Mike Pompeo's confirmation battle
At no other moment in American history would the likes of Mike Pompeo as secretary of state nominee be seen as the least bit controversial. A long career in Congress, a Harvard and West Point grad...he is clean and as proven an American patriot as anyone. He's certainly more so than recent past secretaries of state, such as Hillary or Kerry, who were confirmed with virtually no meaningful opposition.
Pompeo will be the most pro-Israel secretary of state in history. The traditional Israel-haters in the foreign and defense policy establishment, combined with the more recent cadre of Muslim Brotherhood-aligned hyper-Israel-haters brought into the beltway by Obama and Co. for eight years, are going to oppose this with everything they've got.
Through an amazing and unexpected turn of events, this elite faction is now confronted with the most personally philo-Semitic and pro-Israel president in American history. At first, the establishment hemmed him in on this issue, taking advantage of his inexperience and saddling him with people who would have kept him sucking up to the Islamists (McMaster, Tillerson) and railroading out those who really were aligned with his point of view (e.g., Flynn). But President Trump is finding his feet and is now putting together a historically pro-Israel Cabinet to help him pursue his general policy agenda, for which standing by solid front-line allies like Israel is a central tenet.
The opposition cannot abide this. The confirmation battle for Pompeo is a metaphorical political Stalingrad. If Pompeo is confirmed, this will be the biggest defeat suffered by the Bad Guys since the victory of President Trump himself.
On the issue of American Mideast policy, Rand Paul hasn't fallen far from the tree. His dad was an out-and-out rabid Israel-hater who, while still in Congress, was giving interviews to Iranian TV about how American support for Israel is the root cause of all of the problems in the region. Though he initially opposed it, Rand himself has become a supporter of the Iran deal – relatively rare among Republicans – and a consistent and strong opponent of any military action against Iran's nuclear weapons program.
Rand Paul claims that he doesn't support Pompeo because he's afraid Pompeo is in favor of repeating the "mistakes we made in Iraq." But no serious person – certainly not Pompeo – is advocating an Iranian version of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
When President Trump first won, I declared that the two biggest losers were the "destroy Israel" crowd and the gun control crowd. Over the past fifteen months, these two constituencies have grown desperate and out of control to a surreal degree. The thinly veiled Jew-hatred masquerading as Israel-hatred is now out in the open (e.g., DNC vice chairman Keith Ellison's links to Louis Farrakhan).
Make no mistake: no effort will be spared to block this nominee. If Pompeo is confirmed, expect the hysterical opposition to President Trump to reach an even higher volume.