I Want to Have This Fight, Too

Some Republicans are already freaking out over the potential nomination of Hagel:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday expressed dismay at reports President Obama would tap former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) for Secretary of Defense, calling it an “in your face” selection.

“I like Chuck Hagel. He served with distinction in Vietnam as an enlisted man — two Purple Hearts. But quite frankly Chuck Hagel is out of the mainstream of thinking on most issues regarding foreign policy,” said Graham in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“He has long severed his ties with the Republican party. This is an in your face nomination of the president to all of us who are supportive of Israel,” he added. “I don’t know what his management experience is in regards to the Pentagon or global if anyway, so I think it’s an extremely controversial choice.”

Reports Sunday said that Obama had decided to name Hagel to replace current Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta as early as Monday.

What’s so amazing to me is that Graham, who used to be (I don’t know if he still is) a reserve JAG officer, swore an oath when he joined the military. Here it is:

I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

Oddly enough, there is not one word in there about Israel. Maybe Graham isn’t clear that we aren’t nominating Chuck Hagel to be Israel’s Secretary of Defense, but our own. That’s how messed up this situation has become with us as Israel’s client state. Senators can make completely asinine statements like the one above, and no one even flinches. Then, if you point out the overwhelming influence of the Israel lobby in the United States congress, you get tarred and feathered as an anti-Semite. And then they’ll deny there is an Israel lobby.

So I want to have this fight. Let’s let Graham and all the others go in front of a camera and proclaim to the world that their top consideration for the American Secretary of Defense is… his deference to foreign nation. Bring it on, Lindsey.






114 replies
  1. 1
    redshirt says:

    I ask again: Was there any follow up to Graham’s statements?

    Because it’s one thing for a Republican to spout nonsense – it’s what they do. The real crime is the media letting it slide, or even abetting it.

  2. 2
    Comrade Jake says:

    The fact that the Israel lobby is out in force against Hagel is a large point in his favor. But seriously, is this all because of one fucking comment he made about the US and Israel occasionally having slightly different strategic interests? It’s insane.

  3. 3
    dead existentialist says:

    I believe Hagel got on the wrong side of Lyns for saying something to the effect that last time Hagel checked, he (Hagel) had been elected to be a US Senator not an Israeli one.

    The neocons nevah forget.

  4. 4
    jp7505a says:

    GOP/neocons/Isreal lobby are having a major sad because the Romnney doctrine is not in effect. Romney explained the doctrine during the primaries when he said that when he got the 3am call from Bibi he would do ‘whatever it was that Bibi wanted him to do, no questions asked’.

    See how much easier that would be! (sigh).

    What makes this so absured is they are trying to make Hagel out as some kind of wildeyed leftwinger.

  5. 5
    bemused says:

    Lindsey Graham is a pissy little shit.

  6. 6
    General Stuck says:

    One of the pros of a Hagel pick, though it is fact that Obama is picking the American Defense Sec, and not Israel’s. Far as I know, Hagel is agnostic on AiPac, and it wouldn’t much matter in real life as secdef if he was personally opposed to them. But the political optics of the wingnuts and neocons flipping their collective beanies is not a bad thing. Especially with Hagel as being one of their own. Worth the price of admission, and Obama and Hagel are buds off the field of play, so bring it on, yes.

  7. 7
    Patricia Kayden says:

    So I wonder if by tomorrow morning Hagel will ask President Obama to not consider him as the Secretary of Defense (like Susan Rice did re the Secretary of State position). Hope not and I hope that President Obama fights hard to win this battle.

    Until all this brouhaha over his nomination to the Secretary of Defense position erupted, I never knew Hagel was considered “controversial” by his fellow Republicans. Amazing.

  8. 8
    BGinCHI says:

    Not to let Graham off the hook (I’d like to put him on a hook, actually), but have we heard from Dem Senators who usually support Israel like this?

    I’m wondering how widespread the Israel Uber Alles ideology runs in the Senate.

    This is also a fight that ought to bring in defense cuts into the spending cuts conversation.

