Hagel Makes the Case For A Democratic Congress - Indicts Republicans as "Irresponsible," Inadequate to Governby Kyle Michaelis
This week's acknowledgement by Republican leaders of Congress that there is little to no chance of passing an immigration reform bill this year doesn't surprise anyone who's been paying attention to the political farce surrounding this issue, but it was enough to send Hagel back on the warpath against his own party, condemning them in his harshest and most succinct terms yet. He told the Omaha World-Herald:
"To fail at this is going to be a very significant indictment for the Republican Party, because it's going to say we essentially cannot deal with the most important issues in this country even though we control all the levers of government."
The OWH also reported:
Hagel pointed to House Republicans, who have been conducting field hearings focusing mainly on problems with rising illegal immigration. They've done little but further polarize the issue and have been "irresponsible," Hagel said.
But what he said he found "astounding" was that GOP leaders in both houses never formed a House-Senate conference committee to try to work out differences between their two bills.
"It's an admission of our inadequacy to govern," he said.
Considering that there are now less than two months before the election, there's no way to divorce Hagel's criticisms from their effect on the Nebraska political scene. In particular, Hagel seems to have thrown in the towel and given up on Pete Ricketts' chances of unseating Sen. Ben Nelson. When Ricketts has founded his entire campaign on the Republican label he wears - warning voters of the nightmarish, long-shot possibility of the Democratic Party taking control of the Senate - it's hard to imagine anything more effectively undermining his message than Hagel's underlying admission that the Republican Party deserves to lose its majority status.
That's the most powerful Republican in the state talking. In this case, voters should listen - not only to what Hagel's comments say of Pete Ricketts' empty promises but also what they say of Nebraska Congressmen Jeff Fortenberry and Lee Terry - not to mention, 3rd District Candidate Adrian Smith - all of whom so eagerly share in Hagel's indictment with their group-think mentality and rubber-stamping ways.