I hope that a fillibuster over a routine matter made everyone involved feel all heroic and such. Reason did win in the end, if just barely. Go Big Red and all that.
The GOP is of course delusional over a lot of things. In this particualar case it seems that they do not realize that its perceived "ownership" of national security; which has been their primary claim to being the true, 'responsible' ruling party of the US, is essentially dead. Republicans are, to be sure, still perceived as being so obviously more 'pro-military' that a Democratic president feels the need to appoint a Republican defense chief. But the establishment rights' position on security matters is no longer seen as ipso facto the mainstream American position on security. Nor is moderate deviation on the line of Hagel's any longer seen as ipso facto "radical." The illusion of only either hyperagressiveness and bloated budgets or hippie utopianism is broken, (appealing to only a culture war fringe, insecure and unable to feel good about themselves without imagining everyone but themselves to be cowards.) and it is the Republican establishment who broke themselves with their bloody-handed arrogance, with no small assist from President Obama's ability to kill O.B. Laden without starting a great Abrahamic Iliad; however much of a party-pooper that may have made him in the eyes of some.