Filibuster Hagel's Nomination
Chuck Hagel is a buffoon. Putting a buffoon in charge of the Department of Defense at any time is a bad idea. But in a world full of gathering dangers, it borders on malfeasance for the U. S. Senate to confirm Hagel as the next secretary of defense. Senate Republicans need to aggressively filibuster the Hagel nomination, smartly broadcasting to the nation the peril of putting a man so out of his depth, so bigoted, and so willing to roll over for the president at the helm of the nation's defenses.
Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated over the weekend that Republicans might opt to filibuster Hagel's nomination. McConnell should remove the "might" from the equation. And if McConnell fails to green-light a filibuster, then stalwart conservatives like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz need to lead the charge.
Jed Babbin, writing for the American Spectator, said this about Hagel:
Former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel went through a whole day of questioning in his quest to be the next Secretary of Defense by delivering fumbling, nearly incoherent remarks, flip-flopping on his long record of opposition to Israel and toughness against terrorists (including Iran) faster than a freshly-caught fish.
Babbin served as George H. W. Bush's Deputy Undersecretary of Defense and knows of what he speaks.
Since the U.S. Senate is controlled by Democrats, Hagel can eventually win confirmation. It doesn't help that five Senate Republicans are either supporting Hagel or signaled that they'd vote to end a filibuster. They are: Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Mike Johanns (R-NE), both of whom are supporting Hagel. John McCain (R-AZ) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) say they'd vote to end a filibuster (can Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayoette be far behind?). And Susan Collins (R-ME) says she's leaning to vote against a filibuster.
Nonetheless, conservative Republican senators need to draw a bright line on the Hagel nomination. First and foremost, because Hagel would be President Obama's cat's paw. The president wishes to gut the defense budget. Mr. Obama is in the process of radically changing the military's culture -- feminizing it, for lack of a better word. The president aims to "contain" the Iranian nuclear threat rather than end it (per Hagel's own blathering at his confirmation hearing).
Despite the Arab Spring fizzle, the president is wed to a policy of accommodation and support of Egypt's ruling -- and radical -- Muslim Brotherhood, wanting to send them F-16 aircraft and Abrams tanks -- some of the U.S. military's best and most deadly technology. Inexplicably, stocking up the anti-American and anti-Western Muslim Brotherhood with America's best killing machines wins the support of some Republicans, as Andrew McCarthy points out at National Review Online.
Second, there's a chance -- a chance -- that if Senate conservatives throw up enough flak the president would pull Hagel's nomination. Not because the president cares a hoot about public opinion (not when it comes to implementing his ideological agenda) but because enough Senate Democrats may hear from outraged constituents and push for Hagel's nomination to be scuttled.
Third, Senate Republicans need to provide sharp, contrasting views on the nation's defense for voters. Republicans need to starkly delineate their differences with Mr. Obama on what constitutes a strong national defense, which includes a foreign policy that doesn't ice over the realities of the Middle East, Iran, terrorism, China, and North Korea, among others. A Hagel filibuster serves as a conspicuous platform for helping to accomplish this critical task.
Barack Obama is no useful idiot, but he knows one when he sees one. Hagel -- as secretary of defense -- will serve as the president's willing, faithful useful idiot in the diminishing of the nation's defenses at a time when the world grows more dangerous by the day.