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Letters: Republicans' revenge on Hagel

February 17, 2013

Re "For Hagel, opposition from GOP is personal," Feb. 15

Despite the fact that a Cabinet nomination has never in history been blocked by a minority filibuster, Republicans are filibustering Chuck Hagel's appointment as secretary of Defense.

Alexander Hamilton, one of the most conservative of the Founding Fathers, decried minority rule in the Federalist Papers.

Several Republican senators announced their opposition to filibustering a Cabinet nomination, and yet the Republicans filibustered anyway. As The Times put it, they "objected to the word 'filibuster,' insisting they were simply seeking more time."

Previously, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) promised to weaken the filibuster; instead, he made a "gentlemen's agreement" with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who ignored it.

It is clear that Hamilton would have nuked the filibuster and brought democracy back to the Senate. Harry Truman was right when he exclaimed in 1948 that he doesn't give the Republicans hell, he just tells the truth and they think it's hell.

Robert W. Holdenvenzon

San Diego

With respect to the Hagel filibuster, I'll give Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) one thing: He is being completely honest. He said in a Fox News interview:

"It goes back to there's a lot of ill-will toward Sen. Hagel because when he was a Republican, he attacked President Bush mercilessly; at one point said he was the worst president since Herbert Hoover, said that the 'surge' was the worst blunder since the Vietnam War, which is nonsense, and was very anti his own party and people. People don't forget that."

There you have it: pure, unadulterated spite. Classic McCain.

David Weber

West Hollywood

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