With just ten minutes left for one Senator to possibly scramble upstairs and cast a vote that would not change the outcome, Chuck Hagel's secretary of defense nomination was sent to the Floor....
One of the more surprising moments was the very Senatorial response given by Mazie Hirono, the replacement for Dan Inouye, who passed away after the election.
In a brief statement she noted (at exactly the 2:00 mark) that the national security need for an immediate Secretary of Defense was necessary, and to abort the process and begin anew was irresponsible, for with sequestration, budget reductions, downsizing after Afghanistan, re-pivoting to the Pacific, challenges of North Korea, Syria, North Africa, cyber attacks to our data systems, power grid, infrastructure, all requiring immediate attention. Chuck Hagel exemplified himself in war, as a CEO, and in the chambers of the Senate itself. That puts him as equally qualified as anyone else in that room. Simply put, we need someone now, this man is capable, he has my vote.I guess she hasn't learned to be long winded yet.
Which brings up the Republicans... What on earth is wrong with them? Are they nuts?
Every unbiased report confirms they are nuts. Republican foreign policy is farce, not even worthy of Shakespeare.
So Republicans have decided that Afghanistan doesn’t exist. At last summer’s Republican National Convention, Mitt Romney never mentioned the Afghan War (that was left up to Clint Eastwood).
During Hagel’s seven and a half hours of questioning by the Senate Armed Services Committee last month, the country where 66,000 American troops are still fighting, and dying, was mentioned 27 times. How many mentions did it receive from the Armed Service Committee’s 12 Republican members combined? Four.
Drones, Zero mentions.
Cyber warfare, two came from Committee Republicans..
China, only one mention came from a Senate Republican. (and that occured when Texas Sen. Ted Cruz asked Hagel if he had traveled to China with Chas Freeman, a former American diplomat known for critical views toward, you guessed it, Israel.)
Israel (178 Republican mentions)The GOP campaign against him has descended even deeper into triviality. Republicans on the Armed Services Committee are now refusing to vote on Hagel’s nomination until he provides evidence that no organization he was affiliated with received foreign funding over the past decade? Meanwhile every Republican on that committee gets foreign political funding from AIPAC....
America must help Israel prevent the development of Iran's nuclear weapon. (171 mentions)
His answer: no.
Republicans stoop even lower.
Republicans are demanding that he prove that no company or non-profit he has been involved in has received any foreign funding either!Chuck Hagel's answer? “That information…is legally controlled by the individual entities and not mine to disclose.”
This is “unprecedented,” as well as “ridiculous and outrageous,” especially since there’s zero evidence that Hagel—a decorated Vietnam veteran—has ever subverted the interests of the United States in service of a foreign power.
One senses Chuck Hagel's ridiculous farcical hearing process, brought to its knees by these Republicans, has not one iota of relevance to Mr. Hagel's qualifications, and every bit of relevancy to fending off a potential evangelical Tea Party primary challenger chomping for a run against these Republicans in the next election season....