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Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:36 PM

Critics slam Chuck Hagel's likely nomination as Defense secretary

Source: latimes.com By Matea Gold, Washington Bureau

With former Sen. Chuck Hagel's nomination as Defense secretary imminent, conservatives denounced his views on Israel and Iran as out of step with mainstream foreign policy, underscoring the difficulty he is likely to face winning Senate confirmation.

An administration official said Sunday that Hagel — a decorated Vietnam veteran, a Republican and a former two-term senator from Nebraska — would be nominated Monday to succeed Leon E. Panetta. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal White House planning.

The nomination is likely to set up a bruising confirmation fight. Critics on all sides already have been complaining about Hagel, with Republicans leading the charge.

Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) predicted that Hagel would be "the most antagonistic secretary of Defense toward the state of Israel in our nation's history" and called it an "in-your-face nomination."

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-hagel-20130107,0,2775614.story



Israel needs to both shape up as a world citizen and stay out of US politics.

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Arrow 32 replies Author Time Post
Reply Critics slam Chuck Hagel's likely nomination as Defense secretary (Original post)
Coyotl Jan 2013 OP
TwilightGardener Jan 2013 #1
Pab Sungenis Jan 2013 #29
The Wizard Jan 2013 #2
Larrymoe Curlyshemp Jan 2013 #3
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #28
still_one Jan 2013 #4
KeepinItReal4u Jan 2013 #5
PoliticAverse Jan 2013 #6
TwilightGardener Jan 2013 #7
amandabeech Jan 2013 #8
TwilightGardener Jan 2013 #15
amandabeech Jan 2013 #17
karynnj Jan 2013 #21
amandabeech Jan 2013 #24
karynnj Jan 2013 #25
Berlum Jan 2013 #9
leftynyc Jan 2013 #10
muriel_volestrangler Jan 2013 #11
leftynyc Jan 2013 #12
muriel_volestrangler Jan 2013 #14
leftynyc Jan 2013 #16
grantcart Jan 2013 #18
leftynyc Jan 2013 #19
grantcart Jan 2013 #22
leftynyc Jan 2013 #23
JustAnotherGen Jan 2013 #27
1StrongBlackMan Jan 2013 #30
grantcart Jan 2013 #31
JustAnotherGen Jan 2013 #26
TwilightGardener Jan 2013 #20
naaman fletcher Jan 2013 #13
grantcart Jan 2013 #32

Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:48 PM

1. What Democratic critics have there been, really? This is all an attempt

to smear him as unacceptable to Democrats in the Senate. It's a version of "Some say.."

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:29 PM

29. I am.

 

His disgraceful treatment of James Hormel tells me he has no place in a Democratic Administration. Period.

Cue the "it's only one prayer" crowd in 5... 4... 3...

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:55 PM

2. A threat to the

bloated unwarranted incomes of war profiteers and legislators who gladly accept deposits from them in Cayman Islands secret accounts.

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 12:10 AM

3. "A slap in the face to Bibi Netanyahu!"

 

Thus spoke some asshat on FAUX the other day. Well, I hope he's right: After all the slaps in the face Obama has absorbed from Nutty Yahoo, it's high time he slapped back!

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Response to Larrymoe Curlyshemp (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:21 PM

28. Bibi deserves a

punch in the mouth, not a slap in the face.

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 12:16 AM

4. The only critics are repukes

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 01:02 AM

5. Not enough Democrats support this nomination

 

ABC morning show reports top Democrat is reporting not enough Democrats support Hagel.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/abc-not-enough-democratic-support-confirm-hagel_693920.html

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Response to KeepinItReal4u (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 01:12 AM

6. 'yet'. n/t

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Response to KeepinItReal4u (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:31 AM

7. Oh, there will be. Senate Dems aren't going to weaken our President

by voting against his excellent nominee, no matter what bullshit that neocon rag tries to spread.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:18 AM

8. Senators all face re-election at some point unless they retire or are kicked out.

The President, though, is a lame duck.

My guess is that the Senators would like to help the President, but they're own election prospects will be the top thing on their minds.

