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Hullabaloo


Thursday, December 27, 2012

 
Who needs the Tea Party when you have John McCain and Dan Coates?

by digby

Hageling is the new normal:

To "allege that Hagel is somehow a Republican -- that is a hard one to swallow," Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said last week, criticizing Hagel's long-ago reference to a "Jewish lobby" and his record on Iran sanctions.

That's quite a change from the sentiments McCain and his GOP Senate colleagues expressed about Hagel the last time his name was mentioned for high office, when he resigned from the Senate in 2008. At that time, presidential candidate McCain said he and Hagel were "close and dear friends" and that Hagel could have a place in a McCain administration.

"I'd be honored to have Chuck with me in any capacity," McCain told the New York Times in 2006. "He'd make a great secretary of state."

Well, he's always been a "maverick." Meanwhile:

"[I]deologically [Hagel] has moved from a conservative Republican coming out of Nebraska to someone that looks like they are out of the most leftist state in the country and exceeding even a lot of Democrats, who also have concerns about his ideology and where he is coming from," Coats said.

But Hagel's positions on things like unilateral sanctions, the use of force abroad, and the role of America are the same as they were in 2008. He has taken no votes that would indicate a policy shift and he has authored no papers that show a departure from his long held views.

By contrast, his former GOP colleagues have completely changed their tune on Hagel in the four years since he left the Senate. During speeches on the floor to commemorate his retirement in 2008, several senior GOP senators praised Hagel effusively.

The article goes on to quote McConnell, Kyl and Alexander effusively praising their colleague.

I don't think people truly understand how big a departure this is from what used to be standard procedure. It wasn't long ago that these votes were pro-forma. It was presumed that elections have consequences and the president got the cabinet he wanted. Then it became a little more dicey and it was presumed that the president would always get any ex-Senator approved. That has changed too, to the point at which a president has to think twice about nominating a Senator of the president's party who is considered to be "too partisan." Now they are refusing to approve a president's choice even if he is a Senator and member of their own party.
At this point I'm not sure they'd approve Dick Cheney.

Every time I watch Fox news they bring up the pulled nomination of John Bolton for Undersecretary of State as an example of recent similar Democratic behavior. (And there is also the myth of Teddy Kennedy "starting it" with Bork, of course.) But Bolton wasn't a member of the Senate and their own party. This is truly taking it to a new level.

These aren't Tea Partying weirdos who don't understand how Washington "works." These are card carrying members of the elite Republican establishment doing this. And nobody seems to give a damn.

Oh, and by the way, this was probably inevitable too although he will likely be confirmed. Everything's fair game with these people:

The Senate is expected to take up Kerry's nomination in early January, but multiple Republican senators have already said they won't agree to a vote on Kerry's nomination until Clinton testifies about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi.
Their 9/11 Commission ...





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