PLEASE NOTE: This post was “published” on February 5, 2013, truly a long, long time, in regard to the political nightmare that America is currently enduring, at least so far. But, Senator John McCain has recently been diagnosed to have a (possibly) terminal brain tumor. The impact of that diagnosis surely supersedes the questions in this post!
(Then) Commander McCain, a fighter pilot in a North Vietnamese POW Camp, during the 1960s, was offered early release. As the son, and grandson of retired Navy Admirals, and a Camp Leader, due to his rank, the North Vietnamese undoubtedly saw public relations value in their offer. Additionally, they seemed to have believed that a McCain release would break the will of those remaining, to resist the NVA’s interrogation techniques. Torture! The “Skipper” announced that he would go home when everyone did!
Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsay Graham (R-SC) seem to be going all-out to object to almost every Political Appointment that President Barack Obama makes. Throughout President Obama’s first term, the Republican Party had opposed every bill that he had presented–even ones that the GOP had originally proposed. McCain and Graham seem to have added objecting to Political Appointments to their Bag-of-Tricks.
When it comes to the President’s nominating Former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) to be the Secretary of Defense, it is really hard to comprehend that they have opposed it. Besides Hagel is a fellow Republican and a former Colleague. Oh, and by the way, McCain had appointed Hagel to be the Co-Chair for his Presidential Run on 2000. What has happened since?
I have already posted that (Former) Senator Hagel, a decorated Sergeant in an Infantry Unit in Vietnam, along with newly approved Secretary of State, John Kerry, who was also a veteran of Vietnam, are both in favor of sending Troops Into Harm’s Way only as a Last Resort. This fits into President Obama’s Game Plan, as well. In fact, Kerry and Hagel have been said to be Obama’s Foreign Affairs Brain Trust. Obviously, less Troops in Combat means less Revenue for Defense Contractors–or Toys for the Pentagon. Some in Congress have a problem with that.
Previously, I believed that Congressional Republicans feared not being able to deliver the business to the Defense Industry. But, on second thought, the recent comment by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) might make better sense. He stated that the Republicans are not really aiming their remarks at the Appointees; rather, this is just one more example of their obstruction of Obama’s Policies. Oppose everything!
Following-up on Sen. Blumenthal’s comments, what power does the Secretary of Defense have to construct actual policy? State and Defense Policy is made at the White House, and the respective Secretaries merely implement it.
The Secretary of Defense, however, does have control of some policies–such as Gays in the Military and Women in Combat roles. Are those other concerns of McCain and Graham? Remember that Hagel was always a very independent thinker!