HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Politics 2014 (Forum) » The phony Chuck Hagel fig...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 06:15 PM

The phony Chuck Hagel fight - by Joan Walsh

MONDAY, JAN 7, 2013 05:40 PM -0400

Barring an unknown scandal, the former GOP senator will be easily confirmed by the Senate, and that's a good thing

BY JOAN WALSH

As if reporters don’t have enough to cover, with the House GOP imploding and another game of fiscal hostage-taking coming in two months, everybody’s gone all in on the “controversy” over former GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel’s nomination as secretary of defense. Yes, Sen. Lindsey Graham is shrieking that his foreign policy views are “out of the mainstream,” John McCain has “serious concerns” and Mitch McConnell won’t promise to confirm him, but this will blow over.

The biggest non-story is the threat that pro-Israel Democrats might ally to block Hagel’s nomination. Although New York Sen. Chuck Schumer conspicuously failed to promise to support Hagel’s confirmation on “Meet the Press” last month, allegedly because of his insufficient fealty to protecting Israel, Schumer is unlikely to buck President Obama. The National Journal’s Josh Kraashauer had a slightly odd column about Democratic Hagel skeptics, hyping Schumer’s doubts and pointing to the Democratic Jewish “minyan” of senators, including Dianne Feinstein and Carl Levin, as key to the confirmation. But Levin and Feinstein quickly came for Hagel’s confirmation after his nomination Monday. Schumer and New York’s other senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, both released noncommittal statements praising Hagel’s background and vowing a fair hearing, but stopped short of endorsing him. Still, it’s almost impossible to imagine the two of them going it alone, without Feinstein or Levin, on Hagel.

There are a few progressives who lament that Obama is picking a Republican, squandering the political capital he’d amassed for Democrats with his hawkish foreign policy and killing Osama bin Laden. (Daily Kos ran a campaign to get Obama to pick a Democrat.) While taking those arguments seriously, Obama critic (and my former colleague) Glenn Greenwald nonetheless called Hagel’s appointment “one of Obama’s best appointments and boldest steps of his presidency.”

Others have been irked that the president is ready to fight for Hagel in a way he didn’t fight for Susan Rice as secretary of state. I wish he’d fought for Rice, if indeed he wanted to appoint her, but I’m glad he’s bucking the neocons to fight for Hagel. It might bother me that Democrats are so willing to pick Republicans to head defense, from Robert Gates back to Bill Cohen under President Clinton, except that Hagel is better on defense policy than a lot of Democrats. His skepticism about the war in Iraq as well as a possible war with Iran, along with his unorthodox (for Washington) views about our relationship with Israel is reassuring. So is his apparent willingness to cut defense; David Sirota notes his public statements calling the defense budget “bloated” and suggesting that it “needs to be pared down,” sentiments you rarely hear from Republicans and not frequently enough from Democrats.

-snip-

http://www.salon.com/2013/01/07/the_phony_chuck_hagel_fight/

16 replies, 1352 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply The phony Chuck Hagel fight - by Joan Walsh (Original post)
DonViejo Jan 2013 OP
alcibiades_mystery Jan 2013 #1
Indykatie Jan 2013 #2
alcibiades_mystery Jan 2013 #3
DonCoquixote Jan 2013 #4
LibGranny Jan 2013 #5
SpartanDem Jan 2013 #6
Cha Jan 2013 #7
karynnj Jan 2013 #9
Cha Jan 2013 #10
karynnj Jan 2013 #11
Cha Jan 2013 #12
karynnj Jan 2013 #14
Cha Jan 2013 #13
davidpdx Jan 2013 #8
Liberal_Stalwart71 Jan 2013 #15
butterfly77 Jan 2013 #16

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 06:47 PM

1. Exactly correct

to Joan Walsh.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 08:54 PM

2. Hagel is Better than Many Dems in My Opinion

including Panetta.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Indykatie (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:00 PM

3. Agreed

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:13 PM

4. the golden quote

"It might bother me that Democrats are so willing to pick Republicans to head defense, from Robert Gates back to Bill Cohen under President Clinton, except that Hagel is better on defense policy than a lot of Democrats."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:39 PM

5. Was General (Ret) Wesley Clark even considered?

and I believe he's a Dem!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:56 PM

6. The history of GOP defense in secretaries with Dem residents goes much farther than Clintion

JFK and LBJ had Robert McNamara, Harry Truman and FDR had Republicans serve for parts of their terms. The only one not to was Carter.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 01:44 AM

7. Thank you, Joan Walsh.. I think Pres Obama would have fought for

Susan Rice had she been his first pick instead of John Kerry.

Good to know..

Hagel made dumb comments about Ambassador Jim Hormel being “aggressively gay,” for which he has apologized. Rep. Barney Frank, who first sounded alarms about the Hagel nomination, now supports him. Foreign policy wonk Steve Clemons, who happens to be gay, knows Hagel well and backs him strongly, recently writing that “Chuck Hagel is pro-gay, pro-LGBT, pro-ending ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’” Likewise, Hagel’s maligned comments about “the Jewish lobby,” which is more correctly called the Israel lobby, didn’t disqualify him with the Jewish foreign policy expert who recorded the remarks, Aaron David Miller. Miller recently called the Hagel attacks “scurrilous,” writing in Foreign Policy.


Thanks DV

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Cha (Reply #7)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 09:13 AM

9. I agree with you, Cha

The real accusations the Republicans made against Rice were charges that the Obama administration will have to answer - with or without her nomination. The main one being that Rice lied in the 5 hearings.

