The Politics Behind The Politics

by Chris Bodenner

Marc Heller of Watertown Daily Times points out a nugget of intrigue regarding Brownback's hold on the Army-Secretary-in-waiting, Rep. John McHugh (R-NY):

One of the Republicans who expressed interest in running for Mr. McHugh's seat, but was not selected, is Joshua A. Lynch, a legislative aide to Mr. Brownback.

But a more substantive behind-the-scenes detail is this: McHugh actually co-sponsored the "Keep Terrorists Out Of America Act," a bill that would require the federal government to obtain permission from the governor and legislature before sending detainees to their state. Therefore, McHugh is a natural ally of Brownback and would be a fierce advocate for caution within the Obama administration. So why is Brownback keeping McHugh from his post?  Why is he willing to endure backlash from the White House, the defense secretary, and even the Washington Times for a guy who sees eye-to-eye with him?  Perhaps Brownback is retaliating against McHugh for accepting Obama's offer and thus providing bipartisan cred on Gitmo. If so: politics first, country second.