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Cole writes: "The confirmation hearing in the Senate for Chuck Hagel, President Obama's nominee for Secretary of Defense, was painful to watch."

Juan Cole; public intellectual, prominent blogger, essayist and professor of history. (photo: Informed Comment)
Juan Cole; public intellectual, prominent blogger, essayist and professor of history. (photo: Informed Comment)


Chuck Hagel Mauled in Bizarro World of US Senate

By Juan Cole, Informed Comment

01 February 13

 

he confirmation hearing in the Senate for Chuck Hagel, President Obama's nominee for Secretary of Defense, was painful to watch because it displayed the tomfoolery, pretense, self-righteous know-nothingism, and embarrassing lack of contact with reality that dominate the landscape of America's broken democracy. It was like watching a Nebraska ordinary Joe set upon by circus freaks– a phalanx of moral midgets, stalking cat-men, vicious lobster boys and ethical werewolves.

Those who regretted that Hagel seldom stood his ground, often just deflected persnickety questions, and sometimes was made to recite the catechisms of Neoconservative orthodoxy, should remember that what is important in Washington is willingness to conform orally, regardless of what one actually believes or how one acts. Hagel might agree to look like he is being pushed around by his former colleagues, for the sake of their face and his. He won't agree actually to be pushed around once he is in office.

Ted Cruz, a Texas tea partier who probably won't be there after Texas turns blue in a few years, tried to carry out a Fox News-style ambush of Hagel. He played a 2009 Aljazeera interview of Hagel on the issue of nuclear disarmament.

At one point a caller called in from London with a rambling statement, who made an argument that there is a double standard, with the US and its allies free from international law on things like possessing and using nuclear weapons, whereas other countries are held to stricter standard. He said that this unequal application of the law was clear in that Omar al-Bashir, the president of Sudan, had been convicted of war crimes in Darfur by the International Criminal Court, but Israeli leaders, who had committed war crimes against the Palestinians, had been held harmless. He went on rambling, complaining about alleged war crimes the Sri Lankan government committed against the Tamil Tigers, then the host asked him for a question and to finish up. When Hagel responded, he began by saying he agreed with the caller's point. It is obvious to me that he was agreeing that there had been a double standard, and he later said it should be overcome with regard to nuclear disarmament by the US and Russia taking the lead to reduce stockpiles. The caller had a thick accent and it wasn't even clear that Hagel understood everything he said in his rant, much less meant to agree with it. Is Cruz saying that Hagel was agreeing about Sri Lanka, too?

The relevant bit begins at 6:26 minutes in:

 

 

Cruz insisted that Hagel should have disagreed with the caller about Israel having committed war crimes, given that Jews were victims of war crimes. Cruz is a truly bright and energetic man, with a Princeton education, who clerked for Rehnquist. He knows very well that he is lying about Hagel. And he knows that Israel is guilty of plenty of war crimes. He managed to make Hagel deny this obvious fact, however. Cruz's performance underlines the importance of Christian Zionism in reinforcing the crackpot conviction in the US senate that it is impossible ever to say anything slightly negative about Israeli policy (the only country in the world so exempted).

Ironically, Cruz's implausible grandstanding occurred on the same day when, as the New York Times headline put it, "U.N. Panel Says Israeli Settlement Policy Violates Law "

Or how about "UN mission finds evidence of war crimes by both sides in Gaza conflict."

In fact, a British court issued an arrest warrant for Tzipi Livni for her role in launching the attack on Gaza in 2008-9, and it is not clear that she can travel to the UK without fear of arrest. The charge, Senator Cruz? War crimes.

Ah, and then there is Lindsey Graham, the Red Queen of the Senate (who is the essence of the pedantic governess and asks through-the-looking-glass questions like: "Divide a loaf by a knife: what's the answer to that?").

Graham wanted to know why Hagel voted against the 2007 senate resolution declaring the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps a terrorist organization.

