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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 12:40 AM

11. I don't have an opinion about Hagel. He may be fine but he is a Republican,

so I wonder why we can't have a Democratic Secretary of Defense.

Regardless, Cohen's article is a gem of an example of the art of changing the subject to stop the conversation.

For example, Cohen writes:

"Our two most effective wartime presidents, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt, had virtually no military experience. Jefferson Davis, by way of contrast, in addition to betraying the Union, was a fine officer, a veteran of the Mexican War and a president who could barely stay on civil terms with any general other than Robert E. Lee, who managed him rather than the other way around."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/chuck-hagels-vietnam-experience-is-not-much-of-a-qualification-for-defense-secretary/2013/01/09/6ce0089a-59b4-11e2-9fa9-5fbdc9530eb9_story.html?hpid=z2

Those facts might support an argument that an otherwise qualified nominee who never served in the military could nevertheless make an excellent president.

Except, that there are some notable examples of military veterans who made excellent presidents: George Washington. Another: Theodore Roosevelt. And a third arguably pretty good president if not as good as Washington or Teddy Roosevelt: Dwight D. Eisenhower.

So, those examples do not prove that a veteran cannot make a good president.

Note -- president, not secretary of defense. Hagel is being considered for secretary of defense, not the presidency.

The article fails to mention Hagel's service in the Senate, his courage in battle (saved his own brother who served with him in Viet Nam) and, later in opposing illegitimate wars and waste.

And that is just one example of why the article has utterly nothing to do with whether Hagel would make a good Secretary of Defense. It is irrelevant. Why was it even published?

Looks like a hatchet job on Hagel. As I said, there may be things that I will learn that will cause me to criticize the nomination of Hagel.

But Cohen's article is unfair. It has nothing to do with Hagel's qualifications for secretary of defense. The fact that it is obviously irrelevant should not be accepted in silence. It's a shabby piece.

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