The fact is that everything she said was in the CIA report. They seem to suggest that as part of the NS team, she knew more than she said and/or she knew that parts of the CIA talking pts were not true. It would seem that it is impossible to prove what she knew. McCain's comment that he "knew" it was terrorism immediately suggests that he does not understand the difference between "knew" and "thought".

The other negatives were that she was not diplomatic. Now, there were a few examples where the consensus would be that she was not very diplomatic, but I assume that you could find a set of examples where anyone was not as good as they could be. The facts are that she rose through the diplomatic ranks in spite of those examples. Then consider that McCain and Graham had no problem with John Bolton as SOS -- and it is hard to find anyone in government less diplomatic.

Because the charges were against his administration and one of his people and the actions were things she did as part of her job, Obama had to strongly defend her -- and he did. If she were his first choice and the decision had been made, I suspect he would have nominated her as soon as he could after the election. In fact, the WP which had clearly backed her over Kerry, eve had an oped that framed Obama not naming her as showing he was weak. There was more pressure on Obama to nominate her than not to nominate her.

I suspect that just as Obama nominated Hagel and his people likely coordinated many of the strong endorsements, he could have done the same thing with Rice. The selection of Hagel, who has strong ties to both Kerry and Biden - who were all Obama's colleagues on SFRC - suggest that Obama wants a strong foreign policy team with political skill and connections.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to karynnj (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 05:00 PM

10. Thanks for your analysis, karynnj

Kerry wanted it and from all his history.. he is the best one for the job. I actually believed Susan Rice when she gave her reasons for withdrawing her name. I don't consider her liar then and I know she was telling the facts as she knew them on Benghazi.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Cha (Reply #10)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 09:32 PM

11. I agree with you on Rice

I also can't imagine how anyone feels who becomes the center of RW outrage. Even from having been part of the JK group, I saw the horror of what came at him after he skipped one two letter word in a joke written for him in late 2006 when he was honoring a commitment to speak for a candidate in CA with no chance of winning when he was coming down with a very bad cold. But - that was at a huge distance compared to being the focus and it was sickening and stomach turning even from that very remote point and I know many in the JK group felt the same.

Then stopping to think that unlike Obama, Clinton (either one), Kerry etc, Rice was NOT a politician and likely had never expected that kind of ferocious scrutiny. This was something that most professional diplomats/scholars will ever face. (Oddly, the Republican DR Rice faced it from our side.)

I have always been amazed when people like Kerry and the Clintons take these punches and come back and fight again. I know that I (even if I had their talents and positions) would not have the guts or heart to continue. It would simply be too painful.

Looked at objectively, the attacks on Rice were minuscule compared to what was thrown at the politicians I named - and she did get a lot of support.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to karynnj (Reply #11)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:07 PM

12. Hey, karynVT.. I finally read your sig line..

Like it there, do ya? If you want you can bold your sig so it would be easier to see.

Now for you post.. I remember that "joke" episode..and how people jumped on it like vultures.. it bummed me out. Never know what's going to happen though..if you just hang in there, like Kerry did. And, now he's going to follow Hillary as SOS in an Obama Admin. The very same person he had as his Keynote Speaker in 2004!

I think the adage is true in their case.. if it doesn't kill you it makes you stronger. the rw assholes who savagef their bloody teeth on Susan Rice better hope she doesn't come back to bite them in their lying asses like Senator Elizabeth Warren is.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Cha (Reply #12)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:19 PM

14. We love it!

We have been here since December 1 and are really enjoying life here. I am still using KarynNJ because it has been my name" since early 2005 here.

I think you are right, but wonder how many good people we never have known who simply opt for alternative ways to serve because a political career - if they were really successful gets this toxic.

Kerry, in a way, is the extreme case in that even the things that Republicans have always loved in their own "heroes they hated in him just because they could not accept in their brains a Massachusetts liberal, who really is a genuine war hero, in the best way, and a strong, moral, individual and a very fit athlete. I remember one NYT oped where someone spoke of how if Republicans had a conservative candidate with Kerry's traits they would have had a wonderful time praising all the things they defined as bad.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to karynnj (Reply #11)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:09 PM

13. P.S. sorry, I spelled your name wrong.. I don't want

to edit my post.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 08:52 AM

8. I think we better get the filibuster reform passed

if we want Hagel confirmed. As I just said somewhere else, I think the Republicans can put together 41 votes to block him and I think there may be a few liberal Democrats who may join the Republicans

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 09:32 AM

15. Joan is so smart. This is key...

I’m glad he’s bucking the neocons to fight for Hagel. It might bother me that Democrats are so willing to pick Republicans to head defense, from Robert Gates back to Bill Cohen under President Clinton, except that Hagel is better on defense policy than a lot of Democrats. His skepticism about the war in Iraq as well as a possible war with Iran, along with his unorthodox (for Washington) views about our relationship with Israel is reassuring. So is his apparent willingness to cut defense; David Sirota notes his public statements calling the defense budget “bloated” and suggesting that it “needs to be pared down,” sentiments you rarely hear from Republicans and not frequently enough from Democrats.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 02:40 PM

16. Exactly..

No matter the subject or situation teabaggers are against it they are working for the people they are working against the people.

Regarding the budget,whose money is it anyway the republiCONS seem to think that they can dictate to us lindsay graham needs to go along time ago along with the rest of these assholes they are destroying this country along with others.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread