Paul Mirengoff at PowerLine asks the question that first came to my mind when I learned that Rand Paul was one of four GOP senators who voted to confirm Hagel as SecDef:
Did Rand Paul vote for Hagel because he’s at the extreme end of his party on the question of how much deference a president’s nominees should receive? Or did he vote for Hagel because he’s on the extreme end of his party on the question of whether Hagel’s positions on Israel, Iran, defense spending, etc. are misguided.
There’s a lot to like about Rand Paul, but every time I start to think I could vote for him in 2016, he does something like this.
Regardless of one’s stance on how deferential the advise and consent function of the Senate ought to be, I don’t see how this decision was anything other than a bad one. Hagel’s confirmation hearing left little doubt that he has the IQ of a warmed-over burrito and I find it hard to believe he’d command much respect within the Pentagon. And that’s setting aside all of Hagel’s now (poorly) walked-back opinions on Israel, Iran, India, nukes, etc.
Does anyone believe we couldn’t have held out for a better nominee? The other three GOP votes may have been out of a misguided sense of senatorial camaraderie, but I take Rand Paul’s vote as a sign that he’s more his father than not and that he thinks Hagel’s views are acceptable.
Does anyone have an opinion on Paul’s vote and what it might mean for a 2016 presidential run?