by Carl, 02/15/2013, 10:59 AM

I wish the GOP weren’t blocking Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense. It’s a bad precedent in its own right. And, oh by the way, we’re trying to wind down America’s longest war in ways that could be quite difficult. I’m not saying we’re at war should mean that anybody gets through the process. But it certainly shouldn’t mean the GOP invents new ways to dick around.

For the very first time in American history, a cabinet nominee was brought to the Senate floor, filibustered by a minority of members, and came up short of 60 votes.

Former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, President Obama’s choice to lead the Defense Department, faced fierce opposition from members of own party, and ultimately earned the support of 59 senators, which was one shy of what he needed to advance. (The Senate Majority Leader, for procedural reasons, had to switch his vote, so Hagel technically ended up with 58 votes.)

It appeared as recently as last week to have the necessary support to be confirmed, even in the event of a filibuster, but several GOP senators who said they’d allow an up-or-down vote changed their minds in recent days.

So sure, be upset with the process. Be upset that bullshit beats out facts. Be upset for the republic. But don’t be upset for Chuck Hagel.

The same take something out of context and use it to delay and obstruct tactic that has been used on Hagel is noting new in Washington, of course. And it was nothing new when Hagel was in the Senate, but the GOP advanced the tactic quite a bit with one ambassador in particular. When James Hormel was appointed by Bill Clinton to be the ambassador in Luxembourg, even though it was almost the 21st century, some Senators opposed him simply because he was gay. But others took an out of context clip of him laughing as the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence walked by. I remember watching the clip at the time and thinking even in context it seemed fine.

Had Chuck Hagel pointed out that there was nothing wrong, maybe Hormel would have got a vote in the full Senate. Instead he pushed the bullshit line about how Catholics would be offended by laughter and/or gayness and made sure that people don’t pay a price for taking nonsense out of context. If that has come back to hurt Hagel, well that’s one of the few instances of poetic justice in real life. Too bad it had to hurt the rest of the country.

35 Responses to “Poetic Justice”

1. ArtFart spews:

Possible correction: “…several GOP senators who said they’d allow an up-or-down vote turned out to have been lying like hell…”

2. Ten Years After spews:

I don’t see why this nomination has to be so contentious. Hagel will be just fine as the Secretary of Defense.

3. Splashoil spews:

Thanks Harry! No one could have predicted…. Go Washington Generals!

4. Serial conservative spews:

Precedent?

Reagan had a cabinet appointee blocked. So did Dubya. Where’s the precedent?

Or is the precedent in retribution, ’cause it’s being done by the GOP against a Dem nominee?

5. MikeBoyScout spews:

@4 Serial Reneger,

The precedent set by the Senate Republicans filibustering the SecDef nomination of Chuck Hagel is that never before in the history of the United States of America has the US Senate filibustered a President’s nomination for SecDef (or Secretary of War, which is what the office was called previously).

Filibustering prevents an up or down vote.
Sen Tower, G.H.W. Bush’s nominee for SecDef was rejected by the US Senate when a majority of US Senators voted against him.

If you can point to a time when the US Senate did filibuster a President’s nominee for SecDef, I’d be glad to read your citations.

Otherwise, you now know what was the precedent set by US Senate Republicans yesterday.

You’re welcome.

6. MikeBoyScout spews:

Carl, poetic justice is right. And this situation is rife with it. You’ve found a nugget unique in the liberal blogosphere.

Despite the disaster this is and how it is another example of how Republicans are unfit for governing (maybe unfit to be citizens?), I find it hilarious that Grandpa Walnuts is bent because Hagel views the unneeded, unpaid for, deadly Iraqi invasion and near decade long occupation an unmitigated disaster.

The President of MeetThePressistan thinks that is wrongheaded. Asshole.

7. Serial conservative spews:

Ah. Got it.

So there will be precedent if it’s Ag Secretary some time in the future, Commerce Secretary, Interior Secretary, etc.

Gee, with all those potential precedents, it sure would seem to diminish the importance of precedence in this case.

Although we see on numerous other threads your penchant for arguing issues of inane consequence, so this is really no surprise.

8. MikeBoyScout spews:

@7 Serial Reneger,

Turns out reading is not so fundamental for you

It’s a bad precedent in its own right. And, oh by the way, we’re trying to wind down America’s longest war

Updated: Oh, I had forgotten. You’ve never taken on the responsibility of citizen and worn the uniform of military service. Your “service” to our military comes from sitting comfortably at home banging the drums for war.
Good for you!

