Chuck Hagel was nominated by Barack Obama to be Secretary of Defense. Chuck Hagel wants to be Secretary of Defense.
Before Obama, Chuck Hagel and John McCain were an item; best pals, cutting buddies.
But when Obama got the nomination in 2008, Hagel spurned his best friend McCain and threw in with Obama.
Hell hath no fury like John McCain scorned. He makes Sheila Jackson Lee look like a Salvation Army volunteer, Naomi Campbell, a Carmelite nun.
It’s vendetta time. McCain, with the help of dependable sidekick Lindsay (Smiley Burnette) Graham, is prepared to go all the way to a filibuster in order to prevent Hagel from getting this nomination.
McCain is even calling in all his cards with the media to establish the meme that most Republicans never really liked Hagel anyway.
What’s interesting in this manage a trois is that virtually everything bad they’re saying about Hagel is true, only no one cares.
Instead, it’s the drama of getting even, the personality destruction within Republican ranks, which sells almost as well as sex. To disconsolate Republicans of ’08, it’s the revelation that John McCain is finally proving that there is a hill on which he will plant his flag and fight like a hellcat to defend. McCain’s one hill is now and always has been his vanity. Vendetta Hill is has always been McCain’s only hill.
But behind this developing drama of man-love and infidelity, you’d almost forget that a serious position in national security is at stake, while the media is focusing on a high school cat-fight to distract us.
Only that serious position is not the Secretary of Defense.
A little analysis is due, for while the things they are saying about Chuck Hagel are largely true, he is still probably better than Leon Panetta, a bean counter sent to Defense to decimate it, and who only last week lied about Obama’s role in the Benghazi murders, and also lied about his own culpability and helplessness to do anything, as I don’t know of a single military officer who, had Panetta given the “Go” order, wouldn’t have gone. (Sandy Berger, anyone?)
Hagel couldn’t possibly be any worse.
But by kicking Hagel to curb, aren’t McCain and the GOP almost guaranteeing John Brennan’s successful nomination, (also currently on hold) at CIA?
This is how deals are struck, you know. No minority party ever wins two high profile nominations in a row.
But Brennan is by far the greater risk to national security. A star lineup of right wing personages, including Glenn Beck have alleged that Brennan (did, might have, possibly) secretly converted to Islam while serving in Saudi Arabia some years ago.
Who can say? But it seems Brennan certainly had something to do with the killing of two Al Qaida combatant-US citizens in Yemen in 2011, for which the Department of Justice has already immunized the President and all others involved…but also an innocent 16 year old American kid in Yemen, for whom, if there are any real men in the Republican Congress, there can never be immunity.
And Brennan has a checkered past during the lead-up to the Libyan overthrow of Gaddafi in 2011, and several errors during questioning which indicated he really didn’t know much about anything of current events. He always seemed to be one briefing update short of a Time magazine cover news story.
I’m not making a laundry list of Brennan’s shortcomings here (you can look it up) or his too cozy relationship with elements of radical Islamism, e.g. the Wahhabis, Muslim Brotherhood, and Islamist front groups in the US, with seriously scary access to the White House.
So while it seems to me that Chuck Hagel represents little more than more of the same, just wearing a better brand of lipstick, at Defense, John Brennan could be Typhoid Mary at CIA, carrying that same open door policy from the White House over to Langley.
Who do you think Obama wants where most?
So, once again are Don Quixote and his trusty ass-riding Sancho rushing up to defend a hill Obama most wants them to defend?