Hagel was the one Republican that President Obama found who is to the left of his own administration and him, too, on foreign policy and defense questions. Hagel has burned bridges on both sides of the aisle as a matter of course as he sat in the U.S. Senate representing the people of Nebraska. Hagel called former President George W. Bush "the worst president since Wilson" and the surge in Iraq "the worst mistake since Vietnam", so there is no base of support among Republicans for their former colleague. President Obama knew exactly who he was nominating and deliberately embraced dividing the members of the senate in this nomination.
“The big picture here is the Pentagon is not going to have much protection from outside political forces during the second Obama administration,” said defense analyst Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute. “Hagel has alienated so many people in his own Republican Party that reaching across the aisle would be a challenge. … It raises questions about whether he will be able to implement any major changes at the Pentagon, given how narrow his base of support on the Hill seems to be.”
This is how President Obama rejects learning how to lead our country and remains stuck in the bare knuckle politics of a former career politician with no executive experience.
The party of dead Ted Kennedy (misogynist-MA) calls frosh Senator Ted Cruz "nasty". And, by party I mean the lapdog press. Perhaps the author of that description is too young to remember the Bork hearing where Senator Ted Kennedy (alcoholic-MA) started the current tone of Senate confirmation hearings. He deliberately slandered an honorable, respected man for political gain. He was no "newcomer". He was just sorely lacking in character.
The party that destroyed the career of Republican John Tower, a Texan nominated to be Secretary of Defense, with charges of alcohol abuse and the like, found it perfectly acceptable for dead Ted Kennedy to remain in the senate after the scandal of allowing a young female staffer drown in a river after a car crash without reporting it for many hours to the police so as to protect himself. That was only one incident of fall-out from drunken Kennedy actions.
Senator Cruz is in his first term in the U.S. Senate. The old white men in control of that institution are accustomed to more quiet, go along to get along kinds of new senators. How dare this freshman come to a nomination hearing - that of Chuck Hagel for defense secretary, for instance - and ask actual hard-hitting questions? How dare he question Hagel's less than stellar record out of office as he pursued a career in paid speech making and lobbying in Washington, D.C.?
How dare Ted Cruz firmly question one of their own who is clearly not the right man for the job?
So, first it was that Cruz is nasty and a brash newcomer. Now it is that Cruz is the reincarnation of Joe McCarthy. Yes, according to Democrats, the age of McCarthyism is back.
Without naming names, Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, offered a biting label for the Texan’s accusatory crusade: McCarthyism.
“It was really reminiscent of a different time and place, when you said, ‘I have here in my pocket a speech you made on such and such a date,’ and, of course, nothing was in the pocket,” she said, a reference to Senator Joseph R. McCarthy’s pursuit of Communists in the 1950s. “It was reminiscent of some bad times.”Yes. Senator Barbara Boxer is calling it McCarthyism. She, you may remember, caused a bit of commotion as she questioned a four star general in a hearing on Iraq and insisted he call her "Senator" and not "Ma'am" as the military etiquette demands. Most reasonable observers at the time thought that was beyond "nasty" and more like deliberately disrespectful of a military officer because she was opposed to the war and President Bush in general. Yes. That same Senator Barbara Boxer.
Cruz joins other new senators in renewed efforts to shake it up in Washington. For better or worse, this seems to be necessary for leadership to listen and move away from business as usual.
“If you don’t ruffle any feathers, you’re not doing anything right,” said Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, who garnered similar attention in his opening weeks in the Senate two years ago.
Normally the leftists in our country fall back on the tradition of questioning authority. Normally it is considered an honorable task to speak truth to power. But these are not normal times. The media in our country now feels comfortable in its role as contributors to political campaigns and even donating in-kind to the campaigns with cheerleading coverage for their candidate of choice. In present day Washington, that candidate is Barack Obama. They went all in for him in 2008 and continued in 2012 to ensure that he remain in office. It is to the media's benefit to save face and continue to go after his critics.
Ted Cruz is doing as he said he would to the voters of Texas. He is actually fulfilling campaign promises and that is rare enough today to garner national attention. There is no reputation of Senator Cruz being a drunk or chasing women or the like. So, what else is left? Dredging up charges of McCarthyism, apparently. How sad. What a low point we have reached in American politics.