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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Hagelian illogic

Someone needs to tell Senate Republicans they failed in their No. 1 goal to make Barack Obama a one-term president.

Sadly, it's still business as usual with the Senate minority, who took the unprecedented step of filibustering the nomination of Republican Chuck Hagel to be defense secretary -- all the while insisting that imposing a 60-vote threshold for the vote was not a filibuster and besides, the Democrats are to blame for actually wanting to govern as the majority party elected by a majority of American voters.
“We didn’t need to have this vote today,” said Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the second-ranking Senate Republican. “But the White House and the majority leader were determined to have this vote in order to try to get a story in the newspaper, one that misrepresents the nature of the objection on this side.”
I think they've traveled way past double speak here.

It's really not that much different from the obstructionism of House Republicans, who have not had an original idea since Newt Gingrich banged the gavel back in the '90s. Ask John Boehner what his majority party wants, he'll say lower taxes for job creators. Ask him what they intend to do with the proposals put forward by Obama and he'll say it's up to Obama and Democrats to take the next step.

We really may have the wrong colors for party designation in this nation. Republicans are the I'm Going to Hold My Breath Until I Turn Blue Party, the petulant child that refuses to budge until he or she gets their way.

The Hagel fiasco is so deeply rooted in political one-upsmanship it's sad. After failing to get any leverage during the campaign over the death of American diplomats in Benghazi the GOP, led by John McCain-R-Hey You Kids Get Off My Lawn, seem intent on holding Washington hostage, even after countless hearings -- like the one where former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spanked them like the children they are.

Hagel, a decorated enlisted man during Vietnam, dared diverge from GOP dogma on the surge. Even worse, he accepted Obama's nomination in the spirit of bipartisanship. That alone was enough to set off a war of character assassination and recrimination that threatens to bring the work of the Pentagon to a standstill.

Iran. Afghanistan. North Korea. There are real issues that require the attention of both a fully engaged Secretary of State and a Secretary of Defense.

Republican senators have marched right up to the line of calling Hagel a traitor. Perhaps they should look into the mirror to see who really is offering aid and comfort to our enemies.

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