The reason that was a dumb resolution is that terrorism is defined in the US civil code as the deployment of violence by a non-state actor against civilians for political purposes. Since the Revolutionary Guards are a kind of Iranian national guard, they are not a non-state actor. They are therefore not a terrorist organization. They may deploy terror, but it is state terror. (The senate also said they were terrorists because they were guilty of killing US troops in Iraq. First of all, there is no evidence that is true. Second of all, killing troops is not terrorism, it is an act of war). Graham's position is illogical and makes a hash of any reasonable definition of terrorism.

Graham wants to pile on illogical charges against Iran and its institutions in order to force the US into a war on that country, which is 3 times more populous and much more geographically vast than Iraq. Because, like, Iraq went so well, I guess.

Then the Red Queen went after Hagel for having said that the "Jewish lobby" intimidates people. He demanded, "Name one person here who's been intimidated by the Jewish lobby . . . Name one dumb thing we've been goaded into doing due to pressure by the Israeli or Jewish lobby."

Hagel said he didn't have anyone in mind.

The irony, of course, is that Graham is himself part of the Israel lobby, and there he was intimidating Hagel for complaining about having been intimidated!

All the congressmen and senators know that the Israel lobby intimidates them or tries to, on a daily basis. Ernst Hollings complained, "you can't have an Israeli policy other than what AIPAC gives you around here." AIPAC is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the de facto foreign agent of the Israeli government in the United States, which gets away with not having to register as such because it has bought off or intimidated Congress. 22-year Illinois veteran of congress Paul Findley has also complained about this. And, just read former AIPAC lobbyis M.J. Rosenberg regularly to get the inside scoop on how AIPAC pressures Congress, including against the president. As Graham knows, there is a whole book by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt about the Israel lobbies, which will soon be supplemented by further publications documenting all the … intimidation. The Israel lobbies work by threatening to give money to a rival in the next primary or election. Since races in many districts are close, and since there is no wealthy, organized lobby for the Palestinians or Arabs, it is crazy for a US politician to risk AIPAC's ire. AIPAC doesn't always win, and recognizing its effectiveness as a lobby is not to buy into the bigotted notion of Jews secretly controlling Gentiles. In fact, denying that the Israel lobby exists is not only willful blindness, it is itself a form of anti-Semitism, since such a denial depicts Jews as inherently unlike Cubans, Armenians, Indians, Latinos and all the other ethnic groups that lobby Congress.

The long arm of these lobbies is something about which I have a little personal experience.

Senator John McCain then attacked Hagel for having predicted that the surge or troop escalation ordered by George W. Bush would be a huge mistake. The Iraq War was fought under false pretenses (that the Saddam Hussein regime was two years from having a nuclear weapon and had big stores of biological and chemical weapons, and that it was behind the 9/11 attacks and trained al-Qaeda in the use of chemical weapons– all of these pretexts for war being wretched, bald-faced lies). The Neocons promised McCain's committee a short inexpensive war of $60 billion, over within 6 months. Instead it turned into a quagmire that cost thousands of American lives and some 33,000 badly injured veterans who lead diminished lives. McCain was a cheerleader for the war, then a skeptic, then a cheerleader, and now he has decided that the troop escalation was a success.

If the ‘surge' was a success, it was a minor one in a vast and pockmarked terrain of abject failure. But there are plenty of reasons to question the David Petraeus narrative of a successful surge. In Baghdad, the horrible civil war that killed tens of thousands in 2006 gradually subsided through 2007 mainly because the Shiites ethnically cleansed Sunnis from mixed neighborhoods. The US troop escalation was complicit here because it disarmed the Sunni neighborhood militias first, exposing them to night-time attacks by the still-armed Mahdi Army and Badr Corps. I have talked to Iraq vets who were on the ground and saw this process unfold with their own eyes; they say everyone knew that was what was happening. The turning of Baghdad into a largely Shiite city, while it tamped down violence, could hardly be called a big success (it had been about 50/50 Sunni and Shiite in 2002 before the Americans came).

