The 60th vote: Republican Richard Shelby to vote for cloture on Hagel; Update: Deb Fischer too?

posted at 2:01 pm on February 21, 2013 by Allahpundit

And so, after days of accusations about what Hagel did or didn’t say at Rutgers Israeli control of the State Department, and despite the nominee’s refusal to let reporters pick through his archives, this guy’s actually gaining votes in the Senate rather than losing them.

I understand the argument that the president deserves deference in his cabinet picks, even if I don’t agree with it in this case. But if we’re going to cave, can we at least not sugarcoat Hagel’s incompetence? This is pure garbage from Shelby:

Shelby said he has concerns about former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, President Barack Obama’s nominee for Sectary of Defense, but he plans to vote for him and expects the Senate to confirm the nomination.

“He’s probably as good as we’re going to get,” Shelby said.

No one in the mainstream of either party believes that — Flournoy or Ash Carter would likely be less objectionable to both sides — but we always knew that Hagel would sail through on the next cloture vote (barring any stupendous new revelations) and now here’s confirmation. Johanns, Cochran, Collins, Murkowski and now Shelby plus 55 Democrats equals cloture. Which makes this letter to the White House from John Cornyn, co-signed by 14 other Republicans, almost poignant in its impotence:

“While we respect Senator Hagel’s honorable military service, in the interest of national security, we respectfully request that you withdraw his nomination. It would be unprecedented for a Secretary of Defense to take office without the broad base of bipartisan support and confidence needed to serve effectively in this critical position.

“Senator Hagel’s performance at his confirmation hearing was deeply concerning, leading to serious doubts about his basic competence to meet the substantial demands of the office. While Senator Hagel’s erratic record and myriad conversions on key national security issues are troubling enough, his statements regarding Iran were disconcerting.”

The letter is signed by Sens. Cornyn, Inhofe (R-OK), Graham (R-SC), Wicker (R-MS), Vitter (R-LA), Cruz (R-TX), Lee (R-UT), Toomey (R-PA), Rubio (R-FL), Coats (R-IN), R. Johnson (R – WI), Risch (R-ID), Barrasso (R-WY), Coburn (R-OK), Scott (R-SC). The full text is attached and provided below.

Dave Weigel’s right to snicker at Cornyn’s attempt to move the goalposts over what constitutes a “broad base of bipartisan support.” Just 15 of 45 Senate Republicans were willing to go on record as unalterably opposed to Hagel’s nomination by signing here. Among those who didn’t: McCain, Kelly Ayotte, and Rand Paul. The final vote on Hagel might be party-line, more or less, but at this point I won’t be surprised to see 70+ votes for cloture. But maybe at this point that’s for the best. If you think O’s determined to fulfill his long-held ambition of cutting defense funding in his second term and you disagree with that policy, then you’re likely better off with a guy at the top of the Pentagon who’s politically weak and regarded as a bit dim. Hagel is, I suspect, destined to be a rubber stamp for the White House’s foreign policy and military strategy so he probably won’t do much damage independently apart from the occasional ad lib about Jews. America wanted four more years of “smart power,” now they’re going to get Chuck Hagel as its face. Viva democracy.

Update: Like I say, 70+ votes for cloture:


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Comment pages: 1 2

bluefox on February 21, 2013 at 3:04 PM

I heard that when you seethe red submit button on here, it is an indication that your being tracked by…..damn buzzing overhea

can_con on February 21, 2013 at 3:08 PM

lostmotherland on February 21, 2013 at 2:24 PM
sesquipedalian on February 21, 2013 at 3:02 PM

Trolls emerging from the bunker.

Bitter Clinger on February 21, 2013 at 3:08 PM

bluefox on February 21, 2013 at 2:34 PM

No, what Chief Justice Roberts was saying was, it’s not the role of the Supreme Court to abrogate acts of Congress or to punish Congress for acting in it’s official capacity, it’s the role of the electorate to choose more carefully who they elect to represent them.

SWalker on February 21, 2013 at 2:52 PM

Don’t want to revisit that ruling, but I thot the role of the Supreme Court was to rule on the Constitutionality of a Law; not to lecture the American Voters.

bluefox on February 21, 2013 at 3:08 PM

Senator Ted Cruz ‏@SenTedCruz

President Obama should withdraw Hagel’s nomination for #SecDef. He lacks the trust & confidence competence needed to serve: http://bit.ly/ZuEzcv
==================================================================

http://www.scribd.com/doc/126612835/Letter-Requesting-President-Obama-Withdraw-Hagel-s-Nomination-for-Secretary-of-Defense

canopfor on February 21, 2013 at 3:05 PM

spelling counts…

affenhauer on February 21, 2013 at 3:11 PM

Movers and shakers in the Dem leadership, spring, 2007…..

