Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Senate Republicans hit a new low for hypocrisy

The foolish fight over ambassadors

By David Ignatius Opinion writer September 2 at 8:11 PM WashPost

Talk about America’s decline is usually wrong. But how else would you describe a country that, in a world of exploding tensions, is unable to confirm dozens of ambassadors to foreign posts because of partisan squabbling?

Even by Washington standards, the Senate Republicans have hit a new low for hypocrisy. They denounce President Obama’s inaction on foreign policy — and simultaneously refuse to confirm his nominees for U.S. ambassadors to such hot spots as Turkey, on the front lines against the Islamic State, and Sierra Leone, epicenter of the Ebola outbreak.

Let’s say it plainly: This is how nations lose their power and influence, when they are unable to agree even on basic matters such as diplomatic representation. The decision-making system breaks down, and the public is too bored or disunited to take action. Sadly, that’s a snapshot of the United States in 2014.

The State Department said Tuesday that it has 65 nominees awaiting confirmation . A few of them are ill-prepared political appointees who bungled their confirmation hearings and, frankly, whose nominations should be withdrawn. But 40 are career diplomats with distinguished careers whose only misstep was to get caught in the Washington morass of partisan politics. The average wait time for nominees who managed to clear the Foreign Relations Committee is 237 days.

(More here.)


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