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Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:18 AM

Chuck Hagel Haters Mobilize Ahead of Thursday Confirmation Hearings

by Nina Strochlic Jan 30, 2013 4:45 AM EST

The attacks against Chuck Hagel that began even before Obama nominated him for defense secretary are at their zenith as he prepares for confirmation hearings Thursday. Nina Strochlic on the outcry—and Hagel’s chances.

On Thursday, former Sen. Chuck Hagel will appear before the Senate for his confirmation hearings as secretary of defense, but unlike recently appointed Secretary of State John Kerry, who breezed through the process, he faces a tough time. Hagel’s high-profile critics, big-money lobbyists, and political pundits are taking up arms against the man they see as a threat to the U.S. military. Why are they spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to ensure he doesn’t get confirmed?

The vitriol was unleashed when Hagel’s name was floated in early December as an Obama favorite for the defense portfolio, and ramped up upon his nomination in early January. Republicans didn’t quite see the former two-term senator—who voted against the Iraq War, opposes unilateral Iranian sanctions, and supports a scaled-back military—as one of their own. “[To] allege that Hagel is somehow a Republican—that is a hard one to swallow,” Sen. John McCain, the top Republican on the Armed Services Committee, told Politico, in the first of a string of attacks that would soon hit the airwaves and the Internet.

The anti-Hagel campaign goes past talk-show appearances and op-ed pieces. Hagel’s harshest opponents make a strange group—a mix of conservative Republicans, LGBT rights groups, and pro-Israel lobbyists. And they’re spending big to keep him out of the secretary of defense job. On Tuesday, an analysis by the Sunlight Foundation found that $123,000 has been spent on anti-Hagel TV ads by these outside groups. US News reported that at least five of these groups have formed an anti-Hagel campaign, buying up TV, newspaper, and online ads in an attempt to influence senators against voting for him. Even the domain chuckhagel.com was snapped up by the nonprofit Emergency Committee for Israel, and comes up as an ad at the top of Google search results with a homepage that screams, “Chuck Hagel is Not a Responsible Option.”

Hagel’s positions and off-the-cuff comments haven’t endeared him to the pro-Israel lobbyists and politicians. He once declared that he’s “not an Israeli senator,” threw out a remark about the “Jewish lobby,” and criticized the country’s dealings with Lebanese militant group Hizbullah.



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Reply Chuck Hagel Haters Mobilize Ahead of Thursday Confirmation Hearings (Original post)
DonViejo Jan 2013 OP
Bluenorthwest Jan 2013 #1

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 12:27 PM

1. This article is not accurate when it says Hagel voted against the Iraq War, he voted YES on


the Iraq War Resolution. I can see why those who favor Hagel would lie about that, it is hard to explain why a man who voted for that war is framed as being against it, so much better just to lie and characterize the opposition.
23 US Senators voted NO on the IRW. One Republican among them, Lincoln Chafee. Hagel voted Yes, Mr Bush Sir, let us Shock and let us Awe. He along with the majority made one of the single worst decisions ever made in the Senate, one of the worst decisions in American history, so of course his supporters need to alter the facts when they speak of him.
Is it really a shock that many Democrats oppose a Republican who voted for the Iraq War and against choice at ever opportunity? Of course not. That's why the supporters craft such pieces as this, to call opposition to Republican war mongers and anti choice crusaders 'hate'.
"Following is an alphabetical listing by state of how each senator voted on President Bush's Iraq resolution. A "yes" vote was a vote to grant President Bush the power to attack Iraq unilaterally. A "no" vote was a vote to defeat the measure.
Nebraska Chuck Hagel (R): Yes Ben Nelson (D): Yes

Amazing how quickly supporting Republicans makes people mendacious or just stupid and lazy. I understand the difficulty for those who spent years claiming opposition to the war and to those who voted for it face when they now want to support a supporter of the war and one of the Yes voters. But the facts are the facts and he voted Yes on the IRW.

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