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U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks to the press following his private meeting with United States U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice about the attack on U.S. diplomats in Benghazi, Libya, on Capitol Hill in Washington, November 27, 2012.   REUTERS/Jason Ree
Lindsey Graham, mid-hissy fit.
Never mind those new filibuster rules the Senate passed last month, Sens. Lindsey Graham and James Inhofe will have their hissy fits. They are threatening to hold up the nominations of John Brennan to head the CIA and their former colleague Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense.

Their reasons? Maybe a program of targeted killings of American citizens by drones that has been kept essentially secret from Congress, not to mention the American people? Of course not. It's about the teabagger cause du jour, Benghazi, and just because they can.

“I don’t think we should allow [John] Brennan to go forward for the CIA directorship,  [Chuck] Hagel to be confirmed as secretary of defense, until the White House gives us an accounting. Did the president ever pick up the phone and call anyone in the Libyan government to help these folks? What did the president do?” Graham said on CBS News’ “Face The Nation.”

Graham said that he would not attempt to filibuster, but nodded yes when asked if he was willing to put holds on the nominees, which essentially means asking for the courtesy of notification before the Senate majority leader moves ahead on a vote.

Huckleberry has a new demand, now that everybody that had anything to do with national security has been hauled up to Congress to testify about that night, and no scandal has emerged. Now he has to have a play-by-play of what President Obama was doing on the night of the Benghazi attacks because, he says, he thinks the president is disengaged. Just like he held up Robert Gates' nomination to Defense by demanding to know what President Bush was doing when his national security team was cooking up the lie that WMD in Iraq posed an immediate threat to the U.S. Oh, right, he didn't do that. The real reason Graham is making these threats is of course his reelection in 2014, and the fact that he really needs to shore up his credentials with the most extreme of his base.

By the way, even a hold on a cabinet-level appointee is unprecedented, which might be why Graham is unwilling to say he'd go so far as a filibuster. His stupider colleague, Inhofe, is going all in. His reason? “I don’t trust this president to make the right appointment, I don’t think that Hagel is the right appointment." He doesn't need a reason, just a profound dislike and distrust of his president.

This is business as usual from this Republican Senate caucus, but not how the Senate is actually supposed to conduct itself. Unprecedented obstruction calls for a reciprocal response from Senate Democrats, and if that means Harry Reid has to act with his majority to stop this, so be it.

Please sign our petition urging Harry Reid to re-open the process of filibuster reform in the Senate.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:21 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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