“He’s probably as good as we’re going to get…”

And that about describes the administration he has brought.

Tenwheeler on February 21, 2013 at 3:16 PM

Orphans

Schadenfreude on February 21, 2013 at 3:16 PM

So then what was the point of the GOP filibuster last week if they were just eventually going to bend over and take it?

Mark1971 on February 21, 2013 at 2:14 PM

They were showing how well they could push back……….

Tenwheeler on February 21, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Leftists love nincompoops.

Schadenfreude on February 21, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Funny thing is, I think the elites think they will be safe, but honestly I think it is those in the heartland that will actually survive it all, and the elites will find that they are not as in control as they think.

MarshFox on February 21, 2013 at 2:56 PM

I agree for the simple reason being that appeasement doesn’t buy you anything but contempt & worse; disposable when no longer needed.

bluefox on February 21, 2013 at 3:18 PM

They were showing how well they could push back……….

Tenwheeler on February 21, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Well, I’m surely glad they didn’t hurt themselves. Was quite worried about them(snark)

bluefox on February 21, 2013 at 3:19 PM

http://www.scribd.com/doc/126612835/Letter-Requesting-President-Obama-Withdraw-Hagel-s-Nomination-for-Secretary-of-Defense

canopfor on February 21, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Cruz is Just doing the Jerry “opposite of George” schtick. I bet he has instructed his staff just to follow that philosophy when answering inquiries.

can_con on February 21, 2013 at 3:25 PM

Panetta has done more damage than Hagel could ever accomplish, especially now that everything he does will be scrutenized to death! Neither Obama or Panetta had any military experience, which we have painfully seen exhibited by repeal of DADT, women in foxholes, and military budget cutting madness!

tomshup on February 21, 2013 at 3:43 PM

Hagel will help them along.

Obama’s brothers
Enabling them, like no other.

Schadenfreude on February 21, 2013 at 3:44 PM

No, what Chief Justice Roberts was saying was, it’s not the role of the Supreme Court to abrogate acts of Congress or to punish Congress for acting in it’s official capacity, it’s the role of the electorate to choose more carefully who they elect to represent them.

SWalker on February 21, 2013 at 2:52 PM

That’s pretty much what bluefox was talking about. Benedict Roberts was dead wrong. It’s not the role of the electorate to enforce the provisions of the Constitution. The whole point of having a Constitution is so that the elected representatives (and others) cannot violate it, no matter what the voters want or what the officials want).

And then Roberts had that historic idiocy about taxing inaction (after having found the mandate definitely NOT to be a tax so that the case could be heard at the time).

We are witness to a truly unique point in history – uniquely pathetic and destructive (self-destructive, really) … but unique all the same. Of course, this sort of point has to be unique since civilization would have been long wiped away if there had been this type of occurrence more than a couple of times …

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 21, 2013 at 3:04 PM

Thank you. The whole reason we have a Supreme Court is for the very purpose you’ve stated and what I’ve stated. Disband it then if that’s not it’s purpose. This was just a cave by Roberts and his projection that it’s all the voters fault for what Congress passed; therefore whether the Law is Constitutional or not is not his job to rule on. Clever way to shirk one’s duty, but insane also.

bluefox on February 21, 2013 at 3:48 PM

Whigs.

Yup.

Bring me a 3rd party.

Crazy ol’ Jesse Ventura might even be lookin’ purty good com ’16.

He may be nuts, but he’s a “stands for something nuts”.

What the GOP stands for, I dunno.

Bruno Strozek on February 21, 2013 at 3:52 PM

bluefox on February 21, 2013 at 3:04 PM

I heard that when you seethe red submit button on here, it is an indication that your being tracked by…..damn buzzing overhea

can_con on February 21, 2013 at 3:08 PM

LOL, well it’s not doing very well, shorts out. HA has been messing with the site for over two weeks. Wish they would update it with some more modern features.

bluefox on February 21, 2013 at 3:53 PM

American Jews who stupidly supported OBOZO will now have put their “home” country in grave peril. I wonder if they’re happy about that?

TeaPartyNation on February 21, 2013 at 4:03 PM

“He’s probably as good as we’re going to get.”

That’s the Spirit! Mediocrity to the bitter end.

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 21, 2013 at 4:12 PM

LOL, well it’s not doing very well, shorts out. HA has been messing with the site for over two weeks. Wish they would update it with some more modern features.
bluefox on February 21, 2013 at 3:53 PM

Well then why is there this constant buzzing overhead?

I think it would be nice if AP/ED put up an open thread on site suggestions before tinkering.
Was thinking that this site could be a lot more intuitive and user friendly with some minor tweaks.

