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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) way, way back in 2005....when the president was Republican George W. Bush....
“I think the President is entitled to an up-or-down — that is simple majority — vote on nominations, both to his cabinet and to the executive branch and also to the judiciary.”
Yesterday, Mitch McConnell voted along with 39 other Republicans to filibuster (prevent) a confirmation vote for President Obama's nominee to head the Defense Department. The kicker is that the nominee, former senator Chuck Hagel.....is a life-long Republican who ran and served in the Senate as a Republican. McConnell, who has led the most obstructive Senate minority in U.S. history may have believed a GOP president deserved an up or down vote instead of filibustered obstruction....but surely not a Democratic president. McConnell is fair....and balanced that way.
Yesterday the Senate voted 58-40 in an attempt to bring Hagel's nomination up for a, you know, "up or down vote" in the full Senate. Just short of the 60 vote requirement to break Republican obstruction of all things Obama. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) voted present, David Vitter (R-LA) did not vote at all, and Harry Reid (D-NV) voted no in a procedural move which allows him to bring the Hagel nomination back up later.
In the end, Chuck Hagel's nomination will be voted on by the full Senate, and he will be confirmed. I'm certain of that. Huckleberry Graham (R-SC) said as much yesterday....
While Senate Republicans are opposed to voting on Hagel today, they seem to believe that they’ll change their minds after the Senate returns from its President’s Day recess in 10 days. This morning, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said that he expected to be willing to move Hagel forward at that time, “unless there’s some bombshell that he likes blood sucking vampires.”
That Huck....what a card, huh?
So what gives? Republicans must make it appear like they really, really gave Hagel (and Obama by extension) a difficult time. Why? Because Chuck Hagel has never been officially housebroken as far as Republicans are concerned. Though Chuck Hagel has never said anything disparaging about Israel, our 51st state.....he refuses to publicly admit that, indeed, Israel is our 51st state. So, Republicans think that Hagel may be thinking that Israel is not really our 51st state.... although Hagel has never said that, he might be thinking it. Within American Republicanism, thought crimes against Israel are marginally forgivable...but confession and repentance are first required.
In addition to satisfying the science fiction rapture crowd on the faith based front of the GOP, filibustering Republican senators were also demonstrating, albeit in a disgustingly, almost whorish way, that they know, and are very proud of the fact, that Israel is the 51st state of our Union. Because of that great and everlasting truth, Republicans would rake ANYONE over the filibuster coals who even intimated otherwise.
And that's exactly what happened in the Hagel nomination hearings.
I have no idea when, or if, minority Republicans will stop showering their self-radicalized conservative base with wingnut catnip. Maybe never. But that is a big part of what is going on. When you witness for the first time in U.S. history a GOP Senate minority obstruct a confirmation vote of a Republican nominee for a Cabinet position.....a Republican nominated by a Democratic president....it becomes apparent that feeding the wingers what they need to stay sufficiently hateful only makes the Senate appear petty and childish.....and goddamn ignorant.
Finally, the Hagel dust-up is yet another example of Republican hostage taking-as-governance. This time the GOP ransom note writers won't release a Republican senator-hostage unless a handsome ransom (new band name?) is first paid by President Obama. Last I heard from the Huck, that ransom was more information on Benghazi, the terrible incident in Libya upon which Republicans plan to base their impeachment of the president.
What was started during the time of sociopath Newt Gingrich back in the middle 90's, advanced by the rise of Fox, also in the 90's, crystallized during the reign of King George and his Dick in the 00's, has resulted today in a virtually-non-functioning Congress incapable any longer of even paying lip service to the will of the people.
Karl Rove's wet dream of a "permanent GOP majority" isn't ever going to happen....but it doesn't need to in order for Republicans to control all things and successfully block the will of the people from being carried out. In the greatest democratically organized country in the world, the freest nation....the one that is a shining city example to other not-so-perfect nations....the GOP-ordained secret to our national success is simply this.....the minority rules.
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