Jackson MeadFriday,15 February 2013

The Snap:

Looks like the wily Republicans are actually filibustering Obama’s nominee for Defense Secretary — Chuck Hagel, former Republican senator from Nebraska. Can someone tell me why? I’ll even listen to Bill O’Reilly if he can explain it to me with a straight face.

The Download:

Some of the chatter I read was that he is being blocked because of the “Benghazi Affair.” Not that Hagel had sexual relations with anyone in Benghazi, in which case the objections might have been understandable, but because the once sane Senator McCain still thinks that the administration is covering up something. Come on, now! Even if this were true, the Senators seem to be conflating the “advice and consent” clause for nominations of public officials with an ongoing congressional investigation.

Seriously?! This is what they are doing with my tax dollars?! Now, who’s being irresponsible? We need someone to head the DOD and to do the things that will keep our country and citizens safe. If something “bad” were to happen, will those filibustering pin it on the President — “where was your Defense Secretary, what did he know and what was he doing?.” Yes, it is unlikely that something bad will happen on the scale of the ongoing war in Afghanistan and I am sure that Mr. Panetta, loath as he may be to do so, will do what he can (giving the Republicans another opportunity to criticize him), but seriously!?

It makes no sense. Hagel is a Republican — one that may have given up “right wing” Republican ideals, but if he withdraws his nomination, who is Obama going to put in his place — a Democrat who is more appealing? Was Hagel just at the wrong place in the batting order? That is, since this has probably very little to do with Hagel and his ability to be the Secretary of Defense (he is the kind of guy a Republican President would nominate, for crying out loud!), are we looking at a filibuster no matter who is up for a nomination until “we get some answers”? They should have filibustered, Jack Lew, if anyone — he’s at least a Democrat!

The arguments for filibustering are weak and it is incomprehensibly stunning that these guys don’t see that this is really apparent to the American people and the press (maybe not FOX – what is Bill O’Reilly saying, I’d really like to know?). Let’s look at who is really going to benefit from this. With whom is McCain’s (or the rest of these radicals) standing or power going to increase? The Tea Party? Karl Rove just moved left of them, so are they getting back at Rove’s move for “weakening the core”? The Republicans? Seems like they are cutting off their nose to spite their collective face — which at this point, I can’t see how they can save.

No matter who is in power, there is a general agreement that the President chooses his cabinet and unless there is a real concern over malfeasance or lack of character, that person will get confirmed and serve when appointed. This action is unprecedented and I can’t see how this benefits in any way the Republicans, McCain or the people that died in Benghazi.

Hat Tips:

O’Reilly, Constitution, Hagel, Benghazi, Image Credit: Flickr

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