  9. 9
    beltane says:

    @Comrade Jake: One comment is enough as far as the neocons are concerned. Perhaps if he had made amends for this comment by prostrating himself at Netanyahu’s feat and ostentatiously declaring his fealty to Greater Israel he would have been forgiven, but to my knowledge his remorse for this comment was insufficient to please the likes of Bill Kristol, etc.

  10. 10
    aimai says:

    I don’t think its the case that anyone, even Graham, gives a fuck about Israel–they would say anything and do anything to disoblige Obama so its just a case of finding something to say. “I respect Chuck Hagel but his hair is better than mine and that’s right out of the Republican mainstream…” The very fact that Graham can say that Hagel is “out of the mainstream” and has “severed his ties to the Republican party” with a straight face is the worst part of the quote–the Republican party is definitionally not part of the mainstream at this point and whether a Democratic President’s pick should be understood in terms of Republican party internal politics or not seems besides the point.

    aimai

  11. 11
    Chonchito says:

    Well to be fair Israel has never started a war with the U.S. like South Carolina has.

  12. 12
    Waldo says:

    If Obama really wanted to mess with them, he would float Lindsey’s name out there — just to watch the wingnuts take a dump on him. Could do the same for McCain and dozens of others. Keep doing it till they get the point.

  13. 13
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @BGinCHI: Not to let Graham off the hook (I’d like to put him on a hook, actually), but have we heard from Dem Senators who usually support Israel like this?

    Chuck Schumer has said something about being “troubled” or having “serious questions”, but the wisefolk seem to think he’ll vote yes if Obama nominates Hagel.

    I gather Senator Pittypat is already running ads in SC vowing to get answers on Benghazi. I am shocked, simply shocked, that his friends in the Village have not criticized him for politicizing foreign policy, and that none of them are pointing out that his calls for Hagel’s scalp are part of his (please god let it be a failure) upcoming primary fight against a Jim DeMint pick.

  14. 14
    General Stuck says:

    And I am off to my personal mountain top resort in Katmandu, for a much needed respite from the terminal stupid that is American politics. See you later alligators, in one Mayan month.

  15. 15
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    Part of this nomination is the finger in Israel’s eye. The President, in his passive-aggressive manner, is saying FUCK YOU, BiBi. I just hope the message is not just symbolic, leaving Hagel to twist in the wind when the storm reaches the Oval Office.

  16. 16
    JPL says:

    According to Jason @ huff post link

    Actual question asked on Fox News Sunday: Roberts cites a quote from Hagel in which he said, “I will do everything I can to avoid needless, senseless war,” and then asks, “Is that a reasonable position?”

    Maybe Hagel should be tried for treason.

  17. 17
    redshirt says:

    @Comrade Jake: The word “shibboleth” has never been more appropriate. Israel has become a shibboleth to the Wingnuts. There need not be any logic to it any longer – it’s now a matter of “Faith”.

  18. 18
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @BGinCHI:

    I’m wondering how widespread the Israel Uber Alles ideology runs in the Senate.

    65-70 votes. Minimum

    Senate resolution supporting recent action by Israel against in Gaza passed unanimously.

  19. 19
    BGinCHI says:

    @Chonchito: Win.

  20. 20
    beltane says:

    @aimai: There is some truth to that, but it is also true that unconditional support for the words and actions of Israel’s Likud party (and those to the right of the Likud party)is a central tenet of neoconservatism. Of course the Republicans want to thwart Obama at every opportunity, but there is also the fact that the Israel-firsters genuinely do not trust Hagel.

  21. 21
    aimai says:

    @General Stuck:

    Are you kidding General Stuck? I did my fieldwork in Nepal 20 years ago and recently went back and was taken to a mountain top resort. Weird experience. Its a totally different place.

    aimai

  22. 22
    aimai says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Also: I love “Senator Pittypat.” Its just perfect.

    aimai

  23. 23
    BGinCHI says:

    @Davis X. Machina: That’s fucking depressing.

    Gee, how about a distinction between supporting the state of Israel and supporting, or not, the current political and strategic moves of the government of Israel.

    Not a possible distinction?

    I think statecraft is regressing.

