Former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, arguably one of the most principled, decent Republican Senators of the past twenty years, along with Richard Lugar and Olympia Snowe, was finally confirmed as Secretary of Defense today, but failed to gain the support of his former colleagues, including John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, and Susan Collins, who went along with their more right wing colleagues in refusing to give support, without good reason other than a vendetta against an independent minded Republican.
Surprisingly, the four Republicans who supported the Hagel confirmation were Rand Paul of Kentucky (totally inexplicable), Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Richard Shelby of Alabama, and Mike Johanns of Nebraska, the man who replaced Hagel in the Senate in 2009.
It is a sad day when a man who had a decent record of public service is repudiated by “moderates” of his own party, who are afraid to challenge the right wing turn of their party, referring here to Murkowski and Collins, who should have supported their former colleague.
McCain is another story, an example of a man who should, if he had principle, do what the Pope did, and resign in disgrace as a total hypocrite! Here is a man who in 2000 raved about his colleague, and said he would want him in his administration, if he became President. Once Hagel expressed doubt about the George W. Bush “Surge” policy in Iraq in 2007, McCain was so furious, that he exhibited his ugly side, this despite the fact that Bush had trashed McCain’s reputation so often, and Hagel never did!
McCain is now clearly seen as a bitter old man, who should not have run in 2010 for another six year Senate term at age 74, and hopefully will not run at age 80 in 2016, as his time in the Senate is long overdue to end!
McCain is an excellent argument for term limits or, at the least, age limits, with age limits the more sensible concept, in this author’s mind!