Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, the ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee, tells National Review Online that he will “postpone” the nomination of Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s nominee for secretary of defense.This is in the wake of Republicans bailing on the idea of "walking out" on the committee vote for Hagel, since even they thought that was a bit too preschool, and after other assurances by Sens. Inhofe and Lindsey Graham that they'll be blocking Hagel however they can.
“I’ll do that for as long as it takes,” he says, firmly. “I’m going to make sure there is a 60-vote margin.”
By "postpone", he means he's going to put an indefinite hold on the nomination, which according to past filibuster-friendly rules means that Jim Inhofe, by himself, gets to decide that the Pentagon isn't going to have a leader for however long Jim Inhofe wants, up to and including forever. Inhofe has been even clearer about that on Fox News, saying "if it took a filibuster, I'd do it that way." How blocking the defense department from fully functioning translates into being "strong" on defense issues is unclear, but that's never stopped Republicans before, and it won't stop Inhofe now.
I really don't have the energy to get worked up about Jim Inhofe being an obstructionist ass—he's been doing it so long, his business cards all have Obstructionist Ass printed as his official title—but I would like to point out yet again what a fat lot of nothing any Republican "gentleman's agreement" on not abusing the filibuster is worth. It looks like we won't even make it a month before unveiling our newest Thing That Was Never Filibustered Before, But Is Now.
Inhofe really needs to lose his big-boy privileges at this point. Please sign our petition urging Harry Reid to re-open the process of filibuster reform in the Senate, because this is just getting silly.