The other element of the surge was the creation in al-Anbar Province and elsewhere of "Awakening Councils" or "Sons of Iraq," essentially clan-based Sunni Arab militias willing to fight the Sunni-Muslim radicals who had asserted themselves in the Sunni Arab center-west of the country. Shiite prime minister Nouri al-Maliki opposed this program, which resulted in 80,000 armed Sunni militiamen, as a threat to the future public order in Iraq. After the violence began subsiding somewhat, he declined to bring more than about 9,000 of the Sons of Iraq into government security forces. The others were either cut off altogether or given small stipends. Some were hunted down and killed by the Muslim radicals, once they no longer had the protection of being in an organized unit. Some of the Sons of Iraq had been terrorists in 2005-2006, and al-Maliki refused to amnesty them, having them arrested and tried.

The big news from Iraq these days is precisely the continued discontent of Sunni Arab Iraqis, some of them (like the Abu Rishas) from families that had joined the Awakening Councils. They are demanding increased stipends for their service under Petraeus, demanding that hundreds of Sunni Arab youth arrested arbitrarily be released, demanding that the stigmatization of Sunni Arabs and the barring of them from public service be ended, and demanding that the pro-Iran, pro-Syrian, Shiite Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, step down.

 

 

So the "surge" didn't account for the decline of violence in Baghdad, and its Awakening Councils created as many problems as they solved, and created expectations that continue to roil Iraqi politics and perhaps threaten a break-up of the country.

I'd say Chuck Hagel got it about right.

 

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+100 # LeeBlack 2013-02-01 09:51
It seems that we can support Israel without supporting it blindly.
This demand that nothing negative be said about Israel is similar to the 'never raise taxes'. Judgement should always be part of the decision making process.
 
 
+60 # mjc 2013-02-01 10:51
What is so interesting too is the fact that these Senators seem to believe that the President of the United States has little or no input himself in the policies or direction of defense. It's as if Hagel would be the sole formulator of American defense policies.
 
 
0 # grandma lynn 2013-02-04 01:54
What has "defense" come to mean? "Offense" should be different form "defense," but our contemporary use of military ALL THE TIME in other countries that we must travel to - or our drones must travel to - makes "defense" a really weird word. "Defense policies"? Shouldn't we talk about "offense policies" most often or all the time?
 
 
0 # Muzzi 2013-02-04 21:07
I remember Bob Dole saying that Israel needs to assume responsibility for its actions years ago, that we shouldn't always be cleaning up for them.
 
 
-135 # moafu@yahoo.com 2013-02-01 10:03
Take you pick, which is more painful:
1. Watching the buffoonery of the U.S. Senate backing down on questioning Hillary about the Benghazi Betrayal by the U.S. Admin......
2. The stumbling of the Left (as represented by Hagel this time) to explain why it is anti-Israel and pacifist toward Terroristic States
OR
3. Reading a Leftist like Juan Cole as he strains (and struggles) to demonstrate he can be a William F. Buckley for the Left intellectually.

KUDOS to RSN.....You DO publish the Left and the Right of things !
Thanks
 
 
+67 # Billsy 2013-02-01 11:51
What's truly painful is reading the blunt, illogical and fact challenged mere sarcasm in your post.
 
 
-53 # edge 2013-02-01 16:51
Quoting Billsy:
What's truly painful is reading the blunt, illogical and fact challenged mere sarcasm in your post.


NO! Your blind hatred is what is sick!!!

Hagel agreed with Al Jezeera that the US is a World Bully, whether you agree or not , that is unacceptable for the head of the Defense department!
 
 
+31 # ABen 2013-02-01 19:43
Edge; it seems the "blind hatred" may be coming from the mirror in front of you.
 
