On second thought, Susan Collins to vote no on Hagel — but yes on cloture

posted at 6:01 pm on February 13, 2013 by Allahpundit

Remember when Major Garrett said yesterday that he had it on good authority Collins was a yes on Hagel? That would have put Democrats at 57 votes, assuming their caucus holds together, which means the chance of a filibuster was hanging by a thread.

Then I saw this tweet and got excited:

She switched! Or Garrett was wrong all along. Either way, they’re back to 56 votes with momentum against confirmation, especially now that McCain’s hinting that he’s switched too. Not only that, but Reid said shortly after the Collins news broke that he’ll move for cloture right away, which could mean that he’s worried about the defections snowballing and wants to try to push Hagel through before things turn critical.

But wait. Wait, wait, wait. Tucked away at the very end of Collins’s long statement explaining what a terrible SecDef Hagel would make is this not-so-minor footnote:

“Unfortunately, I am concerned that Senator Hagel’s nomination would send the wrong message at the wrong time to our allies and adversaries around the world about the resolve of the United States. It is telling and disturbing that when I asked Senator Hagel what he believed were the greatest threats facing our country, he identified the resource shortage that could result from the addition of two billion more people during the next couple decades as near the top of his list. While there no doubt will be tremendous challenges associated with this development, his response concerned me when I consider all of the enormous near-term threats facing our country

“I am unable to support Senator Hagel to be the next Secretary of Defense because I do not believe his past positions, votes, and statements match the challenges of our time, and his presentations at his hearing did nothing to ease my doubts. I regret having to reach that conclusion given our personal relationship and my admiration for Senator Hagel’s military service. But I have concluded that he is not well-suited for the tremendous challenges our country faces during this dangerous era in our history.

“As I announce my decision to cast my vote in opposition to Senator Hagel’s nomination, let me address one final question: Should this nomination, which causes me such great concern, be filibustered? As a general rule, I believe a President has the right to choose the members of his Cabinet, and only in extraordinary circumstances should such a nomination be filibustered. I oppose Senator Hagel’s nomination, but I cannot join in a filibuster to block each Senator’s right to vote for or against him.

She’s all but saying that the guy’s out of his depth for the most important position in the cabinet at an extremely precarious moment internationally. Pretty much everyone across the spectrum understands that he’s being nominated only so that a Republican will share blame when Obama starts cutting defense. If that’s not an “extraordinary circumstance” worthy of a filibuster, what is? How dangerously unqualified would this guy have to be before Collins decides that she can’t leave it to Democrats to do the right thing here?

Obama himself had no qualms about filibustering a presidential nominee who was, unlike Hagel, eminently qualified for his position. Good lord.

That’s 57 votes for cloture. Exit question: Which three other Republicans will join Collins in pushing a rank incompetent nominated for cynical partisan reasons through?


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So she is on our team?

Bmore on February 13, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Hagel’s *ceiling* as Defense Secretary is ineffectual bumbler disliked by Pentagon lifers. His *ceiling*, people.

Could say pretty much the same thing about Collins as a senator.

Dusty on February 13, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Good lord.

Could have sworn Allah posted this.

Bmore on February 13, 2013 at 6:05 PM

He’ll be confirmed.

I have absolutely no faith in the GOP to act in the best interests of this country, even on Defense.

Washington Nearsider on February 13, 2013 at 6:05 PM

Obama himself had no qualms about filibustering a presidential nominee who was,

yeah, the lsm forgets that…it’s all blame the gop

cmsinaz on February 13, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Had forgotten about Alito.

Bmore on February 13, 2013 at 6:07 PM

Obama himself had no qualms about filibustering a presidential nominee who was, unlike Hagel, eminently qualified for his position. Good lord.

Come on.

Next thing somebody will tell me is that Obama refused to raise the debt ceiling when he was a crappy senator and Bush was president.

sentinelrules on February 13, 2013 at 6:12 PM

“Which three other Republicans will join Collins in pushing a rank incompetent nominated for cynical partisan reasons through?”

Murkowski, Chambliss and Ayotte. Maybe Kirk.

cdog0613 on February 13, 2013 at 6:15 PM

Members of the War Party are lining up to oppose Hagel. Surprise surprise

antifederalist on February 13, 2013 at 6:15 PM

On second thought, Susan Collins to vote no on Hagel — but yes on cloture

Functionally, that is voting “yes” on Hagel.

besser tot als rot on February 13, 2013 at 6:19 PM

Exit answer: A rank incompetent? I think Chuck Hagel is very competent rubber stamp for Pres. Obama.

locomotivebreath1901 on February 13, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Didn’t she do this with Obamacare? If not for her yea on cloture that abomination would have never made it out of committee.

Charlemagne on February 13, 2013 at 6:21 PM

Courage…

Seven Percent Solution on February 13, 2013 at 6:23 PM

Members of the War Party are lining up to oppose Hagel. Surprise surprise

antifederalist on February 13, 2013 at 6:15 PM

The guy’s unqualified, but ‘War Party! Squirrel!!’

joejm65 on February 13, 2013 at 6:23 PM

A tax evading hack at Treasury, a dandy at State, a Muslim at CIA and an incompetent at Defense. If we could just get Michael Mann or James Hansen at EPA, the world would be set right.

