Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and Louis Farrakhan are going to get their wish. Former Senator Chuck Hagel,President Obama's pick for Secretary of Defense is a done deal.
The Senate voted 71-27 to end debate on his confirmation and go to a vote, and a simple majority, 58-41 put him over.
Eighteen Republicans voted to end cloture, knowing it would mean Hagel's nomination:
Kelly Ayotte, Lamar Alexander, Roy Blunt, Richard Burr, Saxby Chambliss, Tom Coburn, Thad Cochran, Susan Collins, Bob Corker, Jeff Flake, Lindsay Graham, Orrin Hatch, Mike Johanns, John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, Jeff Sessions, Richard Shelby and John Thune.
The four Republicans voting yes were Richard Shelby, Thad Cochran, Mike Johanns and Rand Paul, who voted against cloture but ended up voting for Hagel.
It's worth noting that almost all of them are from states with substantial military facilities and defense contracts. That was obviously a large part of the lever the White House used to force this incredibly flawed nominee over the finish line.
As you'll remember, I said from day one that Hagel would be confirmed, but I had some hope - van, as it turned out - that enough Democrats might just put country ahead of party for once, especially as more and more of Hagel's warped views and questionable associations surfaced. Nope.
The entire charade has been, literally, repulsive, with Republicans like John McCain. Lindsay Graham and Susan Collins essentially saying Hagel was unqualified, but voted to to end debate anyway and then casting a meaningless symbolic vote against him afterwards.
I'd like to especially thank Jewish Democrat Senators like Barbara Boxer, Richard Blumenthal, Al Franken, and Frank Lautenberg, from whom I expected nothing more, with a special salute, if it can be called that, to Chuck Schumer, who paved the way for Hagel's acceptance.
This travesty has only one slight possible bright spot - that Hagel may have been so damaged by the revelations that came out at this hearing that his usefulness to President Obama as a 'Republican' figleaf for the continued hollowing out of our military has been at least somewhat reduced. The cuts will still take place, but it might be a bit of a stretch to blsmr them on Republicans after this.