The Senate Republicants have successfully filibustered the confirmation of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense. There are two questions which immediately spring to my mind. First, is this temporary reprise going to ultimately result in Mr. Hagel's confirmation being blocked? And secondly, what does it matter in the execution of the job he or anyone else will do in that post? This is an administration that is headed by a man who does not welcome dissenting opinions or off the reservation suggestions. So anyone who ultimately fills the position is going to be hemmed in by the President's rigid ideology.
We now know, for instance, that before the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans including our Ambassador, that the President orchestrated the environment that allowed it to happen. It was his directive that the U.S. consulate not appear provocative by having enough security that was actually armed with live rounds. There was no Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense that could have swayed President Obama from his world view that every problem that occurs on the world stage is a result of a well-armed America provoking indigenous populations to desperate and extreme measures. And after four brave Americans were unnecessarily slaughtered, there was no cabinet official, or anyone else for that matter, that could have engaged the President in the aftermath of his ignorance of world affairs and national security. We know from the testimony of the former Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Dempsey, that the President didn't want to be bothered with the four Americans killed by Al Queda terrorists. So he ran away to Las Vegas and began a campaign to blame an anti-Muslim YouTube video. He left his underlings exposed to all the blame and responsibility for the incompetence of his ideology.
Make no mistake, if Dick Cheney was confirmed as the next Secretary of Defense, it wouldn't make a difference. Quality people in the right positions only matter when the person at the top is willing to accept that others have ideas worthy of consideration, which Barack Obama doesn't. Ronald Regan had a sign on his desk that read, "It is amazing what a man can accomplish when he doesn't care who gets the credit." Barack Obama's sign reads, "It is amazing what I can accomplish by avoiding responsibility." It is the difference between a real leader and an office placeholder who, in his own mind, is the smartest guy occupying any room into which he walks.