Sat Feb 2, 2013, 04:22 PM
Inuca (8,945 posts)
Inhofe and his stalagmites - Charlie Pierce on the Hagel hearing
A couple of choice quotes, starting with the aforementioned stalagmites (though they come at the very end of the article)
Hagel's not running to be a diplomat and, frankly, given our experience with that steaming hunk of neocon man-meat, Don Rumsfeld, I'd just as soon not have the Defense Secretary involved in the formulation of foreign policy as much as he is in making sure the grunts who have to carry it out have sufficient body armor. That, by all accounts, is what Hagel sees the job as being about. What some mullah may have mumbled about him may echo loudly among the stalagmites in Jim Inhofe's brain, but it has absolutely no relevance to the rest of us as far as Hagel's ability to run a Defense department. There is some criticism rising that Hagel was not properly prepared for his testimony. I'm not sure anybody could have been. How could anyone be properly prepared for Jim Inhofe and Ted Cruz in the same day? Those kind of mushrooms are still illegal.
At times, Hagel seemed thrown off-balance by the ferocity with which some of his former colleagues wielded the trivial and the non-material. (Lindsey Graham was conspicuously beset by the vapors.) He may, in fact, not done his cause any favors by trying to keep the questioning limited to what how he would advise the president on the management of the American military, which is, after all, the job he's trying to get. The primary issue seemed to be Hagel's relationship with the state of Israel — or, more specifically, the state of Israel that people like Graham and Cruz find politically useful. The structure of the argument — to say nothing of the tactics employed — was straight out of the Cold War 1950s, with Israel standing in for the Captive Nations Of Eastern Europe, and some sort of vague alliance of Islamist groups standing in for the Warsaw Pact. I half-expected one of the Republicans to ask us to offer a rosary on the behalf of the souls in chains.
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Inhofe and his stalagmites - Charlie Pierce on the Hagel hearing (Original post)