Tue Jan 8, 2013, 03:47 PM
Purveyor (23,045 posts)
Kristol vs. Hagel; Chuck Hagel’s opponents mostly agree on this: Jan. 7 was the first and only decen
Chuck Hagel’s opponents mostly agree on this: Jan. 7 was the first and only decent day in his campaign to become Secretary of Defense. For one full month, ever since the former Republican senator’s name was floated for the job, the unofficial anti-Hagel movement had controlled the headlines as deftly as J. Jonah Jameson. Everyone covering Hagel, or merely Googling him, knew that he called a 1998 ambassadorial nominee “aggressively gay” and that he’d boasted of besting the “Jewish lobby.”
But Monday went well for Hagel. Former Democratic Rep. Barney Frank, who wants to return to Congress via the Senate, reversed his noisy opposition to the nominee. Republican objections came off as little off-key, as when Sen. John Cornyn claimed Hagel had left the GOP when he “endorsed” Barack Obama. (Hagel never endorsed Obama, in 2008 or in 2012.) In the new nomination narrative, an aggressive White House was defending a war hero from Republicans who only opposed him out of spite.
“The official nomination was a chance for to finally push back a little bit,” shrugs Michael Goldfarb, chairman of the Center for American Freedom, a neoconservative think tank founded one year ago as a counterweight to the progressive Center for American Progress. The CAF “war room” of half a dozen twentysomethings had rolled back the administration, but only for a few weeks. “They finally get to dominate the headlines for a day.”
Despite yesterday’s comeback, the campaign against Hagel is a powerful-looking thing, reducing the likes of Mark Halperin to awe for its “appreciation for the dynamics of press, policy, votes and quotes, and vote counting.”
While it’s a remarkably effective machine, it’s also true that closer you get, the smaller it looks. Allied against Hagel are a relatively small group of D.C. conservatives and hawks, people who’ve been successful in some intra-D.C. fights but got wiped out in the 2012 election. Their strongest weapons against Hagel might have already been deployed, in an effort to spike the nomination while it was still in the embryonic, cocktail-party-chatter stage. But they’re in the thick of it now, framing the Hagel confirmation vote as a test of whether one is for or against Israel, open-minded or anti-Semitic, anti-Iran or genocidal.
Who are we talking about? The nodes of the anti-Hagelverse are connected to Bill Kristol.
He co-edits the Weekly Standard, founded in 1995, which runs three to six anti-Hagel items every day. He’s on the board of the Emergency Committee for Israel, as is Goldfarb; the nonprofit was founded three years ago and immediately started hitting Democrats with TV ads about their softness on Israel. Kristol is on the board of the Center for American Freedom, which publishes the Washington Free Beacon, edited by his son-in-law, Matt Continetti. The outposts of “Kristol world,” as Politico calls it, have a combined budget of around $4.8 million.
3 replies, 587 views
Kristol vs. Hagel; Chuck Hagel’s opponents mostly agree on this: Jan. 7 was the first and only decen (Original post)
Response to Purveyor (Original post)
Tue Jan 8, 2013, 04:36 PM
TwilightGardener (44,673 posts)
2. The Weekly Standard runs "three to six anti-Hagel items every day".
WTF? Why?? I understand they don't like him and don't want him to be confirmed, but he's not going to be acting President. Even if Hagel doesn't make it to the Pentagon, Obama's next choice will have to do basically the same job, which is Obama's bidding.
Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #2)
Tue Jan 8, 2013, 07:22 PM
Indykatie (789 posts)
3. I Think The Hagel Attacks Will Only Stiffen PBO's Spine
I certainly hope so. How dare these hypocritical republicans come out so vocally against the nomination of someone that many once tooted for high level positions in republican administrations. Mccain even floated Hagel for a cabinet position had he won in 2008. What has changed to cause him to change his opinion of Hagel in 5 years other than we have a Dem President that Mccain hates.