Here we go again. Another GOP obstruction, this time in the United States Senate. President Barack Obama has today nominated former Republican United States Senator Chuck Hagel from Nebraska for the powerful cabinet position of Secretary of Defense. Leon Panetta has already announced he will be resigning as Secretary of Defense during President Obama's second term.
What obstruction, you ask?
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), an "in-your-face Republican obstructionist" appeared on this past Sunday's broadcast of CNN’s “State of the Union.” Senator Graham called the nomination "an in-your-face" nomination on what he is calling President Obama's second term "an in-your-face second term." This coming from an "in-your-face Republican obstructionist."
Senator Lindsey Graham is the same guy who in 1998 in Congress, was a member of the House Judiciary Committee that vigorously pursued the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. In January and February 1999, after two impeachment articles had been passed by the full House, Senator Graham was one of the managers who brought the House's case to Clinton's trial in the Senate which did not convict Clinton.
If you recall, it was an obscene waste of the nation's time, in an impeachment that had all involved knew had zero possibility of going anywhere. Yet Senator Graham pushed forward and was rewarded by his state of South Carolina in 2002 by electing him to the United States Senate after succeeding the longtime racist Senator of South Carolina, Strom Thurmond.
On CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday broadcast, Senator Graham said that he does "like Chuck Hagel" . . . but.
Senator Graham began. “He served with distinguish in Vietnam as an enlisted man — two Purple Hearts."
"Quite frankly, Chuck Hagel is out of the mainstream of thinking, I believe, on most issues regarding foreign policy," said Senator Graham.
“Chuck Hagel, if confirmed to be secretary of defense, would be the most antagonistic secretary of defense towards the state of Israel in our nation’s history,” Graham continued. “Not only has he said you should directly negotiate with Iran, sanctions won’t work, that Israel must negotiate with Hamas, an organization, terrorist group that lobs thousands of rockets into Israel."
Senator Graham then made the "in-your-face" crack twice and tied the Hagel nomination, incredibly, to the debt ceiling. He said, "This is an in-your-face nomination by the president to all of us who are supportive of Israel. I don’t know what his management experience is regarding the Pentagon — little, if any — so I think it’s an incredibly controversial choice. And it looks like the second term of Barack Obama is going to be an in-your-face term. I’m not going to talk to you at all about the about ceiling, and here’s my secretary of defense nominee that will get a lot of bipartisan concern.”
Senator Lindsey Graham, along with many Republicans, are struggling to stay "relevant." Republicans, such as Grover Norquist, who has already lost his relevancy as reported here. But Senator Graham's remarks and his opposition to Chuck Hagel for no apparent reason, is clearly guided by the Republican struggle to stay "relevant."
Thus far, that strategy to remain "relevant" isn't working.
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John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African American studies, published by The Elevator Group Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots: How Barack Obama, Two Bookstore Owners, and 300 Volunteers did it. Also available an eBook on Amazon. John is also a member of the Society of Midland Authors and is a book reviewer of political books for the New York Journal of Books