GOP Filibusters Hagel – For No Apparent Reason

Republicans blocked a vote on the confirmation of former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., for Defense Secretary on Thursday. What’s unclear is how long the filibuster will be maintained.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., called out Republicans for mounting a challenge to Hagel’s nomination, saying on the floor of the Senate, “Not a single nominee for secretary of defense ever in the history of our country has been filibustered.”

Republicans claimed that their filibuster was motivated by a continued desire to get information about the death of Americans at the American consulate in Libya. Reid called those requests “extraneous.”

“The pattern has been clear for months: as soon as President Obama’s administration responds to one request, Republicans devise another, more outlandish request,” he said.

The odd part of the Republican’s filibuster was the open admission by many Republicans that they would be willing to advance Hagel’s nomination after a bit more time goes by. National Public Radio’s Todd Zwillich reported that Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said that he would vote against cloture in ten days, and that other Republican senators agreed with him.

This raises the obvious question: if Republicans will be willing to allow an up-or-down vote on Hagel in ten days, why not today? While the nation will not be without a Defense Secretary — Secretary Leon Panetta plans to stay on the job until Hagel is confirmed — there seems to be little reason, other than spite, to delay Hagel’s confirmation.

Former Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., said that Hagel was being blocked for exactly that reason, noting that Hagel was a Republican who dared to take a heterodox approach to foreign policy. Lugar, who lost his seat when conservatives successfully defeated him in a primary, blamed the delay on Republicans who “regard his independent thinking as political blasphemy.”

Almost all observers expected Hagel to ultimately be confirmed.

“I’m confident that he will get the votes when we return [from break],” said Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., in an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews.

Republican Senators have gone to extremes in opposing Hagel’s nomination, going so far as to imply that Hagel, a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, is anti-American. Certainly, Hagel does not believe in the neocon view of the world that animated the Bush Administration’s disastrous foray into Iraq. That, for more than a few Republicans, is a sin so grave that they cannot support him. For others, Hagel’s willingness to work with the horrible socialist tyrant Barack Obama is the red line.

If Republicans were so certain that Hagel was unfit to serve as Defense Secretary, they would have every right under Senate rules to continue to block his nomination. It might be wrong, but at least it would be principled. But their willingness to delay Hagel while conceding that they will ultimately allow his nomination to go through is simply petty. Once again, Republicans are putting political grandstanding ahead of good governance.


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Image Credit: U.S. Navy


Brian F.
Brian F5 years ago

This is how republicans pay back someone who disagrees with them. Just because Hagel disagreed with them about the Iraq war that was the worst foreign policy blunder in US history.

Hagel was the only republican to have the courage to call it like he sees it and denounce the Iraq war that was based on lies, that bankrupted and destroyed our country costing us over 5,000 US deaths and 100,000 Iraqi deaths. And the war was never paid for, just put on a massive credit card for future generations to never be able to pay back.

Republicans are dirty criminal liars who should be voted out of office immediately.

Sheri D.
Sheri D5 years ago

Another "no" from The Party Of No.

Cletus W.
Cletus W.5 years ago

Bill R., although you now seem to be taking time to write in complete, gramatically correct sentences, your message continues to be one of blind allegiance to Dumbf**kistan.

I am glad you are investing time to make it very clear to the rest of us what a poster child for the rightwing underbelly you are. Congratulations.

Bill Reese
Bill Reese5 years ago

Lynda, If you find the list of Republicans that use the filibuster, please also find the list of Democrats during President Bush's presidency.

Yes, I think you finaly woke up, to the reason the filibuster will remain in place, as both parties use it to their advantage when they do not like what the senate is doing at the time. If I complain about the Democrats using the filibuster, then I must complain about the Republicans, as you can see it is a took for the party out of power to at least get a voice to be heard.

Lynda Duke
Lynda Duke5 years ago

That's an interesting story ....filibustering for no real reason, other than they can and will do so if it pleases them. They have just tarnished their reputations just that much more, and doing so wasting MY tax dollars. I am going to find the list of those filibustering republicans and let them know exactly what I think of them wasting my time, my money, and my tolerance level.

Penny C.
penny C5 years ago


Bill Reese
Bill Reese5 years ago

Why did Obama Keep the Press Away? – Maybe Golf with Tiger Doesn’t Look Good with 12 Million Jobless & 16 Trillion in Debt

Bill Reese
Bill Reese5 years ago

Well, even if the filibuster congress was in for only 10 days or 2 years, what did Obama do with it? He sure did not help the job sector of the US. The last four years of Mr. Bush's term, it was the Democrats that foiled each new Jobs bill. Then the Democrats do nothing with whatever time they have with a filibuster congress and accuse the Republicans of being obstructionist. It looks more like the Democrats were the obstructionist.

We need to impeach our non President and get the government working again for the people not just for electing more Democrats.

Autumn S.
Autumn S5 years ago


Lynne B.
Lynne Buckley5 years ago

Another example of the GOP acting like immature children.