Surveying a political life highlighted primarily by self-serving cowardice, I have never seen anything quite so disgusting as John McCain’s latest performance. He had the surely personally gratifying duty of vetting yesterday the President’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel.
The most contentious part of his questioning came when he decided to attack Hagel’s opposition to the Surge in Iraq. Briefly, the Surge was a 2007 introduction of around 20,000 additional troops into mostly Baghdad, some into Al-Anbar province, to try to improve the situation in Iraq.
Politically speaking, the Surge is all John McCain’s baby. While other Republicans then were busy talking fecklessly about the brutal and failing war, it was McCain who decided to publicly double down on a dangerous strategy: sending more soldiers. It may not have actually done much, but the timing worked nicely to McCain’s favor as violence began to drop in Iraq in late 2007. McCain used the Surge politically to rally American patriotism and separate himself from the other Republican presidential hopefuls. It’s the one great success in his political life. That’s how he beat out Mitt Romney for the right to lose to the Democrat, Barack Obama, in 2008. Remember that, then watch this bullshit:
How vomit-inducing. McCain has Hagel over a political barrel and everybody knows it. If Hagel disagrees, the petulant McCain will run to the media replaying the trope that the Surge reversed the course in Iraq and won us the glorious war. Republicans will seize the opportunity to rally around McCain and his brilliant strategy, and Hagel’s nomination will be D.O.A.
So John McCain here is only trying to make Chuck Hagel blow him in public. Sorry about the depiction, but that’s the honest truth. He’s shoving Hagel’s head at his crotch to see how badly Chuck wants the nomination. It’s disgusting.