Senate confirmation hearings, these days, have descended to the level of farce and Thursday’s Foreign Relations Committee hearing for Mike Pompeo was no exception. Currently the head of the Central Intelligence Agency, Pompeo is – by any standard – eminently qualified to lead the State Department (DOS) and there were so many important questions that could have been put to him by members of the committee. Instead, Democrats chose to make the hearing about President Donald Trump, Muslims, gay sex and, most of all, about their own political careers.
Of all the presidential nominations the Democrats are delaying for as long as possible – for no other reason than to impede the business of government – the Secretary of State position is one that needs to be filled as a matter of priority. The US faces several potential crises across the globe; complex issues that require strong diplomacy. Some of these issues have major implications for the U.S. economy and others could lead to dangerous military confrontations if not handled correctly.
Rather than focus on the solutions to these problems, however, Democrats made their priorities abundantly clear. They want a Secretary of State who will not side with the president. They want a Secretary of State who will not say or do anything to offend Muslim countries. They want a Secretary of State who will run the department not as a meritocracy, but as an entity that hires and promotes based on leftist notions of diversity and tolerance.
Cory Booker, Unhinged Ideologue
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, who may very well be afflicted with narcissistic personality disorder, decided to use the hearing to grandstand one of his two pet obsessions; racial division and homosexual sex acts. Booker cited a comment made by Pompeo some years ago, describing homosexuality as a perversion. The Senator pressed the DOS nominee on the issue, pushing for either a retraction or confirmation of the remark. Pompeo responded by affirming his commitment to treating all State Department employees with equal respect, regardless of their sexual orientation.
Here is what makes people like Cory Booker dangerous to government and, one could say, to society as a whole: The Senator does not differentiate between a personal view and a professional code of conduct. To him, it is simply not enough that Pompeo has the ability to deal with people fairly and professionally, regardless of his personal feelings about someone’s sexual preferences. To Booker, everyone must think and believe as he does or be ostracized. This is the common view of the extreme left; one’s abilities, experience, and qualifications are simply irrelevant – the only thing that matters is that one harbors no thoughts or beliefs the left deems unacceptable to them.
Pompeo’s Pragmatist Approach to Islamism
The CIA Director also displeases people like Booker because he dares to suggest that Muslims have a special place in the war on Islamist extremism. In Pompeo’s view, Muslims have a greater opportunity than non-Muslims to speak out with credibility against the extremist elements within their own faith. To rational people, this is glaringly obvious but, to progressive extremists like Booker, this kind of thinking is dangerous and racist.
Pompeo fielded numerous questions about the special counsel investigation into collusion between the Trump election campaign team and Russian officials. The aim of Democrats on the committee was obvious; they were attempting to drive a wedge between Pompeo and Trump before the former is even confirmed as the new head of the State Department. Senator Robert Menendez, in an entirely inappropriate line of questioning, attempted to have Pompeo opine on his views about the investigation and his interactions with Robert Mueller.
The prospect of Trump ordering the firing of the special counsel has never been more than an afterthought but Democrats constantly push that prospect as both inevitable and imminent. They fervently hope it happens because, as the collusion myth dissolves and slips further out of the news cycle, they need a new crime to pin on the president. Pompeo was asked if he would resign his position as Secretary of State, were the President to fire Mueller. The nominee would not rise to the bait, however. “My instincts tell me no,” he told the committee, “My instincts tell me my obligation to continue to serve as America’s senior diplomat will be more important in times of domestic political turmoil.”
Government is No Place for the Thought Police
Pompeo’s opinions about homosexuality or same-sex marriage are utterly irrelevant. His view of how Muslims should react to Islamist extremism, less so but that view does not, in any way, conflict with his ability to lead the State Department. On the contrary, such a message should be carried to the Islamic world.
It is not only sad but precarious that the Democratic Party has appointed itself the nation’s thought police and will work against American interests simply because other government officials refuse to conform to their ideas of what does and does not constitute acceptable thinking. Pompeo’s hearing was a disgraceful spectacle in which Senators from the minority party attempted to bully a man far better qualified to do the job for which he has been nominated than they, themselves, are to serve in the Senate. All is lost if the American people – and, indeed, the current American president – stand by and allow one party to dictate who serves in the administration based solely on their conformity to progressive ideology.