Senator Rand Paul (KY) cast a vote in favor of Chuck Hagel’s nomination this week. Paul, one of the senators who initially voted for the filibuster against Hagel, changed his vote leading to a decisive victory for Hagel. By agreeing to support Obama’s nominee, Paul has become yet another member of the GOP to fall through the cracks in the face of adversity.
To be sure, Paul spent weeks supporting the filibuster because he “wanted more information” about Hagel. Apparently, he must be satisfied with whatever “information” he received because the vote he cast was in favor of Hagel to become the new Secretary of Defense for the United States. When questioned about his abrupt change of mind, Paul stated that, “the president gets to choose political appointees.” Indeed, Paul rightfully states that Obama has the power to choose his appointees for federal positions. Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution gives the president the authority to do so but Paul seems to have forgotten that the same passage states that, “by and with the advice and consent of the Senate” the president “shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States….” In other words, although Obama has the right to nominate a fly to fill a vacancy in the federal government if he so chose, he can only do so with the advice and consent of the Senate.
Indeed, the only exception to the rule is if the Congress decides to “vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone….” Clearly, Paul and all others who voted in favor of the Hagel nomination felt that Obama’s choice for Secretary of Defense was perfect for America. Why else would have Paul given Hagel his blessings and voted in favor of his appointment?
Paul’s decision to allow Hagel’s confirmation is not noble, but foolish. At a time when Americans are looking for true leaders, dangling a carrot in front of the people and then snatching it away can be detrimental to one’s political career. We the people already have those who have deluded us previously: Chris Christie, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, and Paul Ryan to name a few. Another spineless addition to the mix is most undesirable to those of us looking to combat the tyranny of the Obama Administration. Only time will tell how Paul’s vote will affect him in the end but for now, the people are far from pleased with his anomalous performance.