McCain: Don’t filibuster Hagel

posted at 12:01 pm on February 5, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

John McCain set the stage for a truly embarrassing spectacle last week for Chuck Hagel, ripping into his former colleague and friend for opposing the surges in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The tense exchange rattled Hagel and left him off-balance for more pertinent questions about Iran and the Department of Defense that Hagel fumbled.  However, that’s not enough to keep Hagel from getting an up-or-down vote, McCain now argues:

“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.”

The White House and Democratic leadership are already confident that a solid majority exists for the Hagel to be confirmed on a simple majority vote. McCain’s opposition to a filibuster should make it easier to get the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture.

Republican Sens. Mike Johanns of Nebraska and Thad Cochran of Mississippi have already announced they would support Hagel, meaning that Democrats appear to have at least 57 senators ready to support his nomination if they can keep their caucus united.

Normally, I would agree.  Filibustering a nominee on policy grounds would be unacceptable, and would represent more of an intent to relitigate a presidential election than a true advise-and-consent process.  Presidents are entitled to their advisers, especially since they only serve as long as the President does — except in cases of corruption, abuses of power, or incompetence.

As I posted earlier, I believe that Hagel demonstrated incompetence and a lack of qualification in his hearing.  If Hagel did that for the job of Secretary of HUD or Transportation, that might not present a real problem.  As Secretary of Defense, though, the kind of incompetence and lack of preparation demonstrated should concern the entire Senate, and not just Republicans.  It is entirely impossible to argue after that hearing that Hagel is a qualified choice for the job, let alone a good choice or the best choice.

Still, without McCain, a filibuster won’t fly.  Neither will a hold.  Hagel will win confirmation, unless Democrats decide that they saw enough last week to press Obama to change his mind — an unlikely outcome, to say the least.


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*face palm*

workingclass artist on February 5, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Our government has gone full dictatorship…things are going to get real ugly in the coming years.

trs on February 5, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Hagel fits well with this acting president.

BroncosRock on February 5, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Not a bad strategy, anytime there is a defense issue, the GOP can always use Hagel as a crutch to beat Obama over the head.

Tater Salad on February 5, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Our government has gone full dictatorship…things are going to get real ugly in the coming years.

trs on February 5, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Mini drones, the erasing of the lines separating blowing up foreign national terrorists and American citizens, stuff like that.

Gird.

blatantblue on February 5, 2013 at 12:07 PM

We’re back to a ruling class that has little regard for the peasants. Revolt is right around the corner….stand by!!

Deano1952 on February 5, 2013 at 12:07 PM

So McCain was just grandstanding for C-Span…

Got it!

Nuthin’ to see here…move along

workingclass artist on February 5, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Thanks Mc Lame. I guess you forgot that the Dems spent Bushes entire Presidency filibustering . But it wouldn’t be “right” if we do it…

sandee on February 5, 2013 at 12:09 PM

cripe, we had NO ONE to replace him during the last election

*sigh*

cmsinaz on February 5, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Thanks Mc Lame. I guess you forgot that the Dems spent Bushes entire Presidency filibustering . But it wouldn’t be “right” if we do it…

sandee on February 5, 2013 at 12:09 PM

THIS!!!!!!

miguel estrada anyone?

cmsinaz on February 5, 2013 at 12:11 PM

Maverick must have had a load in his diaper the other day. He’s been changed now and feels so much better.

Mr. Arrogant on February 5, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Normally, I would agree. Filibustering a nominee on policy grounds would be unacceptable, and would represent more of an intent to relitigate a presidential election than a true advise-and-consent process. Presidents are entitled to their advisers, especially since they only serve as long as the President does — except in cases of corruption, abuses of power, or incompetence.

I’m sorry Ed but these days are gone. It’s time to start fighting fire with fire. This crap is getting old. The Dems are dirty and don’t play by the ‘rules’ and we get our a$&e$ handed to us every time. Enough is enough.

jawkneemusic on February 5, 2013 at 12:13 PM

When this geriatric with anger management issues speaks, people listen.
He’s not a Lion of the Senate, more like a feral prairie dog.

CorporatePiggy on February 5, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Not a bad strategy, anytime there is a defense issue, the GOP can always use Hagel as a crutch to beat Obama over the head.

Tater Salad on February 5, 2013 at 12:07 PM

They COULD use Hagel to beat Obunghole over the head…but they won’t, because they’re the party of stupid, and doing so would run contrary to their first principle of folding like a cheap tent in a cat-5 hurricane in the spirit of bipartisan hand-holding and koombaya-singing.

