John McCain Compares ENDA to ‘Busing’, Says it Might Lead to ‘Reverse Discrimination’

Despite the fact that his wife is petitioning him to do so, it appears unlikely that Senator John McCain (R-AZ) will be swayed to a'yes' vote on ENDA, the Huffington Post reports:

MccainWhen 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."


  1. Tim S says

    Busing is my biggest issue with ENDA.

    I live in S.Florida, and will likely be bussed into “the villages” a very conservative community in the middle of the state, that would suck.

  2. Tony says

    Has the Senator read the bill?? ENDA prohibits discrimination based on perceived or real sexual orientation and gender identity. ENDA prohibits preferential treatment based on sexual orientation or gender identity and ENDA specifically prohibits quotas. Oh yes, and there’s a nice little carve-out for religious organizations.

  3. petensfo says

    I’m from Boston. The issues related to bussing had much more to do with incredible racism more than anything to do with the change in policy.

    This guy just seems determined to be on the wrong side of every issue.

  4. Jack M says

    Most politicians make sweeping statements about pending legislation, but few of them have specific enough examples. They just want us to go along with what they want to do, rather than question their authority.

  5. ed adams says

    the fact that advances in medical science can keep people alive so much longer now than in the past definitely has a down side.

    until fairly recently most old white guys dropped dead of a heart attack or stroke in their 50s and 60s.

  6. Bill says

    When McCain was running for president, I imagined an attack ad where they would interview his North Vietnamese torturers: “We were just trying to get him to be less obnoxious. He was so hard to deal with that they had to send us all to therapy once the war ended.”

    As a precedent, there was once a joke about Hubert Humphrey, Lyndon Johnson’s vice president. Hubert would talk incessantly so some comedian imagined him in a Nazi prisoner of war camp, with an interrogator saying (in a thick German accent), “You know Hubert, ve have vays of making you stop talking.”

  7. jamal49 says

    @SIMON The answer is simple. Republicans can never offer facts or statistics or other empirical evidence for their baseless assertions so they must always rely on anecdotes, allegations and insinuations. McCain’s blathering is a case in point.

  8. True Dat says

    Well, when it comes to having your finger on the pulse of what “young people want”, I’m sure all know that John McCain is where it’s at. Because he’s incredibly hip and with-it. He is to young people what Rush Limbaugh is to feminist vegan lesbians.

  9. Rick says

    Just had to chuckle wistfully at the reverse discrimination comment.

    Senator McCain, most of us gay men are white males who have already endured reverse discrimination for decades because the law did not distinguish us from other white males on the basis of sexual discrimination. And guess which white males were considered the most expendable when noses had to be counted to comply with affirmative action. That’s right–the gay ones. “If you have to cheat a white male, at least make sure that it is a gay one, if you can”…..was the attitude that prevailed among employers, whether it was stated or not.

    Believe me, having had that experience, we don’t desire to inflict it on others…..but just supposing your hypothetical came to fruition, would it not be just compensation for gay white men to benefit from reverse discrimination to make up for having been the principle victims of it for so long?

  10. RonCharles says

    Cindy McCain and Meghan McCain need to take John McCain out to the woodshed and give him a good talking to! Whilst they are at it, they can point out to him that national polls show that 80% of those under 35-years-of-age fully support ENDA!

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