Green Room

So was the Hagel fight worth it?

posted at 6:12 pm on February 27, 2013 by

John Podhoretz thinks it was:

The revelation that Schumer would carry water for Hagel was useful as well — useful in exposing the demagogic falsity of his claims to the Jewish community that he views himself as a special “guardian” of Jerusalem.

Also useful were the confirmation hearings in which Hagel acquitted himself so miserably — showing glancing knowledge of current administration policy, unable to account for his own views, even saying he didn’t know enough now but was willing to learn on the job.

If confirmation hearings actually served as the job interview for the Senate — which must approve a presidential Cabinet appointment, under the rules of the Constitution — Hagel would’ve been dead in the water. But of course they rarely do.

What that hearing did do was give the lie to all those who said there were no grounds on which to oppose Hagel. By the hearing’s end, there was precious little ground to do anything but oppose Hagel — except for the key fact that the president wanted him.

Well, he has him, and mazel tov. The country is worse off, the Senate is worse off for having rubber-stamped Hagel and Schumer has revealed himself for all to see.

Those of us who opposed Hagel’s nomination have clear consciences for having done so, win or lose. It was a matter of principle, not of politics.

In order to answer the question, one has to ask first whether it cost Republicans anything to delay Hagel’s confirmation. The answer seems to be no, or at least nothing in the short term.  They may end up setting precedents for future confirmations that will exasperate Republican Presidents, but that lack of concern over long-term implications in these fights exists in both parties.  They didn’t lose anything significant, anyway.

What did they gain? Again, probably not a lot, and they may have annoyed some conservatives who wanted them to fight Hagel even longer.  However, they did at least expose Hagel as unqualified and bumbling, making it clear that the only reason Obama would have chosen him — and stuck with him after that disastrous confirmation hearing — is for the political cover of Hagel’s party affiliation.  When Hagel comes around Capitol Hill pushing deep spending cuts in Defense, not even the media’s going to buy the idea that Hagel represents some kind of significant heterodox line of Republican thought.  He’ll be an obvious shill for Obama, and he won’t get very far either at the Pentagon or on Capitol Hill as a result.

I think he’s gone by the 2014 midterm elections.

Recently in the Green Room:

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

So was the Hagel fight worth it?

Excuse me…. What effing Hagal fight?There was no damned fight over confirming Hagal, just some damned piss poor excuse for Kabuki theater. Everyone knew the GOP was going to take a dive in the second round, and like clockwork, that is exactly what they did, never mind the fact that the Democrats weren’t even in the damned ring.

SWalker on February 27, 2013 at 6:22 PM

If that was fighting, The republican party is worse off than I originally thought.

portlandon on February 27, 2013 at 6:30 PM

What did they gain?

My total, 100% disdain for every spineless Republican who talks big and then caves. They talked up a big show on how unqualified this idiot was and still confirmed him.

Integrity in DC is now officially dead.

JPeterman on February 27, 2013 at 6:31 PM

Gee, I guess the GOP should have just rolled over and showed their belly as soon as the nomination was announced. Why fight for anything?

The GOP showed that Hagel was a drooling idiot; the Dems (and quite a few military-hating Repubs in the the Senate) thought he would be the perfect SecDef.

Fine. Let. It. Burn.

RoadRunner on February 27, 2013 at 6:31 PM

Spot on. Taking it further, it’ll be fun to keep bringing up Hagel whenever Bronco Bama tries to fake caring about Israel or our troops.

starboardhelm on February 27, 2013 at 6:42 PM

Hmm, I guess I missed the fighting. I did get to see Rand Paul vote *for* Hagel though – that was interesting and informative.

I won’t be forgetting that one.

Midas on February 27, 2013 at 7:01 PM

If hagel is not unqualified enough to filibuster for the GOP “weanies” in the senate what type of candidate would they filibuster?

philrat on February 27, 2013 at 7:16 PM

Excuse me…. What effing Hagal fight?There was no damned fight over confirming Hagal, just some damned piss poor excuse for Kabuki theater. …

SWalker on February 27, 2013 at 6:22 PM

.
Exactly right! A confirmation fight is what the sickening Democrats did in filibustering Miguel Estrada’s nomination to the D. C. Circuit Court of Appeals. They filibustered the nomination on the Senate floor according to “new” rules (which didn’t resemble Mr Smith Goes to Washington at all).
.
Estrada is a genius. Hagel is an incompetent politician. Therein lies the difference.