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Response to amandabeech (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:59 AM

15. I seriously doubt that they will hear from Dem constituents on this.

If they vote against Hagel, it won't have anything to do with legitimate national security or fitness-for-office concerns, let's put it that way.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #15)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:23 AM

17. I think that there are a few who will hear from a select group of Dem constituents,

particularly those representing northeast states.

In addition, Dems likely to be in tight races will react not only to Dem constituents, but also to independents and non-lunatic Rs, if those can be sorted out.

Then you must think about campaign contributions from outside your state.

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Response to amandabeech (Reply #17)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:34 AM

21. If you are referring to Jews, on Israel, the majority of US Jews agree with J Street

not AIPAC. My synagogue in NJ had speakers from both AIPAC and J Street speak on two different days. (We had wanted them together, but AIPAC refused.) More people by far came to the J Street talk and it was very interactive and very pleasant. Not so the AIPAC one. It could suffice to just say they left without taking the sign in sheet they started at the beginning! Fewer people respected them AFTER the talk than before as they called many of us out for asking any questions - including what they stood for. Their response that they were not "prescriptive" was later defined to me as "they just back what Israeli policy is" - which is actually not true. They did not support Rabin or most of the other non Likud leaders.

Just remember that over 75% of Jews have voted for the Democrats for decades, in spite of stories in 2004, 2008 and 2012 that we could shift to the Republicans.

Forgot to add that J Street is supporting Hagel. ( http://jstreet.org/the-facts-on-chuck-hagel ) Passing this on especially to Jews who are concerned might help.

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Response to karynnj (Reply #21)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:01 PM

24. I was thinking about Jewish Americans who might be concerned about Israel.

I'm not Jewish, but your post contains good news.

The J Street folks are on the right track. It's good to see that they are supporting Hagel.

I'll bookmark your post.

Thanks!

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Response to amandabeech (Reply #24)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:01 PM

25. Thank you

Most Jews likely have some concern for Israel. Sometimes, especially among younger Jews, that is why they actively disagree with what Israel is now doing. Here is an article from the Jews for Peace website. http://www.muzzlewatch.com/2012/12/27/chuck-hagel-and-israel-the-wrong-question/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Muzzlewatch+%28MuzzleWatch%29

As you can see, there is a diversity of opinion in the American Jewish committee.

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:26 AM

9. Republicans = Nattering Nabobs of NegaTEAvity

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:50 AM

10. I still think a Democrat will be a better pick

Why he is rewarding the pub party with this pick is totally beyond me. For those who say Hagel will only do what the President wants should realize the same is true for any Democrat. There is so much to do in this second term - immigration reform, energy, gun control - why expend the energy on this fight? I'd rather save the fighting for supreme court picks.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #10)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 06:52 AM

11. There's a good article on this by Glenn Greenwald

who has, of course, been highly critical of Obama's use of drones. He's also gay, so Hagel's anti-gay past matters to him. But he sees Hagel as less likely to fall in lock-step with the military-industrial combine than any of the Democratic possibilities.

All of the Democratic alternatives to Hagel who have been seriously mentioned are nothing more than standard foreign policy technocrats, fully on-board with the DC consensus regarding war, militarism, Israel, Iran, and the Middle East. That's why Kristol, the Washington Post and other neocons were urging Obama to select them rather than Hagel: because those neocons know that, unlike Hagel, these Democratic technocrats pose no challenge whatsoever to their agenda of sustaining destructive US policy in the Middle East and commitment to endless war.
...
Moreover, despite the above-reference differences, Hagel in general is squarely within the DC foreign policy consensus on most issues (Obama would never nominate someone who isn't). It's quite likely that in his confirmation process, he'll conform as much as possible to DC orthodoxies in order to ensure confirmation. Democratic Party advocates will defend him on the cowardly ground that he affirms those orthodoxies, not on the ground that it is permissible let alone desirable to question them. It seems likely that Obama wants Hagel not due to Iran or Hamas but primarily because, as a combat veteran, he will be helpful in trying to facilitate a withdrawal from Afghanistan over strong military and hawkish objections. And there's only so much influence a single Cabinet member can have on administration policy.

