There were a number of standouts last week, in the Chuck Hagel confirmation hearing in particular. Any one of the GOP senators could have been the pick. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) tied Hagel up in knots on gay marriage. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) took him apart on Iran. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was devastating in  showing Hagel to be both wrong and stubbornly wrong on the surge.


Sen. Lindsey Graham (Alex Wong/Washington Post

But for sheer theatrics Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was my personal favorite. Enjoy:

The body language conveys just the right amount of dismissiveness. “It sends chills up my spine,” is just about what fair-minded people are thinking at the prospect of Hagel heading the Defense Department.

Less discussed was Hagel’s budget ignorance. Gary Schmitt writes that  “somewhat obscured by that exchange [on the 'Jewish lobby'] was Senator Graham’s previous question to Hagel about the size of the defense budget relative to the country’s GDP. Hagel, clearly guessing, answered: ‘Well, we are, I think, it is probably 5% in that area.’ Well, actually, it’s not Mr. Hagel. The national defense budget is 4% of GDP, with war funding included, and the base defense budget is only 3.4%. No wonder Chuck Hagel thinks, as he is quoted as saying, the Defense Department is ‘bloated.’ ” Once again Hagel was shown to be ignorant of or confused about basic aspects of the Defense Department.

For all of that, well done, Sen. Graham.

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.