Friday, February 15, 2013

They'll Even Filibuster A Republican

Chuck Hagel
President Obama's nomination for the post of Secretary of Defense now faces a Republican filibuster in the Senate.  The catch? Chuck Hagel was a Republican Senator himself.

Hagel isn't a Republican from Massachusetts or some other state where the GOP is just happy to have someone on which to slap its party label, much less someone who might manage to avoid an embarrassing defeat; Hagel is from Nebraska.  Not only is he from Nebraska, he's a war hero from Nebraska.  Hagel served in Vietnam, receiving the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, two Purple Hearts, the Army Commendation Medal, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.

Ronald Reagan tapped Hagel to serve as the deputy administrator of the Veterans Administration.

The purpose of this article is not to recount Hagel's qualifications but they do serve to illustrate exactly the sort of man that the Republican Party has chosen to filibuster in order to deny the President his choice for Secretary of Defense.

Of course, you would never know that to hear the Republicans tell it.  Despite Hagel's considerable bona fides, Republicans now speak of him as if he were a pernicious anti-semite and  just a few steps short of a jihadi plant in the US government.

Breitbart published a story with the headline "Secret Hagel Donor" which alleged that he had received political donations from a group called "Friends of Hamas."  Of course, no one can prove that any group of any such name exists and the Treasury Department, which concerns itself with sponsors of terrorism and maintains a list of them, does not include any such group on its roster.  One would think that the hyper-nationalistic, "USA" chanting Republican Party would have taken issue with a major candidate taking donations from a jihadi group, particularly since Hagel served on the foreign relations committee and the select committee on intelligence.  

Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) took the criticism one step further, suggesting that Hagel was literally endorsed by Iran.

All of this seems just a bit ridiculous.  While the power-players in the Republican Party may see the filibustering of Hagel's nomination as a way of chipping away at President Obama's considerable political capitol prior to the sequestration fight, voters are left wondering which is more likely: that a two-term Republican Senator who won re-election with a staggering 83% of vote could be rabid anti-semite who takes money from jihadi groups and is endorsed by Iran, or if Congressional Republicans even needed to see the name on Obama's nomination before they decided to filibuster it.

No comments:

Post a Comment