Tue Jan 8, 2013, 03:41 PM
DonViejo (18,072 posts)
Many Senate Democrats Remain Noncommittal On Hagel Nomination … For Now
Denying decorated war hero and foreign policy luminary Chuck Hagel the Pentagon’s top job will be a daunting task for his opponents.
But Republicans are spoiling for a fight against President Obama over the nomination of the former GOP senator for secretary of defense. If their early hostility matures into a broad party line, Hagel’s prospects for confirmation could hinge on the Democrats who have so far declined to endorse the heterodox Nebraskan for the key cabinet post.
It’s exceedingly rare for the Senate to reject a presidential nominee to a cabinet position. The last candidate that happened to was President George H.W. Bush’s 1989 nominee for the Pentagon, John Tower — although, a critical difference there was that the opposite party controlled the Senate. It’s somewhat less rare — though still uncommon — for a president to withdraw a cabinet nominee and is usually due to a scandal. The most recent two were Obama’s nominee for HHS secretary in 2009, Tom Daschle, and before that George W. Bush’s nominee for Department of Homeland Security, Bernard Kerik, in 2004.
No scandal is weighing down Hagel. The opposition to him arises from a mix of motivations: strong disagreement with his dissent against the prevailing D.C. consensus on how best to approach foreign policy toward Israel and Iran, lingering resentments from former GOP colleagues over his aloof independence, and a resistance to giving Obama full credit for nominating a Republican. There are also some muted Democratic misgivings about his anti-gay slur from 1998 about the ambassadorial nominee James Hormel, for which he recently apologized.
6 replies, 893 views
Many Senate Democrats Remain Noncommittal On Hagel Nomination … For Now (Original post)
Response to DonViejo (Original post)
Tue Jan 8, 2013, 03:47 PM
MADem (130,402 posts)
1. Barney Frank has forgiven him the "anti-gay" business from fourteen years ago.
Barney says if the GOP jerkwads are crying about him, he'll likely be a good candidate.
Response to DonViejo (Original post)
Tue Jan 8, 2013, 03:48 PM
Mass (27,186 posts)
2. Warren was non committal too.
Not negative, just reserving judgement.
In relation to President Barack Obama's contentious nomination of former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Nebraska, to the secretary of defense position, the junior Bay State senator said she is reserving judgment until she can learn more in the Senate confirmation hearings.
"I'm looking forward to hearing more from Senator Hagel," Warren said. "That's what the Senate hearings will be about."
Response to Mass (Reply #2)
Tue Jan 8, 2013, 04:51 PM
democrattotheend (8,933 posts)
4. I do want to hear his explanation for the "Jewish lobby" comment
That comment bothered me a lot. It's not because I disagree with the substance of what he was saying about certain factions of the pro-Israel lobby being overly influential and not representative of all Jews or all supporters of Israel - I don't. But the term "Jewish lobby" really bothered me, because it is not only inaccurate but it perpetuates the worst stereotypes about Jews controlling the government that have been used to drum up resentment and support for persecution of Jews for centuries, and as a United States Senator he should know better.
I am inclined to support his nomination for other reasons but I would like to hear him explain what he meant and apologize for that comment, which was at best really insensitive and at worst indicates that he believes Jews (not the pro-Israel lobby) are too influential.
Response to democrattotheend (Reply #4)
Wed Jan 9, 2013, 09:53 AM
davidpdx (22,000 posts)
6. I'm not trying to put words in Hagels mouth and I have no idea what his intent was
But I wonder if it was a slip of the tongue when he said that and he clearly meant Israeli lobby.