 
+23 # humanmancalvin 2013-02-02 15:41
The truth is the US is a world bully. We could start with Iraq, go back in time to Vietnam, overthrow the Iranian government & install a puppet. Ditto Nicaragua
etc, etc.
 
 
+14 # X Dane 2013-02-02 17:46
humanmancalvin.

Unfortunately US is a bully. And men like McCain, Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell and others are very involved in bullying the world.

For they want more war, and they really, really wanted to destroy Hagel, because they realize, that for him as well as for the president war is the last resort.

And since republicans walk in lockstep and certainly do NOT think for themselves, they HATE that Hagel is not following the rule. He GREW UP

He thinks for himself and he knows how ugly war is, so he will think,... and not blindly rush to war. We sure need him.
 
 
-1 # grandma lynn 2013-02-04 02:00
We want to think that because the president is a Democrat that "war is his last resort." I don't think it's the case with Obama. I won't forget that fascinated, leaning-forward (as if to hold a joy-stick in his hand and participate) photo of his watching bin Laden be murdered, video rolling. As with others previously in the power-seat, he may be excited personally by war and its killing. He may like the suck-ups from the military-indust rial complex who will pretend to like him for what it can gain them.
 
 
0 # grandma lynn 2013-02-04 01:56
The U. S. and our military is to the rest of the world what the NRA is to the U.S. We insist our level of weaponry and readiness is needed, and then we swagger around with it and show it off and indulge in bullying because we have the most power, mechanically. We want others to shiver and hide from us.
 
 
+2 # Artemis 2013-02-02 06:04
# moafu@yahoo.com
"2. The stumbling of the Left (as represented by Hagel this time) to explain why it is anti-Israel and pacifist toward Terroristic States"
What a ridiculous statement. "Left" "Leftist" what does that mean anyway in your warped dictionary? It is definitely inaccurate and even laughable to apply the term to Chuck Hagel!
"anti-Israel" for moafu is obviously anything spoken in truth, precisely. He cannot distinguish between criticism of Israeli Government policies, the viral spread of illegal settlements and sympathy for innocent Palestinians and Israelis caught up in this mess. If anyone speaks out these days it can only help to rescue Israel from its own bleak, self-imposed future. In the meantime hundreds of young Israelis are leaving the country and many more people would do so if they could - the reason is not fear of their neighbours, but disgust for their own government.
 
 
+76 # medusa 2013-02-01 10:11
It is very difficult to talk about success or failure in Iraq, when no one seems to know what we're trying to do there. Really. No weapons of mass destruction--an d then what? looting the museum?
As for Afghanistan--is it about the poppy crop? the villagers? the people with rifles? --local version of a debit card, more or less--
--shall we call it a day, and get started in Iran? God forbid.
 
 
+26 # giraffee2012 2013-02-01 11:21
agree medusa
 
 
+113 # Pickwicky 2013-02-01 10:22
McCain acted like hot-shot pilot in the cockpit of some of those planes he crashed. Why is McCain ignorant of the facts of the Surge? Or is he being knavish? I cringed during McCain's questioning of Hagel--Cole got it right: it was bizarro, mucho bizarro.
 
 
+57 # giraffee2012 2013-02-01 11:22
Pickwicky - agree totally. McCain should retire - or maybe AZ will wake up an not re-elect the crazyman
 
 
-28 # EPGAH3 2013-02-01 17:27
There's about as much chance of that as there is of Nevada unseating the eternal and corrupt Reid!
 
 
+37 # ABen 2013-02-01 19:48
I also agree. McCain passed his sell by date about ten years ago. It has been painful to watch this one-time independent (maverick) senator become little more than a shill for the neo-cons.
 
 
+20 # robniel 2013-02-01 22:26
McCain is a washed-up has-been looking for someone (anyone) to agree with his war views. He needs to relocate to a Sun City retirement home.
 
