On Wednesday evening at an online “fireside hangout” at Google+, President Obama discussed his feelings regarding the Republican filibuster of anti-Israel Secretary of Defense nominee and former Senator Chuck Hagel. “What seems to be happening, and this has been growing over time, is the Republican minority in the Senate seems to think that the rule now is that you need to have 60 votes for everything,” Obama blustered, ignoring the fact that cloture has been a legislative issue for centuries. “Well, that’s not the rule.”
Obama called it “unfortunate that this kind of politics intrudes at a time when I’m still presiding over a war in Afghanistan and I need a secretary of Defense who is coordinating with our allies.” Of course, Leon Panetta is still Secretary of Defense, so there is no vacancy at the Department of Defense. This same argument could be made every time the White House nominates a candidate.
The Republican demands on Hagel have been very simple: release your records. The White House and Hagel have refused, and have stonewalled questions about those records.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the book “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).