Filibuster of Hagel a new low for GOP

Last week in Washington, for the first time in history, a Cabinet nominee was filibustered in the U.S. Senate.

The victim, former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, of Nebraska, a Vietnam War veteran, is just another in the long list of those affected by the grim decline of the once noble Republican Party into a putrefaction of corporate propagandists, neoconservatives and rejectionists.

Judging by Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s recent joining in with Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham to filibuster Hagel, the most burning issue for us in New Hampshire is not actually jobs or debts, but the September attack by Islamists on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

But isn’t this more about powerful military interests than Hagel?

In 2012, our government directed $702 billion into Department of Defense war spending. If we add $100 billion for the National Intelligence Program – including the CIA’s global assassination program – and other related costs, that brings us to nearly $1 trillion per year.

This is a patent boondoggle and, unlike federal spending for Medicare and Social Security, cannot be justified as an investment. Ask your neighbors what we’ve gotten out of our adventurism in Iraq and Afghanistan. We deserve better than neoconservative posturing from our federal representatives.

There are already signs of a change: A University of New Hampshire Survey Center/WMUR-TV poll last year showed Ayotte’s favorability rating at only 43 percent.

Unless Ayotte starts caring more about the people of New Hampshire and less about powerful military interests, let the grim decline continue.

Patrick McKernan