9. wharfrat spews:

Just another example of Republicans attempting to relevant. Losing to demographics, lost the Presidency, lost the Seante, lost 10 in the House, message rejected by all except poorly educated, toothless white men. Even Karl Rove sees the light.

10. Roger Rabbit spews:

Obama could have nominated George S. Patton, if he were still around, and they’d still block it. This has nothing to do with Hagel and everything to do with pushing around the Kenyan Kommunist because it plays well with their neanderthal base.

11. rhp6033 spews:

# 9: “… Even Karl Rove sees the light”.

Karl Rove doesn’t care about government philosophy, or whether the Tea Party or the traditional Repulican financial elites ultimately prevail in their fight against one another. He just wants to win elections, and to be hired by the winning side to conduct their campaigns. Right now, he can’t figure out how to do that with the Tea Party in charge. Like Machiavelli, he’s willing to be hired out by whichever side happens to be in power, so if the Republicans go full-tilt Tea Party in the next national elections, he’ll figure out an accomodation somehow.

12. Serial conservative spews:

@ 8

You’ve never taken on the responsibility of citizen and worn the uniform of military service.

Neither has the woman you’ll be canvassing Denver to help elect in four years.

Neither has the man you canvassed Denver to help elect last Fall, either.

Most people coming up through the political ranks younger than 50 haven’t served in the military.

Unless you are questioning Obama’s CiC credentials, you have no point.

13. Ten Years After spews:

From 10,

The Neanderthals survived for thousands of years in a very hostile environment. To use their name as a way of putting down someone is disrespectful towards Neanderthals.

14. MikeBoyScout spews:

@12 Serial Reneger,
No, I’m not questioning our President’s credentials to be Commander In Chief.

I thought it was fairly clear, but I’m more accustomed to talking to smart folks. My bad.

I am accusing (not questioning) you of being a dense dingbat because YOU don’t understand why the precedent of filibustering a SecDef nominee for reasons that have NOTHING to do with the nominee’s qualifications at a time of war is bad.

As someone who has taken the easy non-serving path, you don’t get that, you dense dingbat.

15. Serial conservative spews:

@ 14

Kerry had close to zero difficulty getting confirmed.

Pick a Secretary candidate who isn’t a lightning rod of dubious qualification, who doesn’t have speeches he can’t afford to release, who isn’t so closely aligned with Iranian interests, and you’ll get a confirmation.

In fact, you might just see that happen in a month or so, unless two or more of the GOP types go wobbly.

You’re two votes short.

16. MikeBoyScout spews:

@12 Serial Reneger,

Sorry I missed it, but you effectively demonstrated why not serving makes you an idiot to comment about it.

CiC credentials

WTF is a CiC? LOL

17. Steve spews:

“To use their name as a way of putting down someone is disrespectful towards Neanderthals.”

We’d should probably all take DNA tests before we go any further with this one.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaic_human_admixture_with_modern_Homo_sapiens

One interesting thing about Homo sapiens. For as many tens of thousands of years that we had the Big Brain, it sure took one hell of a long time to get around to doing much with it. Some, like wingnuts, still don’t know what it’s for. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that we need to give them another ten thousand years or so to catch up. Say, that thought could go a long ways in explaining the uselessness of explaining anything to wingnuts.

Hmm, it also might help explain this thing about Republicans and pandas. With the FreedomWorks panda-on-Hillary video story breaking yesterday, I couldn’t help but recall this wingnut,

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/region/orie-aide-accused-of-soliciting-teen-for-furry-sex-343874/

Maybe Republicans could just blame it all on DNA. It’d make for a great whine.

18. MikeBoyScout spews:

@17 Steve,

Do Republicans even believe in DNA? That sounds awfully sciencey!

19. Ekim spews:

The Republicans’ Ugly and Shameful Chuck Hagel Filibuster

Let’s put this in perspective—Republicans decided to filibuster a Republican secretary-of-defense nominee, someone Mitch McConnell once called one of the most respected foreign-policy voices in the Senate, someone John McCain said would make an excellent secretary of state.

So which is it?
First you have ReThug senators endorsing Hagel.
Then you have ReThug senators saying he is not qualified.