  24. 24
    beltane says:

    Yes, “Senator Pittypat” is a keeper (not the Senator himself, just the nom).

  25. 25
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    i’m guessing noam chomsky turned down the secdef job

  26. 26
    Corner Stone says:

    @General Stuck: Didn’t you just call out Obama on the last thread for this nomination? Man, you’re giving me whiplash you snapped back into line faster than a Republican who disagreed with Rush.

  27. 27
    Heliopause says:

    I agree with you and Greenwald, the mere fact of doing this sends an important message, even though in the real world Hagel is only about a quarter tick out of the mainstream on most issues he’ll be dealing with.

  28. 28
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @BGinCHI:Yeah, it’s sad.

    It’s a resolution. It takes no action. It spends no money. (In scoring student congress, your points used to be capped on resolutions, earned for speaking for, against, or authoring them, as opposed to bills. They’re that lame.)

    You can get three or four votes against on a Senate resolution on gravity. Not on this issue, though.

  29. 29
    lamh35 says:

    @Patricia Kayden: what I think this shows is that Susan Rice was NOT President Obama’s first pic for SoS anyway. I suspect that he was always gonna pick Kerry. But the GOP byt elevating and totally bombing Susan Rice just royally pissed off Obama and company. If Obama had really wanted Susan Rice as his SoS, he wuold have stuck it out.

    By floating the Susan Rice pic though, it elevated everyone’s ire up even though the news forever has been that Kerry was next up for state.

  30. 30
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    How can a former Republican Senator not be Republican enough for Graham and co.? Lieberman, by contrast, clearly moved from left to right, but Hagel? He’s a RINO?

    Here’s how to determine if you are truly Republican:
    a) Have you ever given money to a homeless person?
    b) Do you think that it might be a good idea to not allow a U.S. citizen to own and operate a bazooka for home defense or hunting?
    c) Do you think government oversight of any business whatsoever is potentially beneficial?
    d) Do you think that there could be different paths to a sacred deity besides Christianity?

    If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you are not a true Republican.

  31. 31
    beltane says:

    Meanwhile, it seems that Israel itself is rapidly hurling itself towards the wingnut event horizon http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl.....twing-poll

    They are 100% in their rights to go crazy, just as we should have the same right not to go crazy with them.

  32. 32
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @aimai: @beltane: Stolen from Watertiger at Dependable Renegade. I think Graham is actually smarter than most Republicans, he’s just desperate and twisted by frustrated ambition.

  33. 33
    trollhattan says:

    SecDef sets foreign policy? That’s news to me.

  34. 34
    Amir Khalid says:

    Okay, it’s time for me to put on my ignorant foreigner hat and ask the obvious. Does America’s Secretary of Defence run foreign policy off his own bat, that Senator Graham objects to a SecDef nominee on those grounds? And if Graham believes the DoD runs foreign policy, what does he think the State Department runs?

    I’m not going to ask about the US attachment to Israel, because I know by now that it’s an irrational one.

  35. 35
    Triassic Sands says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    It would be ironic if the first nominee Obama chose to wage a major fight for turned out to be a Republican.

    Hagel was generally not controversial as a Senator, but his election to the Senate in 1996 either was, or should have been quite controversial. See “How to Rig an Election” in the November 2012 Harper’s.

    “Few Americans knew that until shortly before the election, Hagel had been chairman of the company whose computerized voting machines would soon count his own votes: Election Systems & Software (then called American Information Systems). Hagel stepped down from his post just two weeks before announcing his candidacy. Yet he retained millions of dollars in stock in the McCarthy Group, which owned ES&S. And Michael McCarthy, the parent company’s founder, was Hagel’s campaign manager.”

    “Three days before the election, however, a poll conducted by the Omaha World-Herald showed a dead heat [betweel Hagel and then Nebraska governor, Ben Nelson], with 47 percent of respondents favoring each candidate.”

    Hagel won by fifteen points!

    Victoria Collier, the article’s author, credits Hagel with “symbolically…inaugurating” the era of electronic voting with machines that could easily be hacked to fix election results. Republicans should be in awe of Hagel.

