On ABC’s This Week, Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) concern trolled about the ‘temperament’ of Republican former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NB), whom Obama has nominated as Secretary of Defense. To back up his concern, Corker referenced possible issues with staffers, “I think there are numbers of staffers who are coming forth now just talking about the way he has dealt with them.”
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Corker suggested that areas of concern are Hagel’s positions, “… especially some of the positions he’s taken generally speaking about our nuclear posture.” Translation: Hagel is against war-first bravado and won’t push a Republican agenda to go to war with Iran. But then, the Defense Secretary doesn’t make policy; he/she carries out the President’s policies. The President got re-elected by a wide margin, which means that the public voted for the President’s policies, so why does it matter how Republicans want to handle Iran?
Not satisified with the mushroom cloud fear-mongering, Corker poisoned the well with this, “Just his overall temperament and is he suited to run a department or a big agency or a big entity like the Pentagon. I think there are numbers of staffers who are coming forth now just talking about the way he has dealt with them.”
Yes, random, anonymous staffers. Good one, sir. That’s strong.
What staffers? Can he name one of them? Does Corker “think” they are coming forth or have they come forth? And since Hagel’s staffers would have most likely been Republican, it’s possible that such a desperate move might stink to high heaven of a Republican Party agenda, if in fact they ever do “come forth.” But really, since when do staffers weigh in on nominations?
Corker is worried about temperament, and he’s proving that by spreading unfounded rumors from alleged anonymous staffers that may or may not be a figament of his imagination.
Also, suddenly it matters how people treat their staffers! Has the Republican Party gone Occupy? I won’t believe it until Karl Rove validates this new philosophy, after all, his “thug” treatment of the Republican Congress is legendary. Or how about Michelle Bachmann who reportedly refuses to pay her staffers until they sign a disclosure promising they won’t utter a peep about any illegal activities they witnessed.
Corker attempted to mitigate the weakness of his concern trolling with this, “I have, certainly questions, about a lot of things…. I begin all of these confirmation processes with an open mind.”
Right, because Republicans never obstruct in lockstep.
The real issue Republicans have with Hagel is that not only has he been to war, unlike most in the chicken hawk party, but he is a two-time recipient of the Purple Heart and he is against a war-first strategy. Hagel warned us before invading Iraq that it is very easy to start a war, and not so easy to end one. Republicans were outraged at Hagel for suggesting such a fact.
I never thought I’d see the day when a modern day Republican suggested that temperament should be an issue. After all, this is the party of distemper. This is the party that allegedly can’t control its members from shouting insults during a State of the Union address. This is the party that lied us into war and ran Sarah Palin as a Vice President.
It’s ironic that the party of irascible hotheads Dick Cheney and John McCain is concerned about Hagel’s temperament, because if they had listened to him, we never would have invaded Iraq. Hagel’s temperament is actually an argument for his confirmation.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.