If this were GWB’s administration it would be mercifully over. But sadly, we watch as a man who should not hold the position of Secretary of Defense is going to be approved, even though he has a very troubled past and refuses to cooperate. The Senate is a good ‘ol boys network headed up by folks like John McCain. Hagel’s position on things is just spooky. His income from international sources is down right suspicious and he refuses to cooperate by turning over key documents. Frankly, I’m wondering if they found a black leather jacket and a black cap with skulls on it if that would be enough.
We live in strange times.
And so, after days of accusations about what Hagel did or didn’t say at Rutgers Israeli control of the State Department, and despite the nominee’s refusal to let reporters pick through his archives, this guy’s actually gaining votes in the Senate rather than losing them.
I understand the argument that the president deserves deference in his cabinet picks, even if I don’t agree with it in this case. But if we’re going to cave, can we at least not sugarcoat Hagel’s incompetence? This is pure garbage from Shelby:
Shelby said he has concerns about former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, President Barack Obama’s nominee for Sectary of Defense, but he plans to vote for him and expects the Senate to confirm the nomination.
“He’s probably as good as we’re going to get,” Shelby said.
No one in the mainstream of either party believes that — Flournoy or Ash Carter would likely be less objectionable to both sides — but we always knew that Hagel would sail through on the next cloture vote (barring any stupendous new revelations) and now here’s confirmation. Johanns, Cochran, Collins, Murkowski and now Shelby plus 55 Democrats equals cloture. Which makes this letter to the White House from John Cornyn, co-signed by 14 other Republicans, almost poignant in its impotence:
“While we respect Senator Hagel’s honorable military service, in the interest of national security, we respectfully request that you withdraw his nomination. It would be unprecedented for a Secretary of Defense to take office without the broad base of bipartisan support and confidence needed to serve effectively in this critical position.
“Senator Hagel’s performance at his confirmation hearing was deeply concerning, leading to serious doubts about his basic competence to meet the substantial demands of the office. While Senator Hagel’s erratic record and myriad conversions on key national security issues are troubling enough, his statements regarding Iran were disconcerting.”
The letter is signed by Sens. Cornyn, Inhofe (R-OK), Graham (R-SC), Wicker (R-MS), Vitter (R-LA), Cruz (R-TX), Lee (R-UT), Toomey (R-PA), Rubio (R-FL), Coats (R-IN), R. Johnson (R – WI), Risch (R-ID), Barrasso (R-WY), Coburn (R-OK), Scott (R-SC). The full text is attached and provided below.
Hey, on the other hand, we have a Senator who really did have a hooker in bed, a President running around wasting millions on private golf lessons, an economy being steered back into the ditch, crazy dictators selling nuke technology to even crazier dictators, and a media which doesn’t seem to care about any of it.
How bad could Hagel really be when you think about it?