 
+14 # Cassandra2012 2013-02-02 11:42
McCain was an angry little old chipmunk-cheeke d bully with not much in the way of facts to back him up.
Not a great fan of Hagel, but McCain's behavior is distasteful, even when it is not even outright misogynistic (as in the 'interviews' (translation: interrogations) of Hillary and before her, of Susan Rice.
 
 
+76 # mjc 2013-02-01 10:46
Haven't read many of Juan Cole's blogs lately, but this one is terrific. It really explains to me the fury that was on McCain's face when he questioned? Hagel. As for Lindsey Graham or Ted Cruz I didn't expect anything but fury and slimy charges. Again, like Hillary Clinton's appearance before the Senate committee on foreign relations, this appearance was fully in the sights of these Teapublicans, no matter what statements were made by the witness. The neocon warriors were prepared to assault any testimony, even with the most shallow of statements of the witness. The crap about the Jewish lobby was so bizarro...as Cole calls it...that no sincere apology would have been recognized or accepted. Think the combination of the Tea Party ideology and the Republican conservatism on American foreign policy makes these Senators...and I use the term loosely...look like the war party, a little Likud party in America. Disgusting and sad. But glad Hagel didn't rise to meet them with his own anger. They really don't deserve it.
 
 
+110 # genierae 2013-02-01 11:04
This vicious attack on Chuck Hagel is just one episode in a long line of hate crimes committed by the right-wing lunatics in congress. For four years they have obstructed every good piece of legislation that would have moved this country forward, and as long as they are allowed to run the show we will continue to go downhill as a society. Their hatred of Obama has undone their sanity, and they are out of control.
 
 
+31 # giraffee2012 2013-02-01 11:20
genierae - I couldn't have said it better!
 
 
+26 # angelfish 2013-02-01 14:25
Quoting genierae:
This vicious attack on Chuck Hagel is just one episode in a long line of hate crimes committed by the right-wing lunatics in congress. For four years they have obstructed every good piece of legislation that would have moved this country forward, and as long as they are allowed to run the show we will continue to go downhill as a society. Their hatred of Obama has undone their sanity, and they are out of control.

BINGO!
 
 
+9 # ABen 2013-02-01 19:49
Well said genierae!!
 
 
+30 # reiverpacific 2013-02-01 11:04
Sounds like another case of the blind leading on the guardian or seeing-eye dog.
So much blinkered posturing and double talk touting American (and thereby Jewish) exceptionalism, especially from the right wingnuts and chicken-hawks.
 
 
+42 # giraffee2012 2013-02-01 11:19
right wingnuts and chicken-hawks are apparently thinking they won in 11/2012 and continue to try to turn our country into a militarized corporate nation - i.e. Fascism
 
 
-47 # HowardMH 2013-02-01 11:08
Hagel got mauled because he didn't have the spine to stand up for what he said and has already apologized for and throw it right back in their faces. Make them look stupid for even bringing it up. His knowledge of many of the basic facts were very limited and he seamed very timid.
Does he really have what it takes to lead?
 
 
+36 # giraffee2012 2013-02-01 11:18
Quoting HowardMH:
Hagel got mauled because he didn't have the spine to stand up for what he said and has already apologized for and throw it right back in their faces. Make them look stupid for even bringing it up. His knowledge of many of the basic facts were very limited and he seamed very timid.
Does he really have what it takes to lead?


HowardMH: Hagel has what it takes but they didn't give him a chance to reply - DID YOU WATCH or were you just quoting what FAUX relayed to you after the hearing?
 
 
+28 # reiverpacific 2013-02-01 13:19
Quoting HowardMH:
Hagel got mauled because he didn't have the spine to stand up for what he said and has already apologized for and throw it right back in their faces. Make them look stupid for even bringing it up. His knowledge of many of the basic facts were very limited and he seamed very timid.
Does he really have what it takes to lead?

Who would you suggest?
He has already shown that he has "spine", unlike the hypocrites -and i repeat- chicken-hawks who are attacking him, most of who have never been in the military and would run a mile under fire.
Nominees please.
 
