Friday, May 18, 2018

Kelly Sadler Validated

Senator John McCain, recuperating from brain surgery at home in Arizona, issued an eloquent statement opposing the nomination of Gina Haspel to become director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Following that, Kelly Sadler brought upon herself a torrent of outrage when in a cabinet meeting she  quipped "it doesn't matter. He's dying anyway." This included demands that she resign or be fired including from Meghan McCain, who stated "I don't understand what kind of environment you're working in when that would be acceptable and then you can come to work the next day and still have a job and that's all I have to say about it."

The Atlantic's David Frum, accomplished author and even more accomplished Twitter, responded in general:

That was the major reason Sadler wasn't fired. On Thursday afternoon we found out the other reason as

The Senate on Thursday confirmed Gina Haspel as the next CIA director despite opposition from most Democrats and a handful of Republicans who blasted her role in the agency’s enhanced interrogation program.

Lawmakers confirmed her in a 54-45 vote. Six Democrats voted in favor of Haspel including several who face tough re-election races in November: Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Bill Nelson of Florida. The other two were Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire.

Two Republicans voted against Haspel — Jeff Flake of Arizona and Rand Paul of Kentucky.

This is part of the environment in which it is unnecessary to fire a Kelly Sadler. It is working for a president who mocked tortured POW's, mocked the mothers of slain soldiers, and mocked reporters living with disabilities. It's an environment in which despite hand-wringing from GOP colleagues of Senator McCain, 48 of 50 Republican senators present voted in favor of Gina Haspel.

Kentucky's Rand Paul had announced his opposition to the nominee prior to Sadler's controversial remark. Only one US Senator- Arizona's other, Jeff Flake- may have been sufficiently repulsed as to turn his "yes" into a "no." And this was Jeff Flake, who probably would have cast his vote in favor of Haspel had it been needed.

Ultimately, it is an environment in which a member of the Administration can say "it doesn't matter, he's dying anyway"....  and exactly one week later be proven completely correct.

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