In that all too rare occurrence called “bi-partisanship,” the Obama Administration tried exercising it in its usual form, that of Secretary of Defense. Just when we thought we had found a passable fit in former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), the ugly head of “Party of No” obstructionism for its own sake rears its head. Oh, but don’t call if a filibuster.
Senate Armed Services committee Repubs put on a show of civility when Sarah Palin (“$arah WHO?”) ‘s new fair-haired boy, freshman Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) made a fool of himself questioning Hagel’s character, and the elephant-logoed older Senators gently chided the un-Senatorial excesses of the young upstart.
The veteran Republicans had their share of lunacy as well. There was Sen. David “Diaper Boy” Vitter (R-La.), whose “defense” experience largely involved fending off his dalliance with prostitutes, in for the Hagel attack. Do we want leadership of the world’s largest fleet of military aircraft being chosen by the likes of Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.)? Inhofe, which is probably an ancient Indian word for “lousy pilot,” is still mad because the Federal Aviation Administration sanctioned him for landing on a closed runway marked with a big ‘X’ and construction workers all over it.
Of course, any hint of civil deliberation went out the window as Arizona Sen. John “I used to be a hero” McCain (R) had another bout with chronic confusion, like a Fox News Addicted Mad Uncle. He reverted back to his now infamous Grumpier Old Men act attacking possible Secretary of State not-yet-nominee, U. N. Ambassador Susan Rice with a new whipping boy. This time, Republicans were set upon devouring one of their own for the cameras. “Equal Opportunity?”
When Hollywood studios wanted to squeeze another profitable run out of a film genre, they usually weren’t often able to reunite the entire original cast. Congress proved their misguided mettle in this regard, as Sens. Lindsey “Tutu Warrior” Graham (R-S.C.) and not-quite-femme-fatale cheerleader Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) magically appeared as if they had the remake planned all along.
Recently, I opined that the Hagel nomination might be a clever political tour de force by the President. Nominate a Republican Senator in the spirit of crossing the aisle, and when Republicans go cannibal buffet, trot out a progressive, qualified woman to clean up the “Five Sided Wind Tunnel” (a.k.a.: the Pentagon) from that suite of offices in the ‘E’ Ring.
With expanded opportunities for Americans to serve the nation in defense, perhaps a woman’s touch is needed to address the continuing disgrace of rape in the military, and the fiscal discipline enforced in domestic circles by always sending hubby to the grocery store with a list.
I doubt MSNBC host Rachel Maddow would want to take a big pay cut, nor be further away from her partner in New England — but there would be entertainment value watching exploding conservative heads with her running the Pentagon.
Seriously, Michele Flournoy successfully served in a variety of Pentagon roles, most recently as Undersecretary of Defense for Policy. The ink’s barely dry on her AARP card, presenting a new, but upper echelon experienced, leader for a changing Pentagon. There’s no law requiring SecDef to present a Medicare card by nominees in boxers or briefs. As with Ms. Maddow, Flournoy earned a graduate degree, hers in International Relations from Balliol, in the shadow of Oxford’s spires. That would be a welcome break from bumbling American “go it alone” military policy, which hasn’t earned us many friends in conflicts involving international partners. She’s more than ready for the top job.
Besides, nothing infuriates the Righties quite like quoting Saint Ronnie Reagan against them on this latest act of obstruction: