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One downside to being a spotlight-seeking, cable television-loving U.S. senator? People record the things you say on TV, then use them against you when you appear to be contradicting those statements.
On Wednesday night, Jon Stewart tore into the Republican party for its filibuster of President Barack Obama‘s nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense. In particular, he focused his aim on South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham and Arizona Senator John McCain, a pair he felt have been grandstanding on the fumes of the Bengazi consulate bombing last fall.
The two had demanded hearings about the tragedy, which the GOP had used to try to take down Obama’s re-election bid in November, before any vote on Hagel. Even after the hearings, McCain decided to filibuster Hagel’s nomination, claiming that the senate still did not have enough information about the Benghazi bombings, and that they needed more investigations.
Stewart trotted out reels of old interviews of McCain, just years before, defending the war in Iraq and downplaying any need for investigations of a much bigger, protracted intelligence failure — the claim of WMD.
After McCain admitted that part of the animosity toward Hagel came as a result of bitterness about the former senator’s break from the GOP over the war, and his unkind words toward President George W. Bush. At that, Stewart balked mightily.
“Blocking a secretary of defense nominee who has absolutely nothing to do with the target of your current rediscovered outrage at American deaths oversees whilst also copping to maybe a little personal payback is the antithesis of your stated campaign slogan,” Stewart fired, referring to McCain’s 2008 presidential catchphrase “Country First.”
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