But Secretary of Defense nominee Mr. Chuck Hagel has a lifetime rating of 85 from the American Conservative Union. Nor would I have guessed it would be Republicans torpedoing his confirmation.
Maybe the World ended and no one has told me yet. Are the Reps really opposing a two-term Senator from Nebraska and highly decorated Vietnam War hero?
So far, the only reason I see emanating from the “Republican Echo Chamber” for this tragic opposition is that Mr. Hagel showed a “horrific” lack of judgment in opposing the surge in Iraq. Which, for some unknown reason, there are still people who think that strategy worked.
Last time I checked, about the only thing the surge accomplished was a temporary lull in sectarian violence. As soon as the extra American troops left, the tribal warfare resumed with a vengeance.
So after having seen the error of his ways in initially voting for the war in Iraq, he has every right to criticize its continuation and errant policies.
Distractions aside, there are several reasons why Hagel’s confirmation matters.
This country would have a Secretary of Defense that has advocated deep cuts to the defense budget. He has the wisdom to see that war is not the answer to every foreign policy challenge this country faces. He has opposed torture. And he does not want to militarily intervene in Iran, no matter how much that goes against the wishes of Israel and the NeoCons.
Mr. Hagel can show the Country that a Conservative Republican can be for peace.
What a PR gift Obama has given the GOP if they are smart enough to capitalize on it.