Late to the gate on this, I know, but the US Senate, you may have heard, approved four star Air Force General Michael Hayden to the post of CIA director. When his nomination first went up there were all the usual protests from all the usual voices, saying that he was, well: Too military. Or not civilian enough. And what about those phone records? The vote? 78-15.
Sic transit hysteria.
It’s become this kind of strange, reflexive kabuki dance, up there on Capitol Hill. The prez notes that it’s a bright and sunny morning and legions of opponents cry out, “Balderdash! No such thing. Instead it is a dark and stormy night, made worse by this administration’s trampling of our fundamental rights under the Constitution. There. Somewhere.”
You get the sense that if W could raise Mother Teresa from the dead and nominate her as deputy assistant secretary to the local school board, the dyspeptic legions of the perpetually aggrieved would bestir themselves to shout a chorus of Hard Questions about who he thought he was, raising saints from the dead, and whether the nuns she’d led at that convent in Calcutta were in fact legal immigrants, or whether their in-kind payments were on the books. Sheesh.
As you’d expect of anyone who’d spent a lifetime briefing important people about life or death decisions, Hayden knocked his confirmation hearings out of the park. You don’t get to be a four star general – especially not in the Air Force, most especially not as an intel guy – by being a putz.
Would that the same were true about being a US Senator.