Walter Sobchak on February 5, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Presidents are entitled to their advisers

Then why waste time with hearings and votes?

That said, anyone who thought this would turn out differently hasn’t been paying attention.

xblade on February 5, 2013 at 12:16 PM

Incompetent Sec. of Defense?

Not a big f-ing deal says McShamnestyMaverick-notkFeingoldLame.

LetsBfrank on February 5, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Presidents are entitled to their advisers, especially since they only serve as long as the President does — except in cases of corruption, abuses of power, or incompetence.

WRONG! The process is “with the advice and consent of the Senate”.

Please direct us to where the basis for this entitlement exists.

BobMbx on February 5, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Ummm.. Why wouldn’t the Republicans want to let him go through as wounded and powerless as he is? Much better than dealing with an actual competent opponent. Good politics for the Republicans although it may be bad for the country.

Illinidiva on February 5, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Not a bad strategy, anytime there is a defense issue, the GOP can always use Hagel as a crutch to beat Obama over the head.

Tater Salad on February 5, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Bingo. And invite him to testify alot on Capitol Hill.

Illinidiva on February 5, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Stockholm Syndrome McCain. Thanks Arizona.

Tripwhipper on February 5, 2013 at 12:20 PM

If we had a Commander and Chief who actually attended and/or read briefings it might matter who the Secretary of Defense is. However, since our current president is a better Defense Secretary than any Defense Secretary there is or there has ever been, I ask the question, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

Lily on February 5, 2013 at 12:20 PM

I’m sorry Ed but these days are gone. It’s time to start fighting fire with fire. This crap is getting old. The Dems are dirty and don’t play by the ‘rules’ and we get our a$&e$ handed to us every time. Enough is enough.

jawkneemusic on February 5, 2013 at 12:13 PM

+100000

cmsinaz on February 5, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Presidents are entitled to their advisers,

if he were just an advisor, fine. but he’s a cabinet member, head of the most important dept our country has. he makes policy. and he very amply demonstrated he is incompetent. a No vote doesnt cut it, it wont absolve repubs from responsibility.

chasdal on February 5, 2013 at 12:23 PM

Want some further idiocy from our legislators?

In the course of a hearing on immigration policy held by the House Judiciary Committee this morning, Michigan representative John Conyers warned those gathered, “I hope no one uses the term ‘illegal immigrants’ here today.” He went on to say, “Our citizens are, the people in this country are not illegal, they are out of status, they are new Americans that are immigrants, and I think that we can forge a path to citizenship that will be able to pass muster.”

onlineanalyst on February 5, 2013 at 12:24 PM

Does ANYBODY have to show competence for ANYTHING anymore? Everybody gets a trophy.

search4truth on February 5, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Lily on February 5, 2013 at 12:20 PM

Lol. He’s also better at advising and consenting than the Senate so let’s do away with confirmation hearings, too.

LetsBfrank on February 5, 2013 at 12:27 PM

I’m sorry Ed but these days are gone. It’s time to start fighting fire with fire. This crap is getting old. The Dems are dirty and don’t play by the ‘rules’ and we get our a$&e$ handed to us every time. Enough is enough.

jawkneemusic on February 5, 2013 at 12:13 PM
+100000

cmsinaz on February 5, 2013 at 12:21 PM

I am also in this camp. Enough is enough already.

CoffeeLover on February 5, 2013 at 12:28 PM

John McCain set the stage for a truly embarrassing spectacle last week for Chuck Hagel, ripping into his former colleague and friend

Isn’t everyone McCain’s friend?

My friends….

UltimateBob on February 5, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Our government has gone full dictatorship…things are going to get real ugly in the coming years.

trs on February 5, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Lordy…calm down.
Our democratically elected president has nominated someone to be Sec. of Def. The nomination is now before the senate for a vote.
Oh…and the Grammys are on Sunday.

verbaluce on February 5, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Is McCain bipolar?

ErnstBlofeld on February 5, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Ruling class Republican. = Big gov loving Democrat afraid to come out.

Rove, McCain, Romney, Bush would rather SPLIT the gop than let the Reagan Tea Party hicks and hayseeds have power!

Dead, gop is.

PappyD61 on February 5, 2013 at 12:31 PM

Our government has gone full dictatorship…things are going to get real ugly in the coming years.

trs on February 5, 2013 at 12:03 PM

If you think that, then surely you welcome the idea of an incompetent Secretary of Defense?

Inkblots on February 5, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Different day same old two face McShame :o(

Sandybourne on February 5, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Why is everyone wanking about politics?

Hagel showed himself to be completely incompetent and unqualified for this position.