  36. 36
    Yutsano says:

    @Amir Khalid: Secretary of Defence is in charge of military policy. Foreign policy is handled by State.

  37. 37
    Paul says:

    @JPL:

    Actual question asked on Fox News Sunday: Roberts cites a quote from Hagel in which he said, “I will do everything I can to avoid needless, senseless war,” and then asks, “Is that a reasonable position?”

    So does foxNews actually then think that starting needless, senseless wars is a reasonable position?

    Who does foxNews expect to pay for these needless wars? I think foxnews should realize that after the Iraq war, the smart folks who were against the Iraq war are sicken tired of being forced to pay for needless,senseless wars.

    And it is funny that earlier in the segment FoxNews pretended to be so outraged about the deficit and Obama’s out of control spending. Yet, starting needless, senseless and expensive wars seem to be fine. FoxNews must think these needless, senseless wars are free…

  38. 38
    lamh35 says:

    @lamh35: Edited previous comment.

    what I think this shows is that Susan Rice may NOT have President Obama’s first pic for SoS anyway. I suspect that he was always gonna pick Kerry. But the GOP (particularly McCain and Graham) by elevating and throwing bombs Susan Rice just royally pissed off Obama and company. If Obama had really wanted Susan Rice as his SoS, the whole Susan Rice “asking to be taken from consideration” thing would never had materialized.

    By floating the Susan Rice pic though, it elevated everyone’s ire up even though the news forever had been that Kerry was next up for state. By making Susan Rice a more sympathetic character, the GOP basically ensured that Rice would get backing from the our side even though we ALL thought Kerry would be next SoS.

    Much like with the Mass Senate appointment. If Barney Frank was already being considered,then great, but if he wasn’t being considered and instead governor Patrick had already had a 1st choice, then the constant “hey Guv Patrick pick Barney” cascade would cause the same dynamic if/should Patrick pick someone other than Barney Frank.

  39. 39
    rikyrah says:

    I don’t have strong feelings for Hagel one way or another, but the fact that he doesn’t display fealty for the 51st state is a bonus to me

  40. 40
    beltane says:

    @Paul: Anyone who opposes needless killing and the senseless burning of mountains of cash is now a crazy hippie and anti-Semite. Look, have you ever seen Cynthia McKinney and Chuck Hagel in a room together? Maybe they are really the same person.

  41. 41
    Paul says:

    @beltane:

    It is crazy…

  42. 42
    LosGatosCA says:

    @trollhattan:

    Obviously. Apparently, many people are unaware that the Secretary of State is a figurehead for the policies implemented through the Pentagon.

    The SoD has 40x the budget of State and more people on the ground around the globe by far. Nixon/Kissinger proved how necessary the SoS position was 40 years ago (completely superfluous). Kissinger took the job later as an ego boost and for public recognition, it was completely unnecessary as an instrument to achieve his goals.

  43. 43
    Ruckus says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    Rethugs want pliant cabinet members who will engage in acts of treason against the elected(democratic) executive branch. And they want that to be active and vocal acts of treason. You probably know the reason(s).

  44. 44
    Yutsano says:

    @beltane: Of course. Who are we to oppose the will of the almighty Israel? We’re only the largest military power in the world by a magnitude of 5 and give them $3 billion in military aid every year. Why do u make our defence contractor job creators cry?

  45. 45
    Anya says:

    The irony of all ironies — the Log Cabin Republicans placed a full-page ad in The New York Times criticizing Senator Hagel for his “aggressive history against the LGBT community.” OMG! I am speechless. Did no one ever teach these assholes about hypocrisy. Did I miss their oposition to Romney or any GOP candidate?

  46. 46
    quannlace says:

    Lindsey Graham is a pissy little shit.

    He always looks like he should be doing battle with the Three Billy Goats Gruff

  47. 47
    Paul says:

    @Yutsano:

    give them (Israel) $3 billion in military aid every year.

    If the deficit is as bad as everybody on the right claims, why are we still donating $3 billion to Israel each year? Shouldn’t that donation be eliminated BEFORE we start cutting our own Medicare to OUR OWN people.

