Jewish World Review Feb. 19, 2013/ 9 Adar, 5773
Keep talking, senators: Of filibusters and Chuck Hagel
By Paul Greenberg
Not since the eminently forgettable and now justly forgotten
This time his name is
Thanks to those far-sighted statesmen who gave us the Constitution of
No doubt many of those protections have been abused to thwart the will of the majority. But there comes a time when the will of the majority very much needs thwarting. As when a heedless majority is about to make not just a bad but a dangerous decision by a party-line vote. A time like now.
For a handy summation of the many good reasons to block the nomination of
To cite one: This is a senator who supported going to war in
At that decisive point, Senator Hagel not only opposed but denounced the Surge that would save the day, not to mention a war, a country and the prospects for freedom in the most turbulent and dangerous part of the globe. The moral of this story: On him you shouldn't count. Especially as secretary of defense.
Other examples of
Of all the former senator's grave misjudgments and petty prejudices on display during his day-long disaster called confirmation hearings, two exchanges stand out.
The first came when
After a game try at evading Senator McCain's persistent questions about the Surge and his blind opposition to it,
To which Senator McCain, in a revealing moment and decisive verdict, responded: "I think history has already made a judgment about the Surge, sir, and you're on the wrong side of it." Q.E.D.
The other revelation came during Mr. Hagel's colloquy with
Senator Graham: Let us talk a little bit about statements you've made. You've explained this a bit. You said, 'The Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here. I'm not an Israeli senator, I'm a
Mr. Hagel: Well, first --
Graham: Name one.
Hagel: I don't know.
Graham: Well, why would you say it?
Hagel: I didn't have in mind a specific--
Graham: Do you agree it's a provocative statement? That I can't think of a more provocative thing to say about the relationship between
Hagel: I have already stated that I regret the terminology I used.
Graham: But you said back then, 'it makes us do dumb things.' You can't name one senator intimidated. Now give me one example of the dumb things that we are pressured to do up here.
Hagel: We were talking in that interview about the
Graham: So give me an example of where we have been intimidated by the Israeli/Jewish lobby to do something dumb regarding the Mideast,
Hagel: Well, I can't give you an example.
Graham: Thank you.
Nothing his critics can say about having
The man is a disaster waiting to happen at Defense -- think Benghazis galore. Happily, the
Having won a brief reprieve from this nominee's confirmation, senators like
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