I suspect that Obama would like for Chuck Hagel to be his SecDef. Hagel is Obama’s type of Republican, and their views on Israel, and the US-Israeli relationship, are probably in sync. But it’s still hard to understand why, WHY, given that GOP opposition is near-unanimous, that Obama is going to try and force Hagel through the Senate. Or not really so hard after all.
Obama obviously enjoys aggravating Republicans. That’s a given. But a Hagel nomination will cause problems for many Democrat senators, especially those that are Jewish.
And right now there are 12 of them: Levin, Lautenberg, Boxer, Feinstein, Wyden, Schumer, Cardin, Sanders, Franken, Bennet, Blumenthal, and Schatz.
Given their druthers, I suspect they ALL would like for Obama to nominate anyone but Hagel. But this isn’t really about Hagel, it’s all about Obama’s future SCOTUS picks.
Reid has been blustering for some time now about changing the Senate rules to modify/end the filibuster. Either he’ll unilaterally change them, by a simple majority vote, and blow up the Senate, or Reid and McConnell will negotiate a deal. While supposedly it will be limited to how legislation is handled, and the ability of just one senator to delay most anything indefinitely, it’s hard to believe that somehow this won’t morph into an effort to shape the debate over future SCOTUS nominations, and using the MSM to depict the GOP as intransigent obstructionists, denying the President the ability to name his justices.
Hagel is an unwitting sacrificial lamb. He will be nominated, and then will withdraw, BEFORE a vote, (to the relief of the 12 Jewish Democrat senators above) after the MSM makes it seems that he won’t even be able to get an up-or down vote.)And the GOP is once again making the Demcrats’ life easier. Lindsay Graham has been all over the airways, denouncing Hagel. WAIT UNTIL IF AND WHEN OBAMA ACTUALLY NOMINATES THE GUY!!! I am a great admirer of Ted Cruz, but just consider his comments on FOX News Sunday. When asked about a possible Hagel nomination, he offered that he “doubted he could support the nomination.” 100% true, but why say so? Rather, how about this: “If the president does in fact decide to nominate Hagel, then I will carefully study his record, and listen carefully to the hearings. Hagel deserves consideration, and then I will decide.”
A Hagel withdrawal will allow the Democrats to make the case that the Senate is broken, the GOP hates anything Obama does, and that therefore the filibuster must be ended. And this will allow Obama to make two, or even more, very radical nominations in the next two years, and get them confirmed.
It’s all about the next two years, period. The economy will continue to worsen, and jobs growth will not happen. Obamacare, and all the new taxes, will become more unpopular. The GOP has a superb chance of taking control of the Senate in 2014. (Please hold all your comments about Republicans blowing it yet again for a separate thread.) The House will stay Republican.
Ginsburg and Souter will retire, at the end of this court term. Look for the annoucements early this spring; and let the games begin. And there could be others as well: Kennedy and Scalia. As one reaches a certain age, the only “sure thing” about the future, health wise, is its very uncertainty.
I’ll go even further. After the next four years, if will be impossible for ANY Democrat to be elected president in 2016. Period. But we likely will see, until then, among other things: “immigration reform” with millions of illegals getting to remain, a sea of debt drowning the economy, tens of thousands more government regulations, some type of gun control instituted, and in addition to the SCOTUS picks, hundreds more left wing federal judges on the bench. Not to mention the tens of thousands of left wingers who will have successfully burrowed into the civil service bureaucracy.
One last observation. Hillary will have to testify before Congress prior to leaving office. It won’t be pretty. The blow-up over a Hagel nomination will be a distraction, and the MSM can spin them all together as just the GOP being against anything Obama wants to do..