Archive for the ‘Chuck Hagel’ Tag

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John Fugelsang:

Well, today, my friends, the Senate Republicans made history when they used the filibuster to block a vote on President Obama’s nominee for secretary of defense, another Republican. And the whole thing stinks like a carnival cruise ship.

House Majority Leader Harry Reid was so angry he almost tore the tassels off his loafers. Sen. Reid called it the saddest spectacle he’s ever seen in the Senate. But you know what, Harry? I think I can recall an even sadder one — something that happened just last month.

Because if Harry Reid is mad at the GOP for filibustering this nomination, he needs to go straight to the Senate floor, in full view of the cameras, and spend an entire day punching himself in the face.

Now, it’s not easy to fight yourself in the face — just ask Edward Norton in “Fight Club.”

You see, Sen. Reid, the first rule of Fight Yourself in the Face Club? You, Harry, are president of Fight Yourself in the Face Club.

Because you had the chance to make sure this wouldn’t happen today, dear Mr. Reid. In fact, you promised us you’d make sure this wouldn’t happen. And now, look, poor Leon Panetta has to stay in the Pentagon even longer, like George Bailey never getting out of Bedford Falls. Now, because of you, Mr. Reid, the chicken hawks have come home to roost.

See Harry Reid spent much of last year getting pressured to reform the filibuster, but he blew the chance. And then he apologized for blowing the chance. He publicly said senators Merkley and Udall were right to push for a reform package and he was wrong. And he promised us that come the beginning of the almighty 2013 session, he’d make filibuster reform happen.

On the first day, Harry had a chance to change the filibuster rules with a simple majority. And then Harry Reid stepped to the plate and filibustered on filibuster. He choked like George Bush on pretzel night. He folded like wet cardboard. He struck a handshake deal with Mitch McConnell to do a filibuster reform package that was so watered down Marco Rubio can drink it during a speech.

And now, now the Senate is still a place where democracy means the minority controls the majority.

Now I know some will say this isn’t fair. The bad guys here are clearly Lindsey Graham and the GOP. They’ve mostly abandoned the idea of working in good faith. But see, here’s the thing, and back me up on this: We expect hypocrisy, malfeasance and tea-baggery from the modern GOP. They’ve got their eyes on the prize, the prize being a zero percent approval rating one day. Harry Reid is like Charlie Brown being constantly shocked that Lucy moved the football.

So Harry, when you have a second please, take a break from reaping what you sow, take a break from planning to slyly let the assault weapons ban die in the Senate, and show us you care, by punching yourself in the face.

See, Harry, if you’re not going to be an effective majority leader, if you’re not going to do any real reform, if your will isn’t strong enough for the job, you know what you need to do? Something I’ve never said before in my life — be more like Pope Benedict.

Step down, Harry Reid. Let someone lead who wants to lead. Now I don’t know if this means the Hagel nomination is dead. All I know is if I ever get divorced from my wife, I hope she hires Harry Reid as her lawyer, because then I’m guaranteed to get everything.

http://current.com/shows/viewpoint/videos/should-harry-reid-make-like-pope-benedict-john-fugelsang-reacts-to-the-hagel-filibuster/

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Marc Ambinder “Soon after Barack Obama was first elected president, an aide told me that Obama hoped to make his mark on the Department of Defense in a very specific way: After then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stepped down a few years hence, Obama would nominate a strong Democrat to the post, establishing a precedent of sorts for the building and for the Democratic Party after years of perceived weakness on national security matters. Leon Panetta was a natural fit. But Obama, in nominating Chuck Hagel, a Republican former senator from Nebraska, has new priorities now that he’s been president and understands the massive institutional and political obligations that the Secretary of Defense has, and by proxy, the role that the Secretary plays in terms of providing him with advice and counsel.

Why isn’t Obama replacing Panetta with a Democrat? Simple: Of all the possible candidates, he trusts Hagel. Hagel was the head of Obama’s intelligence advisory board, and was a frequent informal “red cell” brain that Obama privately turned to when he wanted a second opinion. He has been picking Hagel’s brain on subjects as diverse as Afghanistan, China, special operations force posture, and intelligence for several years now. (Hagel has all the required clearances.)

There will be quite a bit of discussion in the coming days about Hagel’s views on Israel (he is more skeptical of Israel’s provocative actions publicly than many previous SecDefs, but his public views are close to the private views of many in the administration), the Afghanistan drawdown (how many troops will remain and what will they do) as well as gays in the military. (Hagel will be a fine, if somewhat forced, convert to the new gospel). His confirmation hearing will be interesting, because he will confront former colleagues who think he’s a showboat and turncoat.”

http://theweek.com/article/index/238422/why-hagel