 
+64 # giraffee2012 2013-02-01 11:15
I haven't liked McCain for a long time but watching him yesterday I can say I despise him. He is a hypocrite, fake, and voice for the GOPBaggers without conviction to even one of them. The GOPbaggers are drama queens "at best" and worse.

Hagel is qualified and reliable and after watching yesterday, I cannot think of anyone better to stand up to the BaggerGOPers who are prime motivators to turn USA into Fasism!
 
 
+23 # robniel 2013-02-01 22:29
McCain's judgement can be summed up in one short phrase: His VP pick.
 
 
+3 # Pickwicky 2013-02-03 15:17
robniel: The Palin-for-Veep choice hammered the last nail in McCain's election in 2008--and it should have done the same with his political career. Anyone who would willingly impale the US on Sarah Palin's pointed head ought be washed up in politics. Yet who is in the news almost daily? Who has done more to impede two of the President's choices for cabinet members? What da 'ell is going on, gov?
 
 
+63 # garyhouston 2013-02-01 11:55
Just after McCain almost compensates for past acts of hypocrisy by doing something noble, like acting with Kerry on immigration, he turns again into a hard little ball of pettiness. I thought he outdid himself trying to get Hagel to admit that surge advocates were right. McCain was simply referring to himself and his rightness. Is this what advise and consent has become? The historical narcissism of a childishly bitter man?
 
 
-17 # EPGAH3 2013-02-01 17:29
Wait, I thought McCain continued his hypocrisy by voting to Amnesty the foreign criminals?
 
 
+47 # moby doug 2013-02-01 12:41
You would think that Neocons like Lindsey Graham & McCain would lose both their credibility and their public platforms after they enthusiasticall y supported a lie-based strategic disaster like the invasion & endless occupation of Iraq. But because they come from insane states like South Carolina and Errorzona, they still get re-elected and can continue to shoot their lying mouths off in the Senate, though they have no credibility with the sane.
 
 
+23 # angelfish 2013-02-01 13:37
Common sense and decency have left our Halls of Congress and until these egregious, Know NOTHING, ME Firster, Tea Party, Nazi/Fascists are removed it will only get worse. THIS is what they do to one of their OWN. I imagine they eat their young if displeased by them. Ugh.
 
 
+1 # ConstitutionalSam 2013-02-04 16:50
Quoting angelfish:
Common sense and decency have left our Halls of Congress and until these egregious, Know NOTHING, ME Firster, Tea Party, Nazi/Fascists are removed it will only get worse. THIS is what they do to one of their OWN. I imagine they eat their young if displeased by them. Ugh.



WOW. If the implication is that common sense and decency is alive only in Congressional Democrats and folks who post on this site, I have but one comment; HA!
 
 
+32 # bigkahuna671 2013-02-01 14:06
Lindsey Graham, the "Red Queen of the Senate." Ouch! Cole's hit it on the head, maybe by mistake, but with his name and his demeanor, Graham certainly comes off as a "Red Queen," something I'm sure all Republifascists cringe at. Hey, if it works for he...I mean him, alright. The thing is, Graham and McCain, two brothers from different mothers, have been in lock step in their criticism of any Democrat who has the brains and guts they lack. Two of the biggest losers and, to use an old-fashioned term, dorks on God's green Earth, are always trying to come off as macho, swing-from-the- heels types. The GOP hates it when someone leaves the reservation and doesn't toe the FASCIST line, but Hagel has real brains and guts and actually can think for himself, not something either of these two bozos are capable of. We need Hagel more than we need these two brain-dead frauds and the Senate better realize it.
 
 
+36 # ellen9 2013-02-01 14:27
I am very thankful that John McCain was not elected President of the United States. Not only would he have gifted us with Sarah Palin, he has shown that he lacks the temperment needed for the postion. His questioning of Chuck Hagel, Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice, just to name a few, has shown us that he is vindictive, bitter, arrogant and just plain nasty. And his big buddy, Lindsey Graham,is trying to walk in John's footsteps. I used to admire both men and am sorry that they have taken the path they're on now. They're playing the "gotcha" game with Chuck Hagel and I'm happy that he's not taking the bait.
 
