So what does all this latest angry maneuvering around former Senator Chuck Hagel's confirmation as secretary of defense amount to? Not that much, actually.
A funny thing happened at the Senate Armed Services Committee vote on Chuck Hagel, this week. Senator Ted Cruz, who is quickly making a name for himself as a modern-day Joe McCarthy, turned a normal committee vote into his own personal circus, making outlandish smear after outlandish smear against Chuck Hagel that earned the ire not just of senators in the room, but Capitol Hill newspapers, national media, and even his home state newspaper. Thing of it is, Cruz knows very well who his base is: The increasingly shrill far right, which want to see vicious opposition to anything President Obama says, does, or proposes. People have joked, with some degree of truth, that if President Obama came out against drinking Drano, Tea Party Congressmen and senators would immediately go out and chug gallons of it.
Sometimes it seems the Beltway press will do anything to avoid blaming Republicans for their wildly obstructionist ways. It's a pattern of timidity that has marked Obama's time in Washington, D.C.
"There can be a situation..." ...
The GOP can try to repackage their party by reaching out to all demographics. But, for many Americans, the GOP is just the same old party.
The hysterics of neoconservative senators has become a cacophony that's pretty similar to a room full of children. It's a series of tantrums that clearly shows they are losing, badly.
Senator Hagel's confirmation has to await action by the Senate Committee and by the full Senate. But we do not have to wait for confirmation that with respect to the Middle East peace process, the U.S. Congress remains in the grip of the Israel lobby.
What I found most troubling (other than McCain's behavior) was Hagel's failure to defend himself. Why not say that he was right, because the war was based on a lie, and because nothing done in that war ultimately accomplished anything of lasting value?
The Republican Party is out of touch not because it has taken unpopular positions. That is a normal part of politics. Rather, Republicans are uniquely out of touch because they continue to discuss things and promote ideas to which most of the country no longer even pays any attention.
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham says Republicans won't support any immigration reform that allows same-sex couples to keep their families intact. "Why don't we just put legalized abortion in there and round it all out," he joked.
We cannot change the past. We cannot bring back to life a single murdered child. But all of us, regardless of party affiliation or political orientation, can and must do everything in our collective power to stop the carnage of our children in the future.
I am weary of hearing every news commentator and pundit preface his or her criticism of John McCain with praise for him as a hero. By my measure, McCain is no longer a hero, he's a coward.
I have personally known Susan for over 25 years and I can say, without hesitation, she is an individual of the highest integrity.