20. ArtFart spews:

@5 “Sen Tower, G.H.W. Bush’s nominee for SecDef was rejected by the US Senate when a majority of US Senators voted against him.”

That, in point of fact, was due to some real concerns about Tower’s character–he drank like a fish and couldn’t keep his pants zipped.

21. ArtFart spews:

@19 The obvious explanation is that in the eyes of his former GOP pals, Hagel was irrevocably tainted from the endorsement of the Evil Muslim Socialist Fuhrer from Nairobi By Way Of Hell.

22. MikeBoyScout spews:

@20 Art,
No disagreement here. The salient point is that those concerns were debated and the Advise & Consent process the US Senate has used since the founding of our republic was faithfully executed.

The real purpose of a filibuster is to keep debate open; actual debate.

The filibuster in this case, and in the case of the nomination for the Ambassador to Luxembourg, is not being used to continue debate.

The US Senate Republicans are using the filibuster to obstruct the process of Advice & Consent to the detriment of the Department of Defense.

23. MikeBoyScout spews:

Barely on topic as it is neither poetic nor justified ….

Speaking of Republican obstruction, you know the the devastating Sequester which comes due in 2 weeks unless the Congress passes an alternative?

Well, John Boehner and the House Republicans have decided to take all of next week off.

To be fair, they’ve been on the job 4 days a week for almost a month now.

Republicans – Dumb, Lazy & Mean. That’s how they roll.

24. rhp6033 spews:

What’s not being said by Republicans, is probably the real reason why they are trying to kill the Hagel nomination.

(1) To send a warning shot to the President that he should only nominate those whom Republicans have approved in advance. Sort of, “You can nominate anybody you want, as long as they are from this list of three people”.

(2) Hagel committed the high crime of treason in their eyes – he’s a Republican who doesn’t mind working for a Democratic President, and disagrees with the George W. Bush administration’s foreign policy. To Republicans, that is high treason and herasy.

25. Ten Years After spews:

I think Hagel should be appointed Secretary of Defense because he disagreed with G.W. Bush. The Republicans did a terrible job of getting us involved in a mess in the Middleast.

26. Roger Rabbit spews:

Who cares what Republicans what? Whatever they want, do the opposite. America voted against them. They should have no say about anything.

27. K spews:

Somewhat non-partisan criticism- the damn legislators have been in session less than one month. The sequestration is looming, the Secretary of Defense needs to be addressed. Let’s take 10 days off.

28. Michael spews:

(1) To send a warning shot to the President that he should only nominate those whom Republicans have approved in advance. Sort of, “You can nominate anybody you want, as long as they are from this list of three people”.

When Obama nominates sane Republicans it under cuts the insane Republicans ability to lie about Obama being a member of the far left.

29. Serial conservative spews:

@ 22

The US Senate Republicans are using the filibuster to obstruct the process of Advice & Consent to the detriment of the Department of Defense.

I suppose, by that logic, when Obama voted to filibuster Alito he was using the same process to the detriment of the Supreme Court, then.

Kyl said, “President Obama himself attempted to filibuster Justice Alito, who now sits on the Supreme Court.” We rate Kyl’s statement True.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/apr/11/jon-kyl/obama-criticized-supreme-court-filibuster-alito-ev/

Difference is, he was unsuccessful.

30. Duck Bagel spews:

Hagel does’nt seem to know where or who he is half the time, and they want to put him incharge to the Pentagon, pure idiocy.

31. YLB spews:

30 – Hagel is a Republican being filibustered by Republicans..

We love to see Republicans eat each other.

32. don spews:

@29

If the Republicans want to symbolically register their disapproval with Hagel, they can allow 20 to 30 of their colleagues to do so (as was done with Alito) and allow the up or down vote to proceed. But Republicans are just petulant children sticking their fingers in their ears yelling no, no, no all the while.

This is just more grandstanding by Republicans trying to impede the administration in hopes that their party can take back the White House next time around. We saw how well that strategy worked last November.

33. don spews:

Even more interesting is that the same vote where Obama voted against cloture on Alito, Hagel didn’t vote at all.

34. Roger Rabbit spews:

@31 Yeah, since the Republicans don’t want Hagel, pull his nomination and stick a Quaker in that post.

35. Snoopy spews:

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