  48. 48
    Joshua says:

    “What’s so amazing to me is that Graham, who used to be (I don’t know if he still is) a reserve JAG officer, swore an oath when he joined the military.”

    FYI: all members of Congress take this same oath when they’re sworn in.

  49. 49
    Fluke bucket says:

    South Carolina is the lost tribe of Israel. Graham is just representing his constituents.

  50. 50
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Israel Uber Alles

    In its own way, that’s kind of funny.

  51. 51
    Matthew Reid Krell says:

    Chonchito: Where would you like your internet delivered?

  52. 52
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Goddamn I so hate Lindsey Graham. He’s a mean little shit who would’ve been a backbenching clown until McCain and Lieberman decided they needed him to complete their asshole trio.

    I sure hope he gets nominated, just to further splinter the GOP. We started a civil war on the whole fiscal side; why not have some fun on the foreign policy side?

    Oh, and if Hagel isn’t going to kiss AIPAC’s fee-fees…isn’t that a good thing? Fuck, even most Jewish Americans have starkly different views than AIPAC on the whole matter of Israel…

  53. 53
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    @Paul:

    If the deficit is as bad as everybody on the right claims, why are we still donating $3 billion to Israel each year?

    The standard answer is that Israel is our solid ally in an unstable region and without them we would have far less power there.

    You’re welcome to contrast this simplistic view with how things actually turn out in the Middle East.

  54. 54
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    @Anya: I am at an utter loss to explain the Log Cabin Repubs. Are there any psychologists in the house? Is it a matter of deep self-hatred that they identify with a group that so disdains them?

  55. 55
    Yutsano says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: Evangelists need Israel so it can burn when Jeebus comes back. So showing anything but unquestioned support gets their hackles up as well. Medicare is just ebil socialism anyway, the churches should be providing care for the elderly so they have captive churchgoers to pay for their pastor’s third yacht.

  56. 56
    Comrade Jake says:

    Ezra Klein on twitter did raise a good point though: sure the argument against Hagel is ridiculous, but what’s the argument for him? There are better candidates – Ezra mentions Flournoy.

  57. 57
    handsmile says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Hey, are you out of Les Troyens yet?

    And if that war-horse wasn’t long enough for you, speaking of Uber Alles, Wagner’s Parsifal is slated for March 2. (bring a toothbrush)

  58. 58
    Paul says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    There are better candidates – Ezra mentions Flournoy.

    And that’s his opinion. I think she is way too hawkish and not committed to reducing defense spending.

  59. 59
    dww44 says:

    @redshirt: Exactly and the media lack of follow through and questioning extends across the board, like with David Brooks on Friday on All Things Considered around 6:15 p.m.

    Brooks was bemoaning the terribleness of the fiscal cliff deal and said that he didn’t blame Congress;he blamed the American people for “wanting things.” Not once did he assume any personal responsibility for cheering on two unpaid for wars at the same time that GWB and the GOP were handing out tax cuts. I don’t know if there were any pushback from E.J. or the ATC host, cause at that point I changed stations. Need to check the transcript. There’s no way I’m gonna listen to him.

  60. 60
    JoyfulA says:

    @Comrade Jake: Flournoy’s a signatory to Project for a New American Century stuff. Crosses her off the list for me.

  61. 61
    Paul says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:

    The standard answer is that Israel is our solid ally in an unstable region and without them we would have far less power there. You’re welcome to contrast this simplistic view with how things actually turn out in the Middle East.

    Isn’t it the other way around? Isn’t it our unconditional support (no matter what Israel does) that has made our country less safe?

    Can anybody really argue that we have a lot of power in the middle east after 60 years of unconditional supporting Israel?

  62. 62
    beltane says:

    @Comrade Jake: Bill Kristol also supports Flournoy which makes sense since she has a reputation as a hawk who shares the same views as the neoconservatives. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....17583.html

    Of course there are better choices out there than Hagel; I just don’t think Flournoy is one of them.

  63. 63
    Mike in NC says:

    Under Dubya, foreign policy was jointly controlled by Rumsfeld and Cheney and their neo-con minions. Powell was basically a figurehead Secretary of State who eventually gave up on the job because he was constantly bypassed.

