Time magazine contributor Winslow Wheeler writes that Chuck Hagel's nomination "is surely now in trouble":
The Republicans had their way with him so easily that they surely will widen the offensive--and its offensiveness--to make it a major partisan food fight. The White House has already put out a statement defending Hagel with a defensiveness that clearly denotes its concern, and it must now know it has a problem....
Welcome back to the good old Washington of 2012.
And "Senate Republicans," reports Politico, "are renewing their vow to block the confirmation of [Richard Cordray] to the new consumer watchdog agency"; hence already so much for the new Senate's filibuster comity. And neither Senate nor House Republicans will even entertain the perfectly rational and exceedingly urgent notion of more stimulus spending to break the back of chronic unemployment. And both Senate and House Republicans persist in holding a sequestration or continuing-resolution or debt-ceiling or all-the-above knife to the economy's throat.
Which--all of which--is why I opposed any negotiated settlement of the fiscal-cliff debacle, and soon thereafter only sighed in disbelief at the nation's innocent celebration of a debt-ceiling crisis averted because of a lousy three-month suspension.
What will it take? What in God's name will it take for ho-hum centrists and pragmatic liberals and progressive ideologues and conservative Democrats and the Obama administration and the body politic at large to finally comprehend that congressional Republicans intend a decisive showdown between the governing and the ungovernable--and that the collective former are witlessly handing the singular latter the control of its timing?
Henceforth against every Republican demand, Democrats should respond threefold: concede nothing, negotiate nothing, and withdraw no nominations. The time for this inexorable bloodbath is now (actually, it was early last month; and again later, in a rejection of the debt-limit suspension), before Republicans get any stronger.