More news headlines/feeds
Possibly a news ticker.
No disques commenting.

can_con on February 21, 2013 at 4:24 PM

It is becoming more clear every day that we can certainly trust the GOP in everything. Trust them to fold and acquiesce to the left. Why even have 2 parties if all they do is agree for political reasons alone?

Pardonme on February 21, 2013 at 5:15 PM

RePUBEicans … you can always count on them!

HondaV65 on February 21, 2013 at 5:30 PM

bluefox on February 21, 2013 at 3:53 PM

Well then why is there this constant buzzing overhead?

I think it would be nice if AP/ED put up an open thread on site suggestions before tinkering.
Was thinking that this site could be a lot more intuitive and user friendly with some minor tweaks.

More news headlines/feeds
Possibly a news ticker.
No disques commenting.

can_con on February 21, 2013 at 4:24 PM

I thot you were joking about the buzzing. I don’t get that if you weren’t.

What I’ve found for the last 2 weeks or more is that the front page has to be refreshed many times when you first open a window. Then the comments are not advancing ( updating )automatically as before. Also I get a small yellow alert from Internet Explorer at the base of a thread sometimes saying “only secure content is being displayed” “show all content?” I just x it out.

Your ideas are good too. An edit button would be nice.

bluefox on February 21, 2013 at 6:59 PM

lostmotherland on February 21, 2013 at 2:24 PM
sesquipedalian on February 21, 2013 at 3:02 PM
Trolls emerging from the bunker.

Bitter Clinger on February 21, 2013 at 3:08 PM

…I think…from under the covers!

KOOLAID2 on February 21, 2013 at 7:18 PM

The first time I was REALLY scared for of my country was when
the A$$hat was voted in for a second term.

Amjean on February 21, 2013 at 2:34 PM

This was my feeling.

BoxHead1 on February 21, 2013 at 7:40 PM

my correction

BoxHead1 on February 21, 2013 at 7:40 PM

F*ck this S*it.

I quit.

WTF is going on in the country?

Gatekeeper on February 21, 2013 at 7:42 PM

A lot of folks round about these (Hot Air) part genuinely hate Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts because he refused to rule Obamacare unconstitutional. In his majority opinion Chief Justice Roberts said point blank, “I refuse to absolve the American people of the responsibility of who they elected as their Congressional Representatives”.

SWalker on February 21, 2013 at 2:14 PM

The Constitutional Traitor in Chief, Chief Justice John Roberts, rewrote legislation making a “penalty” a “tax”. When a Justice legislates from the bench they shouldn’t be surprised when they are regarded and treated as the cheapest and most corrupt of legislators.

RJL on February 21, 2013 at 8:08 PM

Just when you think the repubs can’t go any lower, they grab another shovel.

Panther on February 21, 2013 at 9:53 PM

You people just don’t get it.
This incompetent boob of an ex-senator, who is totally clueless and prefers the anti- semitism ……….
IS THE ONLY PERSON capable of filling this job for President Revenge.

Lower your standards for goodness sake.

FlaMurph on February 21, 2013 at 10:03 PM

…ba11-less basturds!

KOOLAID2 on February 21, 2013 at 10:55 PM

And once the idiot destroys military, should be rather quick, all we’ll hear is that “but a Republican did it!”. No other reason for liberals to stick up for this nomination.

riddick on February 21, 2013 at 11:38 PM

The problem is that no matter who is SecDef, he will be implementing Obama policies. It’s not like Bush putting Rumsfeld in there and saying, “Run the damn place.” So do we want to make this the big story for weeks, Republican intransigence over a former Republican Senator, and if we “succeed” end up with someone else just as bad? Is this the hill we want to die on?

Of course, for many conservatives, it’s a matter of wanting to die on some hill, sometime. For some, it’s a matter of wanting to die on every hill, every time. Anger and frustration aren’t the parents of sound policy or sound politics.

Adjoran on February 22, 2013 at 12:10 AM

Can’t believe our Sec of Def is going to be someone with ties to Hamas. We’re doomed, all is lost

greataunty on February 22, 2013 at 2:20 AM

So the opposition was just for show. And we have a letter basically stating that: We expect Hagel is going to do a bad job. We are not willing to sink a nominee just because he is unqualified and incompetent.

Mr. Toomey, you just lost my support and my vote.

ROCnPhilly on February 22, 2013 at 6:54 AM

Conversation with Liberal facebook friend:

Her: Even though he’s a republican, I agree with Hagel completely about Irael, the israeli lobby and Iran.

Me: Which Hagel positions on Israel and Iran do you completely agree with? The earlier ones that run counter to Obama’s official positions, yet Obama somehow “overlooked” when he nominated Hagel, or the completely opposite ones Hagel swore before congress he holds now?

starboardhelm on February 22, 2013 at 11:20 AM

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