A look back on this past week reveals another historical first – and we’re in only the second month of the year. By now most are aware that for the first time ever, a presidential cabinet nominee was filibustered. Republicans succeeded in blocking a man who happens to be a fellow Republican. What did that man, defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel, do to deserve use of this filibuster procedure that should be reserved for critical legislative actions? He dared to, according to Bitter Blocker-In-Chief Arizona Senator John McCain, criticise former President George W. Bush. Yes. The same former president who John McCain himself laid waste to when he, during his failed bid for the presidency, said Bush was inept in every way imaginable. And yes, for good hypocritical measure, the person McCain sees fit to block from a prospective position as the Secretary of Defense is the same man about whom Senator McCain said that he would choose as his own Defense Secretary had the nation been
batshit crazy enough to place McCain a vengeful, petty, small-minded war hawk in the White House.
Once again, McCain has proven himself to be a far cry from his manufactured image of a political aisle-crossing ‘maverick’ and he has now become the worst kind of politician: One who has long overstayed his usefulness in office and has become not just a national embarrassment but has now moved on to become an international disgrace.
Why international, you ask? Because in keeping the confirmation process dragged out as long as possible — even though those involved with the process admit that, in all likelihood, former Senator Chuck Hagel will be confirmed, but just later rather than sooner — the Department of Defense will have no representation at an international conference to be attended by defense leaders from around the world. The ‘Party of No’, that claims to be strong on defense is leaving us, well…defenseless in terms of the image we present to global leaders who are in the business of protecting their respective nations. According to the Washington Post, “The delay means Hagel will miss a NATO defense ministers’ meeting in Brussels next week — an embarrassment to the administration. It also will give opponents more time to try to find new, damaging information about the nominee.”
Not all of the blame for this can be laid at the feet of John McCain. Senator Harry Reid deserves some credit here as well if only for pretending during the filibuster reform debate that the GOP would act in the best interests of the nation. Reid knows that the GOP will not move away from pettiness and that they will abuse the overused filibuster procedure — so Harry Reid should loudly say so if only so that everyone knows exactly why this still badly broken system is not being reformed and that elected Democrats are simply working within the political realities they must face because they won’t always be in the majority. But, at this point, the GOP-pouting-turned-confirmation delay means that the military troops don’t have a defense secretary and the nation’s leaders appear, once again, to be unable to put partisan bickering and long-standing grudges aside to prevent the U.S. from looking foolish in the face of allies and so-called enemies alike.
To use the words of MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, “Is that how small we’ve become?”
The answer is a LOUD “YES!”
McCain’s long-standing grudge against President Obama – the direct result of the sound thrashing he received on election day in 2008 – has taken many forms, all of which are wrapped in the common cloak of obstruction. Unfortunately for the nation, each time McCain and his cronies take action they ratchet up the nonsense one level more. We dodged a bullet…or bombs…or whatever wrath John McCain would have brought on this nation. Whether he’s un-diplomatically comparing the leaders of other nations to monkeys or missing debriefing meetings that would provide him with the very answers he claims to seek about Benghazi, he’s just plain out of hand. Talk about being disagreeable…and thoroughly embarrassing!
And that’s the highlight (lowlight?) of the week in review, folks.
Image Source: The Phoenix – Copyright by KBanks