Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Haggle Over Hagel

The Republicans seem to be having a fine time waving their red capes in front of the Democratic bulls.  The problem is the bulls keep winning and the Republicans keep getting gored.

That's why a headline on Politico caught my attention. GOP sees payback in Hagel pick.  Now there's an example of child's play if ever I've seen one.

I have mixed feelings over the selection of Mr. Hagel just as I do with Kerry for State and Brennan for CIA. Every one seems warm and fuzzy over Kerry.  Senatorial courtesy we're told.  The difference between Kerry and Hagel?  Hagel isn't well liked and it would seem Kerry is.

I hope the hearings focus on policy and how these men will continue implementing it.  After all it is the President's purview whether or not I agree with it.  To turn it into a witch hunt as payback for past disagreements will make those partaking in it appear petty.

I don't think the credentials of any of these three is any better or worse than many others serving in the Cabinet. If either, I'd probably lean toward better.  That's a positive.  They don't appear to be merely political payback.  Obama knows, likes and most importantly trusts Hagel and Brennan.  Kerry wasn't his first choice for State but being Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee he comes in with a depth of knowledge and personal relationships with most of those with whom he will be working.  That too is a positive.

I differ with the President on many aspects of his foreign policy but it is what it is.  If it has any chance of being successful or at least maintaining the status quo, he needs that trusted leadership doing his bidding.  So do we.

The time for celebrity appointments is past. The world is far too dangerous a place any more. I don't know how Hillary as Secretary of State will rate when all is said and done but suffice it to say that a "name" doesn't necessarily equate with success.

What I do understand is that none of these men have much appetite for war.  That again, is a positive.  Where they stand on readiness as a deterrent is more of an issue but that's not my call.

What I don't want to see is "payback" in the hearings.  An attempt to denigrate a nominee for so called sins of the past.  I daresay there won't be one on the panel of questioners that hasn't changed his or her stand on an issue for political expediency.  After all, the President himself has "evolved" in many areas of policy.

Let's have hearings that are informative.  If the men are ill suited for the positions for which they've been nominated then don't vote for them.  Personal agendas against a nominee will only make this President dig his heels in deeper and we've been seeing of late how good at it he is.

Leave the red capes home.  Conduct yourselves like grown ups with your major concern being your country. If the bull deserves to, let him live. Being gored in the name of payback could be excruciatingly painful!  For all of us.

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