Is it a bad sign when Republicans are willing to roast Chuck Hagel simply because Obama picked him?
The roughly 8 hour hearing seemed to be more about petty politics from certain Republicans, rather than an actual job interview, which it's supposed to be like. To me, at least, it seems like it's motivated from the fact that he was picked by Obama. It doesn't matter if he's a Republican and agrees on 90% of issues. They almost act like he's not even in their party. Just seems like a bad sign when partisan politics gets to this level. What are your thoughts?
My first thought is that we must have been watching different hearings. I knew nothing about Hagel, but his responses to questions struck me as essentially incomptent. I know if Defense Secretary McNamara had come across like that when he was powering up the shipment of troops to Vietnam (during my time in the service), I'd have been bending over, grabbing my ankles, and kissing my a** goodbye.
In other words, it didn't seem like the Republicans were roasting Hagel so much as he was roasting himself.
I certainly agree that his answers were less than ideal. He seemed to meander a bit and just drone on. Definitely not a good hearing for him, so I admit that that. But, here's why I thought the Republicans were a bit odd toward him. For instance, McCain would let it go that him and mHagel disagreed on whether the surge actually worked or not. He kept interrupting him and really pressing him for an answer to a really quite irrelevant question. It's a shame he couldn't come up with a better answer, like "who cares? The whole war was started for the wrong reasons. So, yes, I was wrong. The surge worked, but the real lesson we should learn is to not invade a nation of false pretenses or because it's led by a "bad" guy." Sadly, that was not his answer.
Also, they seemed to pester him about his comments about the Jewish lobby over and over. He's already apologized for that comment numerous times. It's really not a big deal. He should of said pro-Israel lobby. His answer to this was also not ideal, but even so, it was a dumb and in my opinion, politically motivated question, as they all knew what he meant. His voting record is quite clear on how he supports Israel. He should have answered that, "the exact reason you're asking me this stupid question shows how some people are intimidated by the pro-isreal lobby..."
So, I agree with your assertion that some of his answers were less than good even. He seemed very restrained and un-Hagel-like. But, my point was that *some* of the Republican questions were stupid. They should have focused on what he'd do as secretary of defense, if confirmed, rather than some comments from years ago that he has already apologized for publically.
Hagel seemed as bewildered as President Obama in the first debate with Romney, when Romney surprize him with negative aggressive rudeness. He as Obama should have expected a floor show from the right.
Yeah, it seemed like he was being restrained by something. The real Chuck Hagel wouldn't have put up with any of that malarkey.
Chuck Hagel has a history of taking "interesting" positions on important issues and those positions often baffle Republicans and Democrats alike. The fact that his confirmation hearing is not going well is no surprise to anyone. Obama knew it was going to be difficult.. He is not being "roasted' because Obama picked him....He is being "roasted" because his grasp, and past statements, of the issues is confusing at best and incompetent at worst. Leon Panetta the current Secretary of Defense was a Obama nomination and he has widespread support amongst the Republicans. The problems Chuck Hagel is having is not really associated with Obama or the Republicans.....Chuck Hagel's biggest obstacle to overcome is...... Chuck Hagel.
Okay, that's fine. They should have focused on what he'd do in the future! Asking about his policy positions is fine, but harping on comments about the surge and the "Jewish" lobby just wastes time. It's political gamesmanship.
Congressional confirmation hearings are NOT a job interview. They are pure political theater. It doesn't matter whether the nominee is Republican or Democrat...whether we like it or not...this is the true vetting process.
Well, if I recall correctly, the John Kerry hearings weren't like that. Though, there's a good reason for that. With John Kerry being picked, the Republicans have a good chance at adding a Senate seat, even with Scott Brown deciding not to run.
When a person goes for a job interview, the person doing the interview wants to know what you bring to the table to see if you are qualified for the job, not argue as to who was right about past events that are difficult to prove at best. This was all political theater. It's all part of the non-compromising, obstructionist game plan of the Republican Party. It's all about party, not what can we do for this country! In a sense, the Republican party was being interviewed by the viewers...and in my view, they lost. Their game plan must change for the greater good of the country or we as a nation are in trouble.
Exactly! If they were really serious about giving him a fair hearing they wouldn't have focused on the moronic statements of the past (or at least not made such a big deal of), but rather gauge his response to tough questions about the future.
Both the democrats and the republicans do these things when they are in the minority. It happens all the time, this is nothing new.
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