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Maddow on GOP blocking Hagel: ‘This is a fresh hell in American politics’

By David Ferguson
Friday, February 15, 2013 10:53 EDT
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Thursday night on “The Rachel Maddow Show,” host Rachel Maddow turned her sights on the unprecedented move by the Republicans to block the nomination of Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) as Secretary of Defense. The level of obstructionism as most recently signified by the act of blocking every move that President Barack Obama makes, she said, is a truly nightmarish state of affairs that calls to mind the famous phrase author Dorothy Parker would use when answering the phone, “What fresh hell is this?”

“Today, something happened in politics that has never before happened in the history of our republic,” said Maddow. “In all of the trials and tribulations we have been through as a nation, through the wars, through the Great Depression, through the time when senators used to beat one another with canes inside the Capitol, in everything we’ve ever been through as a nation, what happened today has never happened before.”

Never, she said, has a sitting president been blocked by a minority in the U.S. Senate when selecting someone for his cabinet, — and yet, that is precisely what happened on Thursday when the Republicans in the Senate blocked the the nomination of Sen. Hagel for Secretary of Defense.

Republican senators, including Sen. Lindsay Graham (AR) and Sen. John McCain (AZ) blocked the Senate’s ability to vote on Hagel’s nomination, in spite of going on record saying that they would not.

Graham, for his part, claims that he is blocking Hagel as a means of getting more information about what happened in the siege of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Maddow pointed out that if Republicans were serious about getting information about Benghazi, then they would have blocked the nomination of Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) for Secretary of State, not Hagel’s, since Hagel had nothing to do with Benghazi and knows noting about it.

“Since Chuck Hagel had nothing to do with it, substantively,” she asked, “why block his nomination?”

“Because wrecking stuff is fun, maybe?” she continued. “‘Hulk smash?’”

Watch the clip, embedded below via MSNBC:

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David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
 
 
 
 
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