How desperate has the White House become to get anything passed under the name of health-care reform? According to Michael Goldfarb’s source on Capitol Hill, the Obama administration has targeted the last remaining Democratic holdout, at least among moderates – and they’re willing to damage national security to extort his support. The White House has threatened Ben Nelson (D-NE) with the closure of Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska if he opposes Reid’s latest version … Offutt is the headquarters for US Strategic Command, the successor to Strategic Air Command, and not by accident. STRATCOM was located in the middle of the country for strategic reasons. Its closure would be a massive blow to the economy of the state of Nebraska, but it would also be another example of this administration playing politics with our national security. The Obama administration has little left to use for leverage. Why not national security? After all, if we’re going to bring terrorists into Illinois, what does it matter if we put the US Strategic Command on wheels for a few years?
I worked on every round of BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) from 1993 through 2005. The BRAC process is supposed to be hands-off for politicians, given what a hot potato it was with everyone wanting to defend the military bases in their own districts (no matter how obsolete) and focus the Commission’s attention on the bases in their rivals’ districts (no matter how vital). It was amazing how supportive of their own, local bases that even the most virulently anti-military moonbat would get whenever BRAC came around … and the sanctity of the process was upheld whenever Republicans were in the White House. Bill Clinton, on the other hand, screwed with the BRAC 95 list in order to shore up his support in California for the 1996 elections, which is why the BRAC process (which had been bi-annual at that point) stopped until he left office. After politicizing the process once, he simply couldn’t be trusted not to stick a cigar in it again given another chance. It wasn’t until George W Bush got elected that talks began to restart the process, and BRAC 2005 was the result. (Realignments and Closures are a slow process, and the implementation of BRAC 2005 will not be complete until late 2011.)
It cannot be said enough that Democrats cannot be trusted with anything involving the military or national security. They will always allow selfish political motivations to trump the national interest. Yet again, Obama has found new depths to sink to. He hasn’t lost the ability to amaze or disgust yet.