THAT OUGHT TO BE A FUN DINNER TABLE…. The repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” would actually be pretty easy at this point, were it not for the efforts of one man: Sen. John McCain (R). The anti-gay Arizonan has spearheaded the opposition to repeal, and has so far succeeded in protecting the discriminatory status quo and ensuring the mistreatment of American servicemen and women (even if that means lying about the policy).

This week, McCain’s efforts picked up a new, high-profile critic — who just happens to be his wife.

Sen. John McCain’s wife Cindy appears in a new ad that harshly criticizes the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, and government officials and religious leaders generally, over what she and others describe as complicity in the bullying that has led to a rash of highly-publicized suicides among gay youth. […]

In the ad from the NOH8 campaign — an activist group formed in response to Proposition 8, the California ballot measure that banned same-sex marriage — Cindy McCain seems to be suggesting that her husband is partly responsible for the bullying that has claimed a number of gay teens’ lives.

“Our political and religious leaders tell LGBT youth that they have no future,” Mrs. McCain says in the ad, which features her alongside celebrities such as Denise Richards and Gene Simmons. “They can’t serve our country openly.”

The same spot features Cindy McCain asking, “Our government treats the LGBT community like second class citizens — why shouldn’t they?”

What a good question. Maybe her husband could take a moment to respond.

In the larger context, we’re well past the point of remembering the more honorable iterations of John McCain, which are long gone and aren’t coming back. But I can’t help but think there’s something tragic about the conservative senator picking one last issue — discriminating against gays and undermining military readiness during two wars — to champion towards the end of his lengthy career.

History will not be kind. Neither, apparently, will dinner conversations at the McCain household.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.