Lets get it done!

Curtiss on February 13, 2013 at 6:26 PM

Are all of the members of the Summary Execution Party are on board for this moron?

forest on February 13, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Didn’t she do this with Obamacare? If not for her yea on cloture that abomination would have never made it out of committee.

Charlemagne on February 13, 2013 at 6:21 PM

Wasn’t that Olympia Snowe that voted to allow it out of committee? And then the shenanigans really started.

Mitoch55 on February 13, 2013 at 6:28 PM

This stupid bitch is trying to have it both ways. She knows darn well that voting for cloture and if cloture passes, it ensures that this moron will be SECDEF. Politicians, they are all scum.

karenhasfreedom on February 13, 2013 at 6:32 PM

So she is on our team?

Bmore on February 13, 2013 at 6:04 PM

As much as she’s ever been.

My guess is that excessive consumption of lobster causes brain damage.

Happy Nomad on February 13, 2013 at 6:33 PM

Ack, my post went to moderation probably because I called her the b word.

Trying again.

This stupid beeyotch is trying to have it both ways. She knows darn well that voting FOR cloture will ensure this hack become SECDEF. I hate politicians who play games like this.

karenhasfreedom on February 13, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Wasn’t that Olympia Snowe that voted to allow it out of committee? And then the shenanigans really started.

Mitoch55 on February 13, 2013 at 6:28 PM

“When history calls” baby, good times—-she just left out “I’ll eff my party every time.”

arnold ziffel on February 13, 2013 at 6:40 PM

Shirty Garrett messed up again!

JPeterman on February 13, 2013 at 6:40 PM

Splunge!!!

(That means she still may vote for him but maybe not and she’s not being indecisive.)

credit: Irving O. Sulzberg Hollyweird producer skit, Monty Python

viking01 on February 13, 2013 at 6:50 PM

yeah we mainers really screwed things up with her, snowe, and now (good god….) angus king.
thought I was done getting screwed by him by like herpes he scars everything he infects.

so…sorry.
we tried but portland politics type of people have infected us.
we’re not worth saving here.

dmacleo on February 13, 2013 at 7:02 PM

we tried but portland politics type of people have infected us.
we’re not worth saving here.

dmacleo on February 13, 2013 at 7:02 PM

Don’t feel bad. Portland OR politics and San Fran politics ain’t any better. At least they like guns in Maine.

arnold ziffel on February 13, 2013 at 7:10 PM

Don’t feel bad. Portland OR politics and San Fran politics ain’t any better. At least they like guns in Maine.

arnold ziffel on February 13, 2013 at 7:10 PM

portland maine is now referring to itself (and tourism bureaus) as the san fran of the east coast :(
yeah we still got the guns…for now. huge efforts to infect that though lately.
that will be a hard fight for either side, we are heavily wooded with wildlife.
but I do not trust our legislature on it, they will pussy out in a heartbeat.
serious, we are not worth saving here now. state elections proved this on this election.
we need to feel the pain, maybe then we’ll smarten up.
doubtful.

dmacleo on February 13, 2013 at 7:29 PM

I’m somewhat fatalistic about this. Considering Obama’s handling of foreign policy, I find it difficult to imagine how Hagel running Defense could make matters any worse. Obama will just find another place to stir the pot with no plan and no followup; would Obama actually listen to a competent voice? As far as administrative duties, it’s all so political and bureaucratic that unless a concerted effort is made to change things, momentum rules the day.

Fenris on February 13, 2013 at 7:30 PM

I’m somewhat fatalistic about this. Considering Obama’s handling of foreign policy, I find it difficult to imagine how Hagel running Defense could make matters any worse.

Fenris on February 13, 2013 at 7:30 PM

I don’t fully disagree except for two points.

Hagel (like Gates before him) is the “Republican” that makes this stuff bipartisan. Gates gave us open sodomy in the ranks without even a whimper of dissent. Hagel is the route to gutting the military to pay for the stuff demanded by the parasite class.

Secondly, any nominee who gets the thumbs down is a big deal. For good reason the bar is low if the nominee is even marginally qualified. Hagel is not. His nomination should be denied by the Senate.

Happy Nomad on February 13, 2013 at 7:36 PM

portland maine is now referring to itself (and tourism bureaus) as the san fran of the east coast :(

dmacleo on February 13, 2013 at 7:29 PM

Third highest same-sex couple ratio in the country, after San Francisco and, I think, San Jose, Calif.

Cleombrotus on February 13, 2013 at 8:33 PM

Sigh …. Republicans sure like to lose honorably. No wonder Democrats keep winning.

john.frank on February 13, 2013 at 8:54 PM

Why does the word “filibuster” have two entirely unrelated definitions?

J Baustian on February 14, 2013 at 12:50 PM