HOW MAVERICKY OF HIM…. Dan Drezner is one of those rare conservatives who not only takes reality seriously, but who I can stand to read without reaching for the Maalox. Today, for example, Drezner notes that “the status quo” on the existing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy “is undermining national security far more than any change.” He then turns his attention to the current policy’s biggest champion.

I … really and truly don’t give a s**t why John McCain’s position has shifted. I just want to know why the ranking minority member of the Senate Armed Services committee is throwing national security, civilian control of the military, and the hierarchical chain of command under the f***ing bus. John McCain is weakening the institution he claims to love the most. I don’t care why he’s doing it — I just care that he’s doing it.

The asterisks, by the way, were in the original.

Reading this reminded me of something. A few months ago, one of my contacts on the Hill told me he was pretty confident about DADT repeal. When I brought up McCain, my contact said he considered McCain’s crusade to be an act — it was just a charade to ensure the senator won his primary back in Arizona. He’d back down eventually. What’s he going to do, block funding for U.S. troops during two wars?

When the primary came and went, and McCain’s opposition to DADT repeal only intensified, the assumption was the position was about campaign-season fundraising and base mobilization. He couldn’t actually hate gays this much; there was just a larger political strategy playing out.

But here we are on December 3. McCain won his primary, won re-election, and has the report he wanted from the Pentagon. A must-pass spending bill is still pending, and there are no more political considerations that can explain his odious behavior away. This morning McCain actually managed to say, “I will not agree to have this [defense spending] bill go forward, because our economy is in the tank.”

Got that? He intends to prevent the Senate from even voting on funding the military because, in a classic non sequitur, unemployment is too high.

The conclusion is unavoidable — McCain is “throwing national security, civilian control of the military, and the hierarchical chain of command under the f***ing bus” because he really hates gay people.

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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.