Not to mention Obama.

What else needs to be said?

And there is a member of congress who thinks Guam might tip over …

gh on February 5, 2013 at 12:34 PM

If they want this idiot, then give him to them. Just vote against it.

Spade on February 5, 2013 at 12:35 PM

McCain: “Surrender Now!”

MTF on February 5, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Speaking of Ruling class republicans…..

McCain, Christie, Hagel, Cantor, and Kasich are birds of a feather.

Worthless.

PappyD61 on February 5, 2013 at 12:38 PM

“Presidents are entitled to their advisers”

Presidents are “entitled” to nothing which would jeopardize our national security. Advise and Consent does not mean rubber stamp. There is absolutely nothing wrong with failing to confirm a nominee on “policy grounds” if those policies weaken our defense. It appears that many in DC and the country have forgotten the co-equal branch concept…that is a big reason why we are where we are with this (and other) Presidents.

rjh on February 5, 2013 at 12:39 PM

“McClame” is also McCrap.

Sherman1864 on February 5, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Lordy…calm down.
Our democratically elected president has nominated someone to be Sec. of Def. The nomination is now before the senate for a vote.
Oh…and the Grammys are on Sunday.
verbaluce on February 5, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Unfortunately, a demonstrated majority of this nation agrees with you.

Jabberwock on February 5, 2013 at 12:45 PM

There are times and places to allow the normal workings of the process of the corrupt political system to work but this isn’t one of them. Do McClain and his cohorts in the Senate think that the DOD is something that should be a political plum and that competence is of no value in this case? Is the security and safety of our troops and service members of no value to these trolls? Do the Republicans think that Obama should get his way at the expense of our nation defense and security? Where are the checks and balances that were promised by our Constitution? Of all the things that Republicans have grandstanded on this is probably the only one that has any merit.

inspectorudy on February 5, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Lordy…calm down.
Our democratically elected president has nominated someone to be Sec. of Def. The nomination is now before the senate for a vote.
Oh…and the Grammys are on Sunday.
verbaluce on February 5, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Ahhhh yes, the Grammys…..hey, maybe we’ll be treated to
Beyonce shaking her booty!!!!

I hear Bob Menendez has some HOT Lithe young stuff lined up
for the event…he even taught them some English!

ME SO HORNY!!

ToddPA on February 5, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Confirming Hagel will assure a military crisis of confidence in our government.
(See Egypt)

redguy on February 5, 2013 at 12:51 PM

So since we all know he is going to win confirmation and they have no intention to filibuster why pick the fight in the first place. I swear the GOP is useless.
We have to get rid of this losers in 2014.

celticdefender on February 5, 2013 at 12:54 PM

If you are unwilling to stand up for your principles, you have none.

mojo on February 5, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Normally, I would agree. Filibustering a nominee on policy grounds would be unacceptable

And that’s why republicans lose.

clearbluesky on February 5, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Mccain and graham are the kings of the grandstanding committee hearing but they never carry it over to actually stopping the nominee.

Joey24007 on February 5, 2013 at 1:02 PM

I agree with Mccain. Give Obama his incompetent and gaffe prone idiot. This position and with Hagel the nominee, it is unlike the others during Obama first term, who, in all, weren’t incompetent but malicious.

This case is different. Hagel is merely staggeringly incompetent. It’s not like what the Secretary does is in any way different than what the President wants him to do and if he’s as incompetent as I expect, then he’ll be just as incompetent in forwarding Obama’s policies as he will be in running the Department, which by the way, can run pretty well on it’s own without a Secretary.

If Hagel goes down, we’ll get a worse one nominated by Obama. You may not think so now, but be assured that Obama will surprise you.

Dusty on February 5, 2013 at 1:02 PM

I hear Bob Menendez has some HOT Lithe young stuff lined up
for the event…he even taught them some English!

ME SO HORNY!!

ToddPA on February 5, 2013 at 12:51 PM

I’ve stumbled across a pop song written by Menendez. Here’s the lyrics:

I wanna get in your pants
I wanna get in your pants
I wanna get in your pants
I wanna get in your pants

Put down those crayons

I wanna get in your pants
I wanna get in your pants
I wanna get in your pants
I wanna get in your pants

Turn off Barney and Friends

I wanna get in your pants
I wanna get in your pants
I wanna get in your pants
I wanna get in your pants

Don’t tell anyone I’m a U.S. Senator

I wanna get in your pants
I wanna get in your pants
I wanna get in your pants
I wanna get in your pants

Yeah baby…..uh uh uh uh uh

BobMbx on February 5, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Thank-you, Senator McCain.

