Tuesday, February 05, 2013

After egotistical grandstanding rooted in vindictive bitterness, McCain clears the way for Hagel

By Michael J.W. Stickings


Sen. John McCain appears to have cleared the way Monday for Chuck Hagel to be the next secretary of defense.

The Arizona Republican, who has been a prominent voice in the debate over Hagel, said Monday he would oppose any attempt to filibuster the nomination, likely dooming any attempt by Senate conservatives to sustain a protracted procedural fight to delay Hagel's confirmation.

"I do not believe that we should filibuster," McCain told POLITICO. "To vote against is entirely the judgment of each individual senator, but a filibuster I think would be inappropriate."

Asked if he would vote for cloture if a filibuster were mounted, McCain answered, "Yes."

Not to say that Hagel, regarding whose nomination I continue to be mixed, gave a great performance, but he deserves the job, or, at least, the president deserves to have his pick confirmed.

As Frank Rich said, "He was hardly impressive. But compared to his inquisitors, he was Churchill." A number of Republicans embarrassed themselves, notably Texas Teabagger Ted Cruz, but McCain was very much at the center of it, replaying the Iraq War and refusing to learn any lessons from its horrors:

McCain was not only on the wrong side of history; history will hold him responsible for being a primary enabler of one of the most costly foreign debacles — in blood, treasure, and American credibility — in our history.

And now we're coming to a vote:

Given that the Democrats remain in control of the Senate, it's hard to imagine that his weak performance in confronting the bombastic bullying of McCain and his Sancho Panza, Lindsey Graham, will derail his nomination.

Thankfully, even Crotchety McCain has his limits.

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