A few golden moments from today’s confirmation hearings for Barack Obama’s awesome SecDef nominee, Chuck Hagel…
Hagel explains that the Iranian theocracy is “elected and legitimate.” It’s so much easier to win legitimate elections when you terrorize, arrest, and kill those who oppose you, wouldn’t you say?
Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) asks Hagel to explain why that elected and legitimate Iranian regime is so hot to have him as Secretary of Defense. Hagel blows it off by laughing that he barely has time to follow American politics, let alone those of foreign countries. Maybe Secretary of Defense isn’t really the right job for him, then, because I seem to recall some old advice about “knowing your enemies.”
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) asks Hagel to describe the true and fearsome dimensions of that oh-so-intimidating “Jewish lobby”:
Senator John McCain asks Hagel to say whether he was right or wrong to describe the Iraq and Afghanistan surges as hideous blunders, and gets nowhere, fast:
And here’s the piece de resistance (maybe the coup de grace?) from Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who asks Hagel why he responded to comments that America is “the world’s bully” during an interview with Al-Jazeera (!) by agreeing that the “observation was a good one” and “it’s relevant.” Watch for Cruz’ reaction when Hagel hilariously claims he didn’t actually hear the statement he hailed as good and relevant, even though it was very clearly read to him by his interviewer. Hagel is clearly not a detail-oriented self-starting job applicant, and frankly some of the sentences he emits under pressure are difficult to diagram.
We began the day wondering how anything could stop the Hagel nomination; now it’s hard to see how anyone could possibly vote for him. It would be fascinating to ask him what questions he did come prepared to answer. Maybe he’ll still get through – the Obama years are all about the triumph of incompetence – but this has to be one of the worst confirmation hearings ever.