It looks like Chuck Hagel will be confirmed as Secretary of Defense. There are now enough Republicans who say they will not filibuster him to let the vote go forward, and I think the whole falling for the fake news stories about his ties to made-up groups like “Friends of Hamas” and the “Osama bin Laden Garden Club” took the wind out of sails of the opposition. Even the letter signed by 15 Republicans to the president telling him to withdraw the nomination came across as more just going through the motions.
So why did they do it? It’s pretty simple, really. All the talk about his anti-Israel sentiments and statements was just a dodge; they would have come up with something else if they hadn’t come up with that. The additional fact that he’s not all warm and cuddly and speaks his mind in a mavericky sort of way is now seen as a deal-breaker. (The irony that this was brought up by John McCain is not lost on anyone outside of Fox News.) The Republicans who opposed him just don’t like the fact that one of their former colleagues is now, in their eyes, a turncoat for working for Barack Obama. (Funny how they didn’t seem to object to Robert Gates sticking around for a while from the Bush administration to run the Pentagon, but then, Mr. Gates never ran for office.)
All they’ve really done with this whole filibuster that they claim wasn’t really a filibuster is make themselves look even more petty, silly, and childish. After all, what can you say about someone like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who says that he’ll stop blocking the nomination this week because he’ll “feel better” about it? And what can you say about Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) who exhumes the body of Joe McCarthy for a zombie walk through the halls of Congress?
I realize I keep asking this question, but how can they really expect anyone to take them seriously?