 
+27 # roger paul 2013-02-01 14:30
I have a difficult time with McCain also. But then I temper it with the knowledge that he is a vet suffering from PTSD and the guilt of bombing civilian's and civilian targets. In other words a war criminal.
 
 
+1 # barbaratodish 2013-02-02 01:03
Quoting roger paul:
I have a difficult time with McCain also. But then I temper it with the knowledge that he is a vet suffering from PTSD and the guilt of bombing civilian's and civilian targets. In other words a war criminal.


You are right, Roger Paul! Like in the song "In The Living Years" by Mike and the Mechanics: "We all talk in defense"! Even without having been a victim of trauma, though, we seem to mostly ALL be limited by fears. What helps me to risk speaking out in a way that is JUDGED to be politically incorrect, is that I get my validity from what the philosopher Slavoj Zizek calls "the perspective of infinity". Others call Zizek crazy, but everything, it seems, IMHO, is a RELATIVE JUDGMENT, granted, even what I am saying! lol I say everyone can remain relative, and relatively fearful, but, whenever possible I CHOOSE to be FEARLESS by seeking a perspective of infinity that energizes, paradoxically, my self validity- a self validity that CHOOSES limitlessness over even social, cultural IDENTITY , which I intuitively sense, is a virtual, etc., PRISON!I prefer to be absolute, & if that means that most people call me crazy then that's their trauma they are projecting about their own emotionally LIMITED "selves", which "SELVES HAVE THEM because they limit their identities by what is accepted judgment, whereas Zizek and I and some few others CHOOSE to only let our perspective of infinity or our ATTEMPTS to achieve a perpective of infinity "limit" us!
 
 
+15 # wwway 2013-02-01 22:34
I have never forgotten the promised implications of a McCain/Palin Administration! We'd be in a protracted war with Iran, Insurance companies would still be running all over us and we'd be in a depression with all money going to military spending and cavity searches at airports. We'd already see the end of Medicare and the destruction of Social Security and advanced promotion of privatized education.
I wish that Americans had realized the destricution Republicans planned for this country before they elected Bush, not after 4 years of hating Obama.
In the Hunger Games trilogy the heroine asked herself if her children will appreciate what her generation fought for. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public projects made us a nation of successful risk takers. Throw it away for a senile old war veteran still trying to win Viet Nam with his warrior dreams? McCain needs to retire.
 
 
+12 # golferdawn 2013-02-02 06:49
Funny that wwway should mention the Hunger Games. I have been thinking how much this country is headed in that direction. The rich are getting richer and the rest of us barely surviving. This has become a country where you only get the justice and medical care that you CAN AFFORD. Our civil liberties are being attacked and there are so many brain-washed people in this country by Fox. There are also a lot of people who are too busy TRYING to survive to even be informed.
 
 
+15 # Edwina 2013-02-02 07:33
So what do the Republicans want? They don't seem to "get it" that they lost the election. Do they really expect the administration to nominate someone acceptable to the right wing of the Republican Party? I guess they've been pretty successful being loud-mouthed and hard-nosed. The problem is, when the Democrats cave, that leaves most of us without representation.
 
 
+11 # HPPSINC 2013-02-02 11:15
Remember that old adage " you catch more flies with honey?" The Senators in question instead used inquisition style methods with their desired end result a self fulfilling prophecy . A witness rendered inarticulate and unable to think and thus very little useful information obtained. Thi s proceeding is an embarrassment to democratic principles, and if nothing else will no doubt result in a candidate , not good at his job, but rather what the country deserves, given its .lack of adherance to civility and the rule of law. If this were in a court of law the judge would have charged them all with contempt!
 

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