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Fri Dec 28, 2012, 12:25 PM

Hagel Nomination Can Knock Down Wild-Swinging Repugs/NeoCons/AIPAC

The bad news is that, in the words of yesterday's NYRB article by Elizabeth Drew:

if [Obama] dropped Hagel would he go to bat for anyone? (Or they for him?) The hesitancy to name Hagel or another candidate is already diminishing Obama's stature, erasing more of his post-election glow.

The good news is that Obama still has time to turn this story into one of rope-a-doping wild-swinging Repugs, NeoCons and AIPAC, who have set themselves up to be knocked down by an Obama counterpunch. Hagel€™'s confirmation, which is likely, would show the limits of their influence, and would further reduce it. Even if some combination of lucky punches or abuse of the filibuster succeeded in derailing his nomination, the move from a whispering campaign to public hearings would further highlight the extremism of Hagel'™s rightwing detractors (his other detractors are discussed below).

The stakes are very high and broad.

As Drew says about for domestic politics:

What the president decides will bear on: his effectiveness in his second term; any president's ability to form a government; whether an independent voice can be raised on a highly sensitive issue in opposition to the views of a powerful lobby and still be named to a significant government position; whether there is actually a proper nominating system; whether McCarthyite tactics can still be effective more than half a century after they were rejected by a fed-up nation.

As Drew says about foreign policy:

And, by the way, what will be the direction of American policy in the Middle East? In particular, how adventurous will we be toward Iran? Have we learned anything from the calamitous foreign policy blunders of the past decade? Iran more than any other single issue is at the core of the opposition to Hagel, and that issue is closely linked to the question of the extent to which the U.S. should be allied with the aggressive policies of the Israeli government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu toward Iran.



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Reply Hagel Nomination Can Knock Down Wild-Swinging Repugs/NeoCons/AIPAC (Original post)
Purveyor Dec 2012 OP
TwilightGardener Dec 2012 #1

Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 12:38 PM

1. I hope that's the strategy here--to let the Repubs go all-out batshit

with scurrilous charges, lose steam, and then nominate him anyway. If it is, I will be pleasantly surprised. If not, then Obama's letting Hagel get trashed unnecessarily:

"'His treatment has been akin to “getting jumped in an alley,” Ellen Tauscher, formerly the Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control, told me. Tauscher has known Hagel well since she served on the House Armed Services Committee and Hagel served on Senate Foreign Relations. “This is not meant to be a fair fight, nor is this meant to be a serious and sober consideration of someone’s public record and their credibility. This is a knife in the back. Because you cannot defend yourself when you are not nominated. You don’t have the policy or the political machine of the White House behind you. It is a very unsavory, very terrible situation.”

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/12/chuck-hagel-and-his-enemies.html#ixzz2GMiJ46

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