Monday, February 18, 2013
Why Senate Republicans Struggle With Filibustering Chuck Hagel
It is obvious Senate Republicans do not approve of former Senator Chuck Hagel's nomination to head the Defense Department, as they were able to successfully filibuster it just last week and even Senator Collins, who voted to invoke cloture, did so as a matter of tradition of respecting cabinet nominees, not actually of personal support.
And this is the conundrum heritage minded Republicans have to face with Hagel's nomination, and we've seen it before: where they have to choose between following their own convictions and the traditions of a legislative body that sees its role as advising and offering consent of presidential cabinet nominations in a limited capacity.
A capacity that believes the President has the absolute right to name his cabinet secretaries, which is true considering they work for him as lieutenants in running the government, and that the Senate's role is to vet them and eventually offer consent. Which constitutionally is quite accurate and historically is not an issue.
However, the Founders did include the consent clause so that the Senate could deny the nominations of individuals ill-suited or radical for the position appointed to, and although that clause has been abused in recent years, especially by the Democrat Party, it is pivotal when discussing Mr. Hagel leading the most important department in the U.S. government.
We haven't seen a Defense Secretary voted down since John Tower in the late 1980's, which led to Mr. Cheney leading our defense apparatus for four years (bet liberals are annoyed looking back at that), and historically it's not a real good idea to do so. But lets face it: Hagel is absolutely unprepared for the role, doesn't have the experience for it and has ideals that are drastically different from U.S. policy.
He is the wrong man for the job, that's why Senate Republicans filibustered his nomination last week and that's why they are still unsure as to where their opposition moves to from here, as tradition bounds them down one path, while conviction another....
So, please... When attempting to label Senate Republicans as unpure, or dinosaurs, remember how our Senate works: tradition, compromise and respect for their role in government; one that has held for two hundred twenty years - longer than most of the world's constitutions can last, let alone function to original intent.
What say you?