Foreign Policy

“Divisive and Distracting”

As you're probably aware, President Obama nominated Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense today. And predictably, the Republicans have reacted by contradicting every nice thing they've said about Hagel in the past.

Bill Kristol once proposed that Hagel be nominated for vice president, but now feels that he is unfit to serve as Secretary of Defense.

John McCain said Hagel would be an excellence choice for Secretary of State in 2006, but has apparently had a change in heart.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell once referred to Hagel as a "premier foreign policy voice" but now opposes his nomination.

There are also a number of incoming freshmen congressmen who oppose Hagel's nomination, as if they know anything, but this line from Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) is by far my favorite bullshit rationale for opposing him.

“The next Defense Secretary will face a number of challenges on day one, so we need the right person for the job,” said Wicker. “I am strongly opposed to the President’s nomination of Sen. Hagel. It would be divisive and distracting for Congress, the Administration, and the American people.

I suppose we wouldn't want to distract Congress from their next witch hunt, the most recent of which was quite divisive.

For the lack of a more apt phrase, the Republicans essentially already blew their obstructionist load when they went all-out in opposing Ambassador Susan Rice before she was even officially nominated for higher office. A brief period of time which I would refer to as Peak Benghazi. And that not-at-all-divisive decision was spurned on by conspiracy theories that were flogged for months on Fox News.

They don't get to complain about distractions now. And looking back at how furiously they tripped over themselves the past two months, I begin to wonder if the administration knew the Republicans couldn't resist embarrassing themselves over the mere idea of Rice being nominated for Secretary of State.

There's very little for the Republicans to latch onto at this point in time.

  • Victor_the_Crab

    Ash, Ash, Ash. You should realise, by now, that Benghazi is a non-finite resource Republicans can tap into whenever. And they LUUUUVE to tap that!

  • D_C_Wilson

    But that was before Hagel was nominated by the Kenyan Kommunist ™, so it’s totally different now.

  • zirgar

    This tweet by Dave Weigel pretty much sums it up: “It’ll be fun to hear why McCain’s 2006 praise of Hagel is outdated but Hagel’s 1998/1999 quotes are key.” Substitute just about any Republican along with any previous dates for McCain in 2006 and it fits perfectly here.