Tag Archives: Benghazi

Surprise! Surprise! Chuck Hagel Gets Confirmed By The Senate

The Republicans would like you to believe that Obama’s nomination of Senator Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary was so spectacularly bad that it required them to do something unprecedented to stop it. Never before has the Senate filibustered against a Secretary of Defense nominee.

The odd thing was that if you listened to people like my Senator Lindsey Graham, it seemed that this filibuster was necessary to try to force the President to come clean about the attack on Benghazi. If you thought Susan Rice had nothing to do with Benghazi, then Hagel had even less.

Another fierce opponent, John McCain explained the opposition this way:

There’s a lot of ill will towards Senator Hagel because when he was a Republican, he attacked President Bush mercilessly and said he was the worst President since Herbert Hoover and said the surge was the worst blunder since the Vietnam War, which was nonsense. He was anti-his own party and people — people don’t forget that. You can disagree but if you’re disagreeable, then people don’t forget that.

Hagel was being nominated as Secretary of Defense of the United States not some post within the Republican Party, so putting his loyalty to the United States above his party loyalty should be considered a good thing.

McCain and others are on the record as admitting that they knew that Hagel would eventually be confirmed despite their filibuster. [In fact most of them are on the record a week or so ago saying that they wouldn’t filibuster him, but that’s another story!] So their filibuster was never about influencing who would be the next Secretary of Defense. They knew he would be confirmed. Their filibuster did nothing more than block the Senate from confirming him.

This delay was political theater, pure and simple. It served no constructive purpose from the perspective of what’s good for America. The Republicans used it to try to keep alive their narrative that somehow Benghazi represents a huge failure of this administration, and they did it to try to punish a fellow Republican because they thought he had betrayed them.

If the Republicans spent half as much energy towards building up America as they do towards tearing down our President, I wonder where we might be today.

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What’s Behind the Witch Hunt?

Susan Rice, US Ambassador to the UN.

Susan Rice, US Ambassador to the UN. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The republican narrative about the Obama administration’s “sins” concerning Benghazi always puzzled me. What precisely were they outraged about? Did republicans really buy this idea that the President would try to hide a terrorist attack from the American people? Did republicans expect me to believe that Obama thought such an attack would weaken his re-election chances when history shows that wars result in the American public rallying behind the Commander in Chief? Regardless of what republicans hoped, their tactic didn’t help elect Mitt Romney.

So now that the election is over, and their “October surprise” fizzled, why is my senator, Lindsay Graham and others still beating this Benghazi drum? And why are they trying to go after Susan Rice, who clearly was never the person in charge of anything concerning Benghazi? I could never understand their motive. I couldn’t figure out what they were trying to accomplish besides a continuation of their ongoing public relations war against all things Obama.

Now, I think I understand, and I’m wondering what took me so long. If the republicans can sabotage the career of Susan Rice, then they can increase the chances of John Kerry being selected as Secretary of State. Kerry has always been the “other” potential candidate for the job. If John Kerry becomes Secretary of State, then he will have to resign from the Senate. If he resigns from the Senate, then there will be a special election in Massachusetts to replace him. And the last time there was such an election in Massachusetts, a republican named Scott Brown won.

Official portrait of United States Senator Sco...

Ex-Senator Scott Brown (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So at this point, my best guess as to why these guys are obsessing over Susan Rice is because they are hoping to give Scott Brown another bite at the apple. They are willing to sabotage this public servant’s career just for the chance that they might gain one more seat in the Senate.

Of course, I could be wrong, maybe they really are motivated by something else, but honestly this is the only explanation I have found that makes any sense to me.