But at the very least, Hagel's confirmation will be a much-needed declaration that some mild dissent on foreign policy orthodoxies and Israel is permitted. It will shatter AIPAC's veto power and dilute the perception of the so-called "pro-Israel community's" unchallengeable power. It will ensure that there is at least some diversity of viewpoints when it comes to debating endless war, belligerence v. negotiations, and MidEast policy. It will highlight the typically-suppressed differences within the GOP and the country about America's war posture. In sum, as Matt Duss very persuasively detailed in the American Prospect, Hagel's confirmation would bring some incremental though potentially substantial benefits.

Given the steadfast and usually unquestioning support most liberals have given this Democratic President as he's pursued policies of aggression and militarism, they should refrain from opposing one of the few prominent dissidents on these matters absent some very compelling reasons. So far, nothing remotely compelling has been offered. If this nomination actually happens, this will be one of Obama's best appointments and boldest steps of his presidency. It would be ironic indeed, and more than a bit unfortunate, if liberals decide to make this nomination one of the very few times they are willing to oppose their party's leader.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/05/hagel-liberals-gays-israel-democrats


There isn't a Supreme Court pick around right now; I don't think there's 'energy' that needs to be conserved for months or years. If the other appointments that are actually going to happen soon go through OK (I think Kerry ought to be straightforward - all Dem support, and enough Republicans have worked with him long enough in the Senate that they can't say he's fundamentally unsuitable without questioning their own past judgement), then there could be space to get this through.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 07:40 AM

12. I'm not a fan of Greenwald

It seems all anyone on this board cares about is his position on Israel which is so shortsighted it's almost funny. His position on Israel is meaningless in terms of policy as he will do what he is told and President Obama is a very strong supporter of Israel (as is Joe Biden). Anyone who believes he has all of sudden seen the light on gay issues is a fool. My beef is he's a republican - part of the same party that has done nothing but try and sabotage this President - why on earth would I trust any of them?

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #12)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:38 AM

14. But Greenwald points out this is more about the withdrawal from Afghanistan

and no, I don't think "all anyone on this board cares about is his position on Israel". It's also about Afghanistan (Hagel, being a critic of the invasion of Iraq, should be unlikely to help any neocons in the military who want to stay there), and he's also willing to cut the military budget. I think DU tends to say "his position on Israel is fine", because that's what the RW is currently attacking. But that's not what is seen as his advantage.

The anti-gay position may be a problem; but it seems to me that argument has already been won, in defense - Don't Ask Don't Tell has gone. I don't think Hagel could do any damage now. Notice that he has endorsed 2 Democrats for the Senate, and said, back in 2008, he would consider running as Obama's VP if he were asked. He's been far enough separated from the Republican mob to not be painted with the same brush of "sabotaging this President", I think.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_Hagel

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #14)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:21 AM

16. NOw he's looking for a fancy job

I'm not impressed with his change of heart. Just because he isn't a teabagger doesn't mean he hasn't cast dozens (perhaps hundreds) of votes that would have everybody on this board up in arms. Like these:

Reproductive health of women:

Voted YES on prohibiting minors crossing state lines for abortion. (Mar 2008)
Voted YES on barring HHS grants to organizations that perform abortions. (Oct 2007)
Voted NO on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines. (Apr 2007)
Voted YES on notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions. (Jul 2006)
Voted NO on $100M to reduce teen pregnancy by education & contraceptives. (Mar 2005)

snip

Voted YES on banning partial birth abortions except for maternal life. (Mar 2003)
Voted YES on maintaining ban on Military Base Abortions. (Jun 2000)
Voted YES on banning partial birth abortions. (Oct 1999)

snip

Rated 0% by NARAL, indicating a pro-life voting record. (Dec 2003)
Rated 100% by the NRLC, indicating a pro-life stance. (Dec 2006)


Let me repeat: 0% from NARAL - he should look for applause someplace else.


