Harry Reid has called the hand of the Republicans, moved for a cloture vote Friday. A vote for cloture isn’t a vote on the nomination—“an up or down vote”–it’s a vote on whether they should vote on the nomination.
So Reid is trying to force a vote. But really, what is going on?
The Republicans are messing with Hagel and the White House. Sen. McCain says he won’t support a filibuster, now he’s not so sure. Same thing with Hatch and probably several others. Hagel is stonewalling on providing some financial info and other answers, so they are making him wait. Just to squirt a little gasoline on the fire, a few days ago, Dick Cheney laid out his stark view that Hagel was chosen so that Obama would “have a Republican that he can use to take the heat for what he plans to do to the Department of Defense.” Ouch. So the GOP is not going to play along, but is going to try to showcase what they will say is the destruction of our national defense.
For Hagel, it has to be humiliating. Only two votes from your own party? Those who know you best turn their back?
If Hagel can’t get sixty votes–cloture– on Friday, surely the White House will have to withdraw the nomination.
If he gets the sixty, he will be confirmed, of course, but he will be missing a chunk out of his hind quarters.
Still time to vote in my poll!