A Filibuster That Failed

06 February 2013 |permalink | email article

The filibuster against the nomination of Chuck Hagel has blown up despite the frantic one-man effort by Sen. Lindsay Graham to convince President Obama that he is wrong for the job as secretary of defense. Notably, Graham’s buddy, Sen. John McCain and other Republican senators like Sen. Roy Blount of Missouri, oppose the filibuster, moving the domination much closer toward approval. McCain and others cannot stop a single senator from blocking Hagel’s nomination from coming in an up-or-down vote, but his statement declared what other Republican aides said Friday: In the event of a filibuster, Hagel almost certainly will have 60 votes. The Senate Armed Services Committee is expect to send the confirmation to the full Senate on Thursday, most likely along partisan lines. The 53 Democrats, along with Republican senators Mike Johanns of Nebraska and Thad Cochran of Mississippi are for Hagel, and it became apparent Monday that Republicans lack the stomach for a fight. Only right-wing Republicans Sen. John Cornyn and incoming Sen. Ted Cruz, both from Texas, said they would not take any option off the table. Here’s the reality—Hagel is on his way to the Defense Department.

Convenient Morality

The New York Times’s Frank Bruni wrote about Catholic officials who pick and choose when laws apply to them. So a fetus matters more than the ravaged psyche of a raped adolescent? And Sister Margaret McBride deserved a sharper rebuke than a rapist. It’s hard not to conclude that the church run by men shows them more mercy than it does a women (or for that matter, children.) And it’s hard to keep tack: just when the church of this world, and when not? It inserts itself into political debates trying to shape legislation to its ethics. But it also demands exemptions: from taxes, from accountability, from health care directives. Bruni also called attention to the court-ordered release of documents from the Los Angeles Archdiocese, which indicated a willful blindness and outright cover-up so egregious that the current archbishop, Jose Gomez, took the shocking step last week of publicly reprimanding his predecessor, Cardinal Roger Mahony, for failing to report to law enforcement for years s charges of child abuse by priests.

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