Political Animal


December 28, 2012 2:15 PM Kerry and the Benghazi “Chew-Toy”

By Ed Kilgore

If the White House thought John Kerry would have clear sailing among his fellow Senators in being confirmed as Secretary of State, it didn’t reckon with the obsession of the GOP with what Charles Pierce aptly calls their Benghazi “chew-toy.” Seems Republican Senators are vowing to hold off on confirming Kerry until Hillary Clinton testifies on the non-scandal that has become the foreign-policy version of last year’s Fast and Furious brouhaha, and then there’s no telling what they will demand. If there is any bottom to the rabbit-hole of inquiries about who said what when immediately after the killings in Benghazi, it’s not apparent right now.

Blocking Kerry without actually objecting to Kerry would fit right into the ongoing GOP effort to obstruct governance on every available germane or non-germane grounds, up to and including its general fury at Barack Obama’s re-election (will The Vetting ever happen?). So if I were Kerry, I wouldn’t move the photos and knick-knacks out of the Senate office just yet.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Raoul on December 28, 2012 2:28 PM:

    If I were Obama, I'd move the Kerry nomination ASAP. He needs to be fitting together all the pieces that show what intransigent, facist @holes the GOP has become.

    I would hope that seeing John Kerry fail to garner enough votes to be confirmed as Secretary of State would finally shock fake-centrists like David Brooks enough to realize that his conservative movement is utterly hell-bent on destruction.

  • Anonymous on December 28, 2012 2:31 PM:

    p.s. You'd think these GOP jackasses would have learned something after denying Elizabeth Warren her shot at CFPB now that she's a Senator-elect.

    But ideological nihilists gotta keep trying to break all the Democrats toys, even if it ultimately leads to self-destruction too.

    Its insane.

  • boatboy_srq on December 28, 2012 2:38 PM:

    @Raoul: Your hope is ill-founded: Kerry is, after all, a Democrat, and Teahadists know by from holy AEI writ that Democrats are unclean heathens unfit for the priesthood - er, public office of any kind. Your litmus test is, however, entirely appropriate for Hagel (he being a Republican and all, and technically among The Bought - er, Redeemed). That's going to be far more telling.


    The Teahad screams "revolution" every chance they get, talking about the Founding Fathers and other saints.

    Aren't they the least bit afraid of a populace so fed up with their intransigence that, come an actual revolution, their heads would be on the block first?

  • low-tech cyclist on December 28, 2012 2:43 PM:

    There's a time to play hardball.

    First, as Raoul suggests, move the Kerry nomination ASAP. If the Senate takes it to a vote, great. Problem solved.

    But if the GOP minority in the Senate blocks the nomination from coming to a vote, Obama should just have Hillary give Kerry the keys to the office and any passwords and security codes he needs, and Obama should order the security staff at State to give him all necessary clearances to function as Secretary of State without formally holding the office. (It's not like Kerry needs the salary.)

    If the Republicans protest, Obama should tell them to do their freaking job, or STFU.

  • Kathryn on December 28, 2012 3:02 PM:

    Another reason to nominate whoever he wants for these cabinet positions, it doesn't matter, the asshats will play games with all of them. Under no circumstances, allow their whining/lying to influence your decisions, Mr. President.

  • Robb on December 28, 2012 3:04 PM:

    Republicans will accept Kerry.
    They have their eyes on his seat and they won't let their obsession with obstruction get in the way of their lust for power.

  • martin on December 28, 2012 3:07 PM:

    A Kerry "filibuster" would be the perfect opportunity to deploy the "nuclear option."

  • esaud on December 28, 2012 3:09 PM:

    Remind me again why Republicans are able to dominate the news media with fake scandals? Oh yeah, our news media are bought and paid for.

    I wish BHO would get tough for once and name a slew of recess appointments. Give the cry babies something to really bawl over.

  • DJ on December 28, 2012 3:13 PM:

    I wish BHO would get tough for once and name a slew of recess appointments. Give the cry babies something to really bawl over.

    Such appointments, if made now, would last until the end of the Congress. In this case, next week. Do brush up on your Constitution.

  • Raoul on December 28, 2012 4:32 PM:

    @low-tech cyclist
    I like it!

    I also think that Obama should have a list of ever-increasingly more shrill and lefty candidates for each Senate-approved job.

    And just have a "Go ahead, make my day" attitude as each nominee gets Riced. Here you go, turtle-man, here's my even-more-liberal replacement for X who you swiftboated.

    Lets have a real and true government shut-down, based entirely on the GOP abusing advise and consent + filibuster.