Casey adds to nation’s ‘scary tilt’

Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey sat in Sun-Gazette offices in late February and talked about the need for bipartisanship and civility in the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.

Nice words.

Then Sen. Casey voted against Michael Pompeo’s confirmation as secretary of state, choosing to side with Democratic resistance to a former CIA director who received nearly unanimous support for that appointment a year ago.

Pompeo received 57 votes from senators for his Secretary of State confirmation.

Every past nominee for the job since at least the Carter administration has received 85 or more yes votes with the exception of President Donald Trump’s first secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, who received 56 votes.

Hillary Clinton was nearly unanimously confirmed as secretary of state during the Obama administration.

So was John Kerry.

We doubt Republican Senators agreed with all of their personal beliefs, which was the nebulous excuse some Democrats used for voting against Pompeo’s confirmation.

They judged Clinton and Kerry as qualified for the job, which is supposed to be the basis of the confirmation vote.

In Pompeo’s case, the same Senators approved him as CIA director, where most objective observers judged him to be doing a good job.

And, while serving as President Trump’s nominee as Secretary of State, he already had held face-to-face talks with North Korea’s leader to set the slate for potentially history-making progress with that country.

His work may have established a runway to peace at a border that has been under siege for nearly 70 years.

The secretary of state is the point person of an administration charged with keeping this country — and, by extension, the world — free of life-threatening conflicts.

To see an obviously qualified nominee — with a sterling West Point, Harvard law school and Congressional resume — struggle to get confirmation votes shows a scary tilt to politics over world security.

At an extremely volatile time in our nation and world, we doubt Pennsylvania voters sent Sen. Casey to Washington to favor an obviously contrived resistance by his party over the country’s national security.

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