Democrats don't like having their guy treated the way they treat Republicans

Ruben Navarrette:
Who knew that a Hispanic Republican senator could get in this much hot water without reaching for bottled water?


In the exclusive club of the U.S. Senate, holding folks accountable can get you in trouble — at least if you’re a Republican. If you’re a Democrat, you’ll be fine.

In May 2004, during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, Democrats Carl Levin, Hillary Clinton, Edward Kennedy and Robert Byrd aggressively went after Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

In April 2007, during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing over the firings of U.S. attorneys, Democrats Charles Schumer, Patrick Leahy, Dianne Feinstein and Dick Durbin all tore into Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Yet, if you’re a Republican who grills like that, you’ll be compared to Joe McCarthy....


Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida scolded Cruz, saying he had “gone over the line” in roughing up Hagel. The Armed Services Committee, Nelson said, has always been known for having “a certain degree of comity and civility,” from which Cruz’s behavior was a departure.

Comity and civility? There’s the problem. What is this, a bowling league? Like many Americans, when I hear that both parties are — with comity and civility — working together, I grab my wallet and hide my kid’s piggy bank.

Nelson said that Cruz questioned Hagel’s “patriotism.”

It never happened. In fact, Cruz began his questioning by thanking the Vietnam War veteran for his service.

What Cruz was questioning — with the precision of an ace prosecutor — was Hagel’s forthrightness. The nominee was asked to provide more financial records than the law requires, and he didn’t. And while, according to Cruz, Hagel gave a dozen paid speeches last year alone totaling more than $200,000, he only gave an accounting for four of them.

We don’t know anything about the majority of speeches and who paid for them. We also don’t know why, as Cruz pointed out, the Iranian government cheered Hagel’s nomination. Shouldn’t we?

Cruz was also questioning the nominee’s judgment. When presented — during a 2009 interview on the al-Jazeera network — with the claim that the United States is “the world’s bully,” Hagel characterized the observation as “a good one.”

If you or I did something that dumb, we wouldn’t get even a low-level job at the Defense Department. Should the standard be lower for the top job?

Given all this, it’s no wonder that Hagel’s nomination is now stalled.
I think Ted Cruz did a good job with what he had to work with.  The Democrats are stonewalling to get their RINO in so they can blame Republicans for the defense cuts they want.  I think the saw how well Cruz was challenging Hagel and decided to gang up on him to change the subject from Hagel's poor performance.


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