The current Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Mike Pompeo, was confirmed Thursday as the new head of the State Department. Senate Democrats attempted, for as long as they could, to sabotage this nomination but, thinking about their prospects for re-election in this November’s midterms, a handful of them flipped to ensure that the vote ended in favor of President Donald Trump’s pick. Pompeo will now replace Rex Tillerson at State but the opposition to his appointment was both unprecedented and shameful. Democrats had no legitimate reason to block Pompeo’s nomination, so why did they try so hard to do just that?
Democrat opposition to Pompeo was about hindering the Trump agenda, which has been the only goal of the opposition since January 2017. Pandering to the party’s extreme left, leading Democrats have used Pompeo’s personal views on homosexuality, same-sex marriage and Islamist extremism as an excuse not to support his confirmation. It is a red herring, of course, since many of those same Democrats who attempted to prevent him taking over at the State Department were perfectly willing to confirm him as CIA Director.
Why Democrats Hijacked Pompeo Confirmation Hearing
A large part of Pompeo’s confirmation hearing was hijacked by Democrats like Cory Booker to grandstand and to indulge in theatrics about the CIA Director’s personal views on social issues. Had Pompeo been up for the position of Attorney General, one could, perhaps, argue that such a line of questioning was relelvent. Even then, it would be debatable. Federal government officials – whether elected or not – are supposed to place their duty to the nation and their loyalty to the Constitution above their personal views.
This is the very argument Trump’s opponents used when it was revealed that FBI officials involved in the Clinton investigation and the special counsel’s Russia investigation were discovered to have expressed strong anti-Trump feelings. Their personal opinions were irrelevent, apparently, because they were career professionals who would never have allowed those opinions to influence how they conducted their official duties. It appears that Mike Pompeo, as far as certain Democrats were concerned, is incapable of exercizing that same level of discretion and professionalism.
This Was Never About Mike Pompeo
Of course, this was never about Pompeo, who, as almost everyone in Congress knows, is more than adequately qualified and experienced to lead the State Department. This was about Democrats continuing to fan the flames of anti-Trump emotion. It was about portraying the president and everyone with whom he surrounds himself as homophobic, xenohpobic, racist and bigoted. It was about Democrats shunning the concept of hiring based upon merit in favor of hiring based upon adherence to progressive notions of social justice.
Historically, Secretary of State confirmation votes are overwhelmingly bipartisan, with the nominee – regardless of which party controls the White House – receiving more than 90 votes in the Senate. Pompeo was confirmed in a highly partisan 57 – 42 vote. Several Democrats running for re-election in States won by Donald Trump thought better of voting against the president’s nominee. Thursday’s vote, and the recriminations that led up to it, is another example of how the so-called loyal opposition is willing to put ideology above the interests of the nation.