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Monday, February 18, 2013

Why the Hagel filibuster should continue

Jennifer Rubin wonders why Lindsey Graham and John McCain are suddenly letting up on Chuck Hagel (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
There is no graceful exit from the White House because President Obama doesn’t give a darn whether Hagel is an incompetent fool. He’s not backing down. He’s going to stick it to the pro-Israel community and to Israel. He’s going to stick it to the Republicans. There is no other way to read his determination to go forward with such a flawed nominee. And Democrats, unlike their Republican counterparts in the Miers nomination, don’t have the nerve or the concern for the institution in which the nominee would serve to force the president’s hand.
Let’s recap. The president doesn’t care about an inept nominee. The Democrats don’t care about an inept nominee. But Republicans are supposed to defer to the White House’s judgment? This is, frankly, nuts.
All of this is doubly concerning since the report from Rutgers. Contemporaneous notes recorded his words, and now Hagel can’t say definitively that he didn’t say them.  Meanwhile, after a slumber, two major liberal Jewish organizations, the Anti-Discrimination League and the American Jewish Committee, have perked up. Gosh, if true, this is really bad stuff, they say. In fact it’s about the worst they’ve heard from a nominee, who’s already declared himself not to be the senator from Israel. They’ve woken up, so why won’t the GOP senators following the Rutgers potential straw that breaks the nomination’s back?
And that’s not all there is. After discovery of even more speeches in which Hagel was heard cozying up to Iran and embracing the false-linkage theory, Hagel still will not say who paid for all his speeches in the past five years. He has the information at his fingertips, because presumably he reported his speaking fees as income on his tax return. However, he won’t make a copy of that and send it to the Senate for inspection. Is that because the payers are dubious characters? Because of the amounts involved? Given everything else wrong with this nominee, it is inconceivable that he would not be asked under oath if he made the purported remark at Rutgers or elsewhere and who paid for his speeches.
In any event, McCain and Graham shouldn’t fold when the going gets tough. If this nominee is as bad as they say, they should, and indeed must, filibuster him if the White House (unlike the Bush White House) and the Democrats (unlike the GOP senators of yesteryear) won’t do the right thing.

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