President Obama has politely relieved Chuck Hagel of his duties as Secretary of Defense.
But I blame John McCain just as much for the Hagel debacle as I do President Obama. After all, Hagel’s nomination was on the ropes. Bob Woodward said that it was doubtful that Democrats would support and McCain saves him. Here is what I wrote about the matter in February 2013:
This is, of course, all Obama’s doing. After all, as I wrote recently, he foisted Hagel upon us and in so doing demonstrated poor judgment. But I also made a point of saying that if the Senate confirms Hagel they too will be guilty of poor judgment. It appeared that the Senate was having sober second thoughts about Hagel. Unfortunately, McCain’s remarks on Meet the Press have done away with that sobriety and has now put Hagel’s nomination back on track.
Well, here we are less than two years later and now Obama will soon being nominating his fourth Secretary of Defense. Not that there will be much of an improvement, mind you. But Obama’s incompetence might have been mitigated had McCain not given Democrats the political space necessary to confirm Hagel. A different Secretary of Defense might have not been in a position to limit Obama’s cuts to the military, but could have had enough understanding of the facts on the ground to tell Obama that labeling ISIS the “jayvee squad” might not be prudent.
But no matter who Obama appoints to be his next Secretary of Defense the state of our military is going to get worse before it gets better.
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