ExpressoBold on February 27, 2013 at 7:36 PM

It was pretty clear how this “fight” was going to turn out when McCain went on TV and basically said that Hagel is unqualified yet still deserves an up-or-down vote. (*facepalm*)

Aitch748 on February 27, 2013 at 8:08 PM

I think having Hagel out there looking like a big dummy will come in handy down the road when DOD has problems and Obama tries to blame it on the Republicans.

Cindy Munford on February 27, 2013 at 8:09 PM

What fight? It was all drama queen Kabuki theater. We could have written the script.

Conservatives made a fortune betting on the outcome.

No one is buying the gopE’s delusional behavior any longer. They are the permanent minority party even with Jeb’s lapdog Waterboy.

Jayrae on February 28, 2013 at 6:02 AM

So was the Hagel fight smear campaign worth it?

Fixed it for you Ed. It is pathetic how Republicans, conservatives and their blogs engaged in the same smear tactics as Democrats and in the end you, AP, and the rest of the Hot Air staff pat yourselves on the back. Hot Air pedalled lies and innuendo (e.g. Friends of Hamas) about Chuck in order to derail his confirmation. I am sure it was worth it to you all. Maybe someone start making up lies and innuendo about you and AP in order to tarnish your reputations?

When Hagel comes around Capitol Hill pushing deep spending cuts in Defense, not even the media’s going to buy the idea that Hagel represents some kind of significant heterodox line of Republican thought.

This is why Republicans/conservatives are an absolute joke. This country has around $16T-$17T in total debt, $1T+ annual deficits, and $222T in unfunded liabilities and you still insist on forming a human shield around the Pentagon’s budget. We are broke and it seems that it would kill you to see Northrup Grumman, Boeing, or Lockheed Martin go in for a haircut. This is why you guys have no credibility. You can’t expect for Democrats to consider making cuts or restructuring their sacred programs why your’s (the holy defense budget) should remain untouched.

Thank God Obama won the election and I pray that your party never regains power. You guys are a joke.

antifederalist on February 28, 2013 at 6:28 AM

Trick question?

Or, sarcasm?

1) this was a done deal before it started (I remember Rubio saying this weeks ago)
2) there was no fight

so-notbuyingit on February 28, 2013 at 8:16 AM

api on February 28, 2013 at 8:54 AM

antifederalist on February 28, 2013 at 6:28 AM

Pretty much. There’s no consistency in any of the calls for limited government of the rule of law coming from any of the so-called “firebrands” or “reformers” in either of the two parties. Pretty much everyone in power nowadays is a Federal Reserve supporting globalist.

abobo on February 28, 2013 at 9:12 AM

Cindy Munford on February 27, 2013 at 8:09 PM

I hope you’re right on this as even Rand Paul
voted for him . My only problem is the one , and
that’s a big one ! When things go south he’ll just
say ” well you voted for him and he is a republican ” .

Lucano on February 28, 2013 at 10:19 AM

“Build the dang fence!”, John McLame

It appears the old tricks of the past, aka kabuki theater, will no longer work for the GOP and voters see right through them. The party is dead unless it actually stands and fights for something.

trs on February 28, 2013 at 11:48 AM

When Hagel comes around Capitol Hill pushing deep spending cuts in Defense, not even the media’s going to buy the idea that Hagel represents some kind of significant heterodox line of Republican thought.

Once more — Hey, Ed, save me a little of whatever you’ve been smoking! Just because Bob Woodward has suddenly become a tiny bump in the road for the administration doesn’t mean the rest of the LSM will suddenly stop drinking the KoodAid. Time after time after time, they’ve proven themselves more than willing and able to cover up for, lie for and do whatever else is neccessary to keep their little tin-plated god all shiny and pure.

catsandbooks on February 28, 2013 at 11:53 AM

>>I think he’s gone by the 2014 midterm elections.
- probably some soldiers (sailors, airman, marines) will be gone too.

“but it was worth the fight”

williampeck1958 on February 28, 2013 at 11:57 AM