benghazi in favor of the press conference.

    ENDA amends U.S. legislation to add `sexual orientation’ and `gender identity’ to existing non-discrimination. Now I’ve never been a senator, but if I were one, I’d get a staffer in my office to prepare one-sentence summaries of all legislation that might be considered or asked about by the press, along with my own take on each. The remarks on busing and quotas, along with expressions of concern about what might be in the bill suggest that Sen McCain has never read the bill, knows nothing about it, and is winging it. He therefore appears to be a fool.

  • Michael Heath

    vmanis writes:

    Sorry, I haven’t been able to take Sen McCain seriously for many years.


    He therefore appears to be a fool.

    He is a fool. But most Republican members of Congress are far bigger fools while the vast majority are also far more committed to obstructionism than Sen. McCain. He’s at least occasionally able to leverage his celebrity to apply sufficient public pressure to get a handful of Senate Republicans on the side of either stopping a filibuster or voting for obviously good legislation.

    So I disagree that we should not take Sen. McCain seriously. In a better world we could, but as long as the Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz types exist, we still need him.