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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Esper vote is a rebuke of Warren


Mark Esper became a rare appointee of President Donald John Trump to receive 90 or more votes in the Senate, an occurrence common under previous presidents.

Esper can thank Elizabeth Warren.

During his confirmation hearing for secretary of defense, Warren attacked him for his work as a lobbyist for Raytheon, a big defense contractor headquartered in her home state.

She said, “Let me get this straight. You’re still due to get at least a million-dollar payout from when you lobbied for Raytheon. You won’t commit to recuse yourself.

“You insist on being free to seek a waiver that would let you make decisions affecting Raytheon’s bottom line and your remaining financial interest. And you won’t rule out taking a trip right back through the revolving door on your way out of government service.”

He said, “I went to war for this country. I served overseas for this country. I’ve stepped down from jobs that paid me well more than [government]. And each time, it was to serve the public good and to serve the young men and women of our armed services.

“I think the presumption is, for some reason, anybody who comes from the business or the corporate world is corrupt.”

Warren said that he sought a waiver from recusal over Raytheon matters.

Wrong.

He said, “No, senator, I won’t because I am going to continue to abide by the rules and regulations, and I am going to continue to consult closely with my ethics person to ensure that we stay in the ethical midfield.”

I praised him for pushing back.

Republicans are waking up feeling Trumpy.

Democrats meanwhile fired a warning to Warren in endorsing Esper.

The Hill reported, "Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) gave him a glowing review as he introduced him at the confirmation hearing.

"'Most of us were very discouraged by the resignation of Secretary Mattis, and what we’ve hoped for is a successor who could show the same level of candor and principle and a willingness to remain independent even in the most challenging circumstances,' Kaine said.

"'I believe that Dr. Esper has those traits and would encourage all of my colleagues to support this nomination,' he said."

Kaine was Hillary's running mate.

As a lobbyist, Esper was able to audition, as it were, for senators. He is a West Point graduate and he left the Army as a lieutenant colonel. That is enough of an endorsement for me.

She, too, has auditioned. This shows she might not have passed the audition.

UPDATE: Due to inappropriate language, I closed comments. You are in my house. Wipe your feet before entering.