It’s comforting to know that just as the sun can be depended upon to rise in the East each and every morning, you can be trusted to fumble inside the ten on each and every drive.

Do what’s best for the country just one more time, John.

Retire.

Today.

ROCnPhilly on February 5, 2013 at 1:07 PM

Sorry, McCain – but you and Ed are wrong.

If Obama wants to pull Hagel, fine – but if not, because of Hagel’s comments and performance in his hearings, then it is the Senate’s DUTY to stop the nomination any way they can – presuming they give a rat’s a$$ about national security, of course. If they think a vote won’t do it, then a filibuster it MUST be.

McCain, it’s long past time for you to go – you’ve overspent the honor you accrued with your military service, and have become a net detriment to your country. Go the f*ck away.

Midas on February 5, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Presidents are entitled to their advisers

Then why waste time with hearings and votes?

That said, anyone who thought this would turn out differently hasn’t been paying attention.

xblade on February 5, 2013 at 12:16 PM

I think that’s the point though. There should be a hearing and a vote.

segasagez on February 5, 2013 at 1:11 PM

except in cases of corruption, abuses of power, or incompetence.

Pretty much summarizes the past 5 yrs, don’t it?

hillsoftx on February 5, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Hagel is a buffoon and seriously deficient in the qualifications and skills necessary for this job. His appointment and pending approval by the Democrap Party is yet another reminder that they are unfit to govern, and that O’Bozo the Clown President is a perfect leader for them.

Jaibones on February 5, 2013 at 1:14 PM

The entire ‘leadership’ of this country needs to be replaced by people with common sense and integrity. Won’t find any in D.C., Chicago, or N.Y.

Hagel/Obama/Kerry are going to get a LOT of good men and women killed.

xmanvietnam on February 5, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Now that I know McCain stands put me in the filibuster camp for sure. Thanks again Arizona.

DanMan on February 5, 2013 at 1:16 PM

What’s the point of having hearings? If McCain votes yea for Hagel, then we know he is being true to form and his “McLame” name!

If there weren’t so many sheeple in this country, we would have thrown most of these tenured Senators out, over the past couple of cycles!

tomshup on February 5, 2013 at 1:22 PM

What the evil commie Democrats want is for good men to stop joining up. They want their gofer drones to join up and then they will have people who will turn their guns on U.S. citizens later when a commie loon demands it.

As of now to many good men in the service and that is not what these low life commies want.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on February 5, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Keep in your long term memory to the end of this battle.

Not one of the most important deals the commie Democrats have wanted into law could have passed without the help of the RINO’s.

McCain has lead way to many gangs.

He served the U.S.prior, now he serves no one but his own ego.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on February 5, 2013 at 1:36 PM

That Hagel was a GOP Senator just shows how corrupt and morally bankrupt the GOP machine that McCain serves and represents is. How can we just now be discovering that he is a moron?

Spartacus on February 5, 2013 at 1:42 PM

In spite of the alternative, I am surely happy that we did not elect McCain in 2008.

Old Country Boy on February 5, 2013 at 1:45 PM

I Ha8 McLame !

Lucano on February 5, 2013 at 1:51 PM

McCain needs to join a creche, with Reid.

Schadenfreude on February 5, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Best part of John McCain was left on the floor of a cell in Hanoi.

He’s 76, a RINO, and 30yrs in the Congress. He is part of the problem.

rayra on February 5, 2013 at 2:02 PM

shark-eyed, steel-trap minded, robotic cyborg generals and military pols in China, Russia and the Mideast are licking their chops to get at Hagel. Ditto every peacenik flasher & NGO on earth.

I cant name one vital American/Western interest Hagel and President Obama will not, in their grinning ignorance, sell straight down the river to the Chicoms, Russkies or Mullahs.

Sacramento on February 5, 2013 at 2:26 PM

In spite of the alternative, I am surely happy that we did not elect McCain in 2008.

Old Country Boy on February 5, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Frankly I would rather have things fall apart now than when I’m old and grey. You can’t escape the howling Democrat welfare mobs if you can’t walk faster than a shuffle.

MelonCollie on February 5, 2013 at 2:42 PM

McLame betrays us again..

sadsushi on February 5, 2013 at 2:55 PM

People of Arizona, what did we do to you that you continue to inflict this old fool on us?!

drunyan8315 on February 5, 2013 at 7:36 PM

McClame plays the RINO game-throw the conservatives some raw meat while you smirk and wink at the liberals you are ultimately going to serve.What a disgrace!

redware on February 5, 2013 at 9:40 PM