Morning Joe | February 22, 2013
>> let's get some other stories in here.
>> oh, yeah.
>> going around in circles on taxes. despite growing calls for his nomination to be withdrawn, the math is getting better for chuck hagel to be confirmed as defense secretary , perhaps as early as next week. although some lawmakers are softening their criticism. tough opposition continues on capitol hill .
>> in a letter, 15 republican senators urged for hagel to withdraw his nomination including marco rubio and ted cruz . the letters read, in part, "while we respect senator hagel 's honorable military service in the interest of national security , we respectfully request that you withdraw his nomination. it would be unprecedented for a secretary of defense to take office without the broad base of bipartisan support and confidence needed to serve effectively in this critical position. ted cruz at it again, with respect, with respect, with respect. in the last 50 years, no other secretary of defense has been confirmed with more than three members voting against him and in the entire history of the position, no one has been confirmed with more than 11 no votes."
>> that's sort of circular logic . you could make that argument. democrats could do that to any republican. if we just get 20 or 30 against a guy or a woman, then we can say, well, i don't know. you know what's more interesting, mika? let's put up the list again. can we get the list of those republicans that said they're not going to support him? you mentioned, too, younger republicans . the one that stands out to me is actually dan coats who served with -- dan coats served with chuck hagel , i believe he did. or maybe he was ambassador to germany. i'm just surprised that dan coats is on that list.
>> outside political circles, people are wondering is this just taking the usual resistance a step further, or is this real legitimate resistance that could actually put this in jeopardy?
>> listen, i think it's legitimate to have real concerns about chuck hagel with his performance on the hill.
>> i agree.
>> i think that's fair.
>> i agree with that.
>> i support him. i hope he's a good sec def.
>> he definitely has the resume.
>> i just generally believe you defer to presidents. i just generally -- whether it's a democratic president or whether it's a republican president. i was really deeply offended by what democrats did to john tower back in -- what was it -- 1989 ?
>> i thought that was a witch hunt . i thought it was disgusting. i thought it was sickening. and as a republican, as a conservative, i was outraged by how democrats treated john tower . and absolutely delighted that instead of john tower , they got dick cheney . but this is -- it lends, though, that is a great lesson in washington where democrats thought they were hurting the republican cause by stopping john tower .
>> because he had too much of a good time. of course, bill clinton was elected president three years later by these same democrats . but they got, because they were so harshly partisan, they got dick cheney instead.
>> well, but --
>> and history was forever changed .
>> don't you think this is bad timing for the republicans ?
>> yes. i think it's terrible.
>> it adds to this narrative that they're difficult? don't you need to pick your battles at some point? just stop.
>> and that's my point. republicans should defer to the president.
>> and look respectful.
>> chuck hagel is a bad secretary of defense, if he what many people are predicting, the republican version of les aspen.
>> given the nature of politics, the way it's going to go is 80 years from now when the republicans finally win the presidency, they are going to -- the democrats are going to extract revenge for the way the republicans behaved to a chuck hagel .
>> that's what i don't understand, ed rendell . these parties act as if the status quo is always going to exist. these republicans -- and again, i'm not going to mention the guy's name anymore because he doesn't deserve it. let's just say certain young senators that just got elected act as if history began the day they got elected.
>> and they don't realize a republican is going to be president one day again. and democrats are going to hold the republican to the same standard that certain young republicans are holding this democratic president to, and that's not good for america.
>> and in that vein, i think our guys blew a big opportunity, joe, to do filibuster reform.
>> oh, i know.
>> they had a chance. if we had done filibuster reform, chuck hagel would be secretary of defense right now.
>> why didn't harry reid pick that up? i wish he would have been aggressive and done --
>> there will be a day when.
>> yeah. the shoe is always on the other foot. so what do you think? what do you think, mika? about chuck hagel ?
>> i think they're being ridiculous lly obstinent and put things on the table that really matter right now. this is going to happen. so it's just silly. thank you, marco rubio and ted cruz , lindsey. right. next, american folk singer woody guthrie best known for his song "this land is your land" composed music that defined a generation. now a new book by guthrie that was previously believed to have been lost has been unearthed. historian douglas brinkley and woody guthrie 's daughter, nora, are here with the novel "house of earth." that's when we come