Edited to add: For more on his dismal voting record, check out this Dkos diary:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/01/05/1176553/-Chuck-Hegel-s-Dismal-Sordid-Voting-Record

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #16)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:00 AM

18. But you have quoted nothing about his reducing the defense budget.



It appeals to Obama’s bipartisan spirit — and the optics aren’t bad, either — to have any Republican as Defense secretary when Obama is seeking to end the war in Afghanistan and dramatically reduce the Pentagon’s budget. Hagel brings even more credibility to the task because he’s a decorated Vietnam veteran and would be the first from that war to lead the Pentagon.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/01/why-barack-obama-picked-chuck-hagel-85822.html#ixzz2HIzb89MO





http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/01/07/why-hagel-matters.html

What makes Hagel so important, and so threatening to the Republican foreign-policy elite, is that he is one of the few prominent Republican-aligned politicians and commentators (George Will and Francis Fukuyama are others, but such voices are rare) who was intellectually changed by Iraq. And Hagel was changed, in large measure, because he bore within him intellectual (and physical) scar tissue from Vietnam. As my former colleague John Judis captured brilliantly in a 2007 New Republic profile, the Iraq War sparked something visceral in Hagel, as the former Vietnam rifleman realized that, once again, detached and self-interested elites were sending working-class kids like himself to die in a war they couldn’t honestly defend. It is certainly true that some politicians who served in Vietnam—for instance, John McCain—did not react to Iraq that way. But it is also true that the fact that so few American politicians and pundits lived the kind of wartime hell Hagel endured made it easier for them to pass through the Iraq years unscathed. It’s no coincidence that the other senator most deeply enraged by Iraq was ex-Marine James Webb, another former hawkish Republican who saw the war through his own personal Vietnam prism.

At the heart of the opposition to Hagel is the fear that he will do what Republicans have thus far largely prevented: bring America’s experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan into the Iran debate. Much of the Republican and establishment Jewish criticism of Hagel centers on his comments about the “Jewish lobby.” Some critics genuinely consider those comments offensive (though I don’t). But ultimately, Hagel’s “Jewish lobby” remarks are a sideshow. Were he as hawkish on Iran as McCain is, Republican senators, conservative journalists, and American Jewish officials would almost certainly have overlooked them, as they largely overlooked (or outright defended) the more problematic recent comments about Jewish media ownership by Rupert Murdoch. The bald truth is that for many conservatives today, the key test of how someone feels about Jews is whether they support Israel’s security needs, as conservatives define them. Had Hagel passed that test, conservative Republicans and Jewish “leaders” would be as bothered by his use of the term “Jewish lobby” in 2005 as they were when Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations executive vice chairman Malcolm Hoenlein used the phrase last month. Which is to say, not at all.

...

Hagel’s uncommon honesty isn’t restricted to Israel. Among the statements that critics now decry is Hagel’s 2007 declaration that “People say we’re not fighting for oil . Of course we are.” In The Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol calls Hagel’s statement “vulgar and disgusting.” What Kristol doesn’t note is that the same article that quotes Hagel also quotes noted radical Alan Greenspan saying virtually the same thing. The difference: Greenspan said it in his memoir, published once he was safely retired from government service.



The next Secretary of Defense has a single mission: reduce the size of the military budget.

I would take Liz Cheney as SOD if that's what it took to fix this one thing.

35 cents of every USG dollar goes to defense and intelligence.

31 cents of every USG dollar goes to funding the deficit mostly from wars and excess defense spending.

Its a miracle that our government survives at all with that kind of a load. Reducing the defense budget will have a dramatic impact on future deficit and future interest payment.

With even a 30% reduction in both we would have more than enough revenues to subsidize health care for the poor, invest in education, invest in clean energy and do more wealth transfer.

Hagel would be the most effective spokesman for reducing waste in the military not just because of his Republican Senate experience but because he will be the first enlisted man to be defense secretary.

You can tell what a threat to the military/industrial complex he is by watching how the Republcians are reacting. Everything else is a diversion. It is not a "reward".

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Response to grantcart (Reply #18)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:03 AM

19. BFD

Are you telling me there isn't one Democrat who is a veteran who also doesn't want to cut the defense budget? Why should a man with his voting record be welcome in this administration?

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #19)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 12:09 PM

22. There isn't one Democrat who could get as many votes in the Senate and the House to get something

passed.


