Chuck Hagel was finally confirmed as Defense Secretary today. He was confirmed by a 58-41 vote.
All the voting Democrats voted for former Sen. Hagel. The only non vote was N.J. Sen. Lautenberg. The 89 year old New Jersey Democratic Senator was at home sick. All 41 of the votes against the Hagel nomination were Republican. But there were a few defectors. They were the Senior Senator from Mississippi, Thad Cochran; First term Nebraska Senator, Mike Johanns; Five term Senator from Alabama, Richard Shelby; and most curiously given his abrasive questioning during the confirmation process, The junior Senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul.
I for one am happy that Chuck finally got through. It was a very tight vote, at least as far as votes for confirmation of a defense secretary is concerned. The tightest vote in recent history from what I have read. It was not exactly a fait accompli that he would pass, as the Republican opposition to his nomination was fierce.
There was the insane “The democrats are worried about Hagel” false flag attack, supposedly put together by concerned democrats that after scrutiny completely disappeared. As I recall it was a right wing group that funded that attack. Then there was the infamous “Friends of Hamas” giggle-fest that the sleaze-bags over at Breitbart put out, despite the fact that no such organization exists.
Then there was the fun from propagandist Ted Cruz. Ted read a story from Reuters. That story said that an official in the Iranian government hoped that the next defense secretary would be more interested in peace and less interested in warmongering. Ted turned that into something completely other. Ted turned that into a nominee for the biggest lie of 2013 ; His claim that Iran was “cheering” the Hagel nomination.
Then there was the plain crazy crap he came up with during the Senate Armed Services committee nomination process when Ted said that he wasn’t sure that former Sen. Hagel had taken money under the table for speeches from radical groups. People are still trying to figure out what the hell that fat glib fraud Cruz was talking about.
And do I have to speak at all about Sen. McCain’s bitching and moaning at the Conformation hearings? No? Good. McCain is an asshole, and the less I write about him the better. Attention of any kind only eggs the stupid bastard on.
On top of that there are the right wing outside pressure groups that tried to paint now Sec. Hagel as being weak on Iran and not being friendly enough with Israel, that he was not a good enough friend of Israel because he was soft on Iran.
Now his record does show that he has in past voted both for and against sanctions on Iran. That does not make him soft on Iran. That makes him smart. His reasoning for voting against sanctions when he did vote against them was that the sanctions simply won’t do anything.
Tell me, in hindsight, how much was Iran weakened by sanctions? How much? Not very, they are getting closer to being nuclear capable, and their work on nuclear capabilities continues unabated, despite those sanctions. The sanctions worked well, didn’t they?
Seems Sec. Hagel was right.
And now he has to try to work on negotiations with Iran to talk them off of the nuclear cliff.
Good Luck, Secretary Hagel.