Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Three views on the Chuck Hagel nomination for Sec. of Defense. Here's my buddy Paul Mulshine's
from the Newark Star Ledger.
Did you hear what that liberal, left-wing commie Barack Obama is up to? Why, that pinko’s gone and picked a former Republican senator who’s a war hero as secretary of defense! Can you imagine anything more un-American than that?Sorry if I sounded like a Fox News commentator for a second there. But that’s the tone the Fox News crowd has adopted in light of the nomination of Chuck Hagel for defense secretary. An online poll showed that Fox fans were spewing this nonsense back at the talking heads by a 10-1 margin.
Then here's Bret Stephens
from the WSJ.
In 1998, when it was politically opportune for Mr. Hagel to do so, he bashed Clinton nominee James Hormel for being "openly, aggressively gay," a fact he said was disqualifying for becoming ambassador to Luxembourg. Late last year, when it was again politically opportune, Mr. Hagel apologized for his gay-bashing. Mr. Hormel accepted the apology, while noting that "the timing appears to be self-serving." Yes it did.
In 1999, when the military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy was broadly popular, Mr. Hagel scoffed at the idea of repealing it: "The U.S. Armed Forces aren't some social experiment." Since then, Mr. Hagel has offered his opinions on many subjects in scores of published articles. In not one of them did he recant or amend his views on gay issues. His public about-face only occurred when his name made Mr. Obama's shortlist for secretary of defense.
In 2002, also when it was overwhelmingly popular, Mr. Hagel voted for the resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq. The lack of political courage is especially noteworthy here, because Mr. Hagel was, in fact, prescient in warning his Senate colleagues that "imposing democracy through force in Iraq is a roll of the dice."
Yet as the inimitable David Corn notes, "Bottom line: Hagel feared the resolution would lead to a war that would go badly but didn't have the guts to say no to the leader of his party."
And here's Jonah Goldberg's:
It's official. President Obama has named former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) as his nominee for secretary of Defense. Hence, we may be in store for the worst Defense secretary nomination fight since George H.W. Bush's failed appointment of Sen. John Tower (R-Texas) more than 20 years ago.
The interesting question is, why? Why waste the political capital? Why pass over more qualified candidates who would sail through confirmation, including Michele Flournoy — who'd be the first female Defense secretary?
The most ridiculous answer is among the mainstream media's favorites: bipartisanship. According to Politico, the choice "appeals to Obama's bipartisan spirit." The Washington Post, in a front-page news story, says that a "successful nomination of Hagel would add a well-known Republican to the president's second-term Cabinet at a time when he is looking to better bridge the partisan divide, particularly after a bitter election campaign.