All of the people on the left who want to see a reduced military budget know that Hagel is the sharpest knife in the drawer, and that includes normal Obama bashers like Glenn Greenwald. You are hung up on a letter next to the name rather than the center objective of making the most significant structural change in government budgets since the cold war. It is going to take somebody with not only bipartisan credentials but also impecable defense credentials to get Senators to agree to cut exotic weapons that cost billions but guarantee millions in campaign contributions and to close half of the bases in the US, which even the military no longer wants. The fact that he was an enlisted man gives him the most credentials to talk about gold plating the military and ignoring the common soldier.

It is a BFD its just that you want to focus on trivialities.

There is a significant wing of the Republican Party who agrees with Eisenhower about the military/industrial complex but need someone to give them cover so that they don't appear to be following Ron Paul. If you want to cut defense then you have to make it a bipartisan effort. If you want to maintain the status quo then pick any Democrat you want.

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Response to grantcart (Reply #22)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 01:34 PM

23. Trivialities?

Things like women's rights, civil rights, gay rights are trivialities? You should have mentioned up top that was your feelings about these issues...I wouldn't have wasted my time with you. Go, get into bed with the opposition...what could go wrong?

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #23)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:21 PM

27. leftynyc

I think for this job - those aren't things that me (a female black feminist) are concerned with. I'm concerned with his irritating the piss out of chicken hawks. And he's done it quite a bit over the years.

He won't be in a position to force women to give birth, legislating against GLBT with oppressive laws, or heck - going along with the rampant vulgar hatred towards black Americans (we are still their favorite whipping post) by Republicans.

He CAN be effective in this position though.

I would NOT want him in Sebelius' job. I wouldn't want him to have Holder's either (very friendly to black American's interests - i.e. preventing us from being thrown back to 1960).

I wouldn't hire an accountant to do go to market.
I wouldn't hire a P.R. pro to do my quarterly reverse logistic reports.
I wouldn't hire Hagel to do either.

But he's got the credibility to do this job.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #27)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:36 PM

30. +1 ...

especially, when the criticism of his views (with respect to GLBT issues, at least) are pulled from the 1990's and ignore his much more recent comments. As Greenwald has mentioned, I wonder which of his Democratic (or republican) comtempories did not hold (publically) similar views?

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #23)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:30 PM

31. When it comes to the Defense Department the Secretary of Defense has only one

issue: Reducing the Budget.

The fact that you cannot compartmentalize priorities in different boxes causes you to trivialize the issues at stake in a particular fight.

When it comes to the HHS Secretary it is trivial to judge that candidate on how they feel about the Osprey Aircraft a $ 35 billion aircraft that will never reach its intended goal of combat service but that continues to get congressional support because the makers make generous contributions to a few congressman.

When it comes to the Attorney General it is trivial to ask what that candidate considers to be the number of bases that need to be closed.

There are Republicans and Republican office holders who want to reduce spending in the military. They are not going to join a 100% Democratic effort to do so. They need some cover from a certified Republican and a certified military hero to be able to go back and say "this is not a partisan issue". Obviously this level of strategizing is beyond your capability. We are not fighting a single battle with a single priority list, we are fighting multiple battles on multiple lists.

But going to the top of your list women's rights.

The number one women's rights issue in the is country is supporting with dollars women's health issues, especially for the poor.

As this chart shows if we do not make significant changes in the military budget NOW then the military, intelligence and interest on past military and intelligence expenditures is going to swallow the budget. On the other hand if we had attacked this problem a decade ago we could be funding all health care for the poor now, and have lower interest payments.

If you are really interested in all of the other priorities that you give lip service to then your number one policy and staffing concern should be reduction of the military budget, and yes everything else, when it comes to the Department of Defense is just trivial noise.

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Response to grantcart (Reply #22)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:17 PM

26. Thanks grantcart

This is the guy that can help us get out of the middle east - ALL of us.

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Response to grantcart (Reply #18)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:16 AM

20. For some people, cabinet positions are mostly an opportunity to showcase and

reward Democrats and punish Republicans. Obama's personal need to trust his cabinet secretaries and have them well-suited for their roles takes a backseat to partisan engineering and cheerleading.

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 07:43 AM

13. I think Graham is doing Hagel and the admin a favor..

 

I think this is a bullshit objection on his point, purposely designed to do Hagel and the admin a favor by making BS right wing objections so that the Dems fall in line.

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Response to naaman fletcher (Reply #13)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:38 PM

32. Clever point


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