Hagel nomination blocked (for now), but can GOP really kill it?

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Published by: Dan Calabrese on Thursday February 14th, 2013

By DAN CALABRESE - End game.

Harry Reid is outraged - outraged - at the thought that anyone would use procedural trickery to get a desired result in the Senate. Yeah. I know.

But it's one thing to block it for now. It's hard to imagine them going full-bore with a filibuster on a Pentagon nomination, especially one that's already passed the relevant committee. Now, if they can turn Hagel into enough of an albatross around the necks of Obama and the Democrats that they start begging him to withdraw, then they might have something. But is that really in the offing? Politico:

After Reid’s angry speech, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell did not address the Hagel matter on the floor. In a brief interview, McConnell downplayed the significance of the Friday procedural vote.

“As you know, any one senator can require we get cloture on a nomination – it’s not unusual,” McConnell told POLITICO. “I would expect that to happen. It happens on a great many things.”

Asked if he would urge Republican senators to vote to sustain a filibuster, McConnell would only say: “We’ll see what happens tomorrow.”

An aide assisting with the confirmation told POLITICO the Obama administration believes Hagel will ultimately be confirmed.

If Hagel's embarrassing testimony wasn't enough to sink him, I don't know what the GOP thinks would do it now. If they really want to filibuster, perhaps out of a sense that the nation simply can't afford this kind of incompetence leading the Pentagon, and the must do whatever it takes to prevent it, I guess they can calculate the likely political cost. But I'd be surprised if a crew that won't stand up to Harry Reid on continuing spending resolutions that do every bit as much damage to the nation would go to the wall on this.

Dan would probably never get confirmed for any cabinet appointment because the media would make a big deal out of his bizarre books - a series of Christian spiritual warfare novels. Andrea Mitchell would surely declare them odd and out of the mainstream. Become his fan on Facebook and take a stand for weird authors who write for the Lord!