  64. 64
    ACS says:

    In my fantasy version of the future, the Republicans throw such a hissy fit about Hagel that he withdraws his nom, and Obama rams through someone they hate even more. I might die of an overdose of schadenfreude, but at least I would die happy.

  65. 65
    BGinCHI says:

    @Comrade Jake: I thought Flournoy was way more hawkish than Hagel.

    Hagel has some problems, but he’s not the type to rush into stupid wars. He seems to play opposite of the neocons, and that’s a good start.

  66. 66
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @beltane: Who is the better choice? To me, the only person I can think of right off would be Jack Reed from Rhode Island. Probably not good form to pillage from our ranks of elected officials too much, though…

    (and, to be honest, I have no idea what Reed would be like on defense spending, which is a big issue with the forthcoming fights over the budget)

  67. 67
    Comrade Jake says:

    @beltane: I don’t know enough about Flournoy to comment. My basic point was only that there are better candidates than Hagel. That’s all.

  68. 68
    Comrade Jake says:

    Check out Jennifer Rubin’s latest screed against Hagel. For her, it really is all about the Jews.

  69. 69
    beltane says:

    @PsiFighter37: I would also prefer Jack Reed over Hagel, and I think his seat is more of a safe Democratic hold than is Kerry’s. However, I haven’t seen his name being floated around too much so it is possible he’s not being considered for the job.

    If the choice is limited to Hagel vs. Flournoy I would prefer Hagel.

  70. 70
    BGinCHI says:

    @PsiFighter37: I’d love to see Reed tapped for Defense. He’s from RI, too, which means not a lot of military spending contracts in his state, if I’m not mistaken. Plus easy to get another Dem elected there.

    Also, whatever happened to Wesley Clark?

  71. 71

    Big fan of Hagel as SecDef here.

    Largely because (as someone who has worked in aerospace for over two decades) I have some very strong opinions as to how the next SecDef should proceed: Stand down from 10 years of Asian land wars. Make rational cuts at a reasoned pace. And move on to whatever our next defense posture is going to be for the foreseeable future.

    IMO, Hagel is the best of the realistic options.

    Not a fan of Flournoy, at all. No one who signed anything with PNAC should be allowed anywhere near the Pentagon after GWB.

  72. 72
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @BGinCHI: The last time I saw Wesley Clark, he was doing what looked like an idiotic reality show that was about putting celebrities into combat situations and seeing how they would do.

    I’m sure he’d be great, but sinking to that level of triviality isn’t a great way to burnish one’s credentials, IMO.

  73. 73
    Anya says:

    I hope during the nomination Hagel will stick with his point and he will point out that, as a US Senator he put America’s interests first & foremost, not Isreal, or any other foreign country. I hope he shut down those assholes who want to make Capitol Hill as lil Knesset. It’s insane to judge an American official whether a Senator or a SecoDef on how much they’re committed to a foreign country or foreign interest group. This whole madness is driven by the religious insanity on the right.

  74. 74
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    @dww44: Well, Brooks, of course, is a very serious journalist. I think E.J. routinely shreds him. Speaking of NPR, I sure wish Neal Conan would challenge some of the crap that comes out of the mouths of his conservative guests, but I guess in the name of fairness and balance, he sits on his hands. (Or maybe he, like Mara, is a conservative.)

  75. 75
    Baud says:

    @BGinCHI: @PsiFighter37:

    Too bad. I liked him a lot. I guess he decided to cash out.

  76. 76
    BGinCHI says:

    Seriously, has Hagel really done anything significant since The Phenomenology of Spirit?

    /ok, no more philosopher jokes

  77. 77
    Davis X. Machina says:

    No one here is laboring under the misapprehension that the Secretary of Defense sets defense policy, right? That it comes straight from the Oval Office, and then only to the extent that it’s not already set by the permanent government?

    And everyone realizes SecDef is a salesman’s job?

    I’m thinking we’re over-thinking….

  78. 78
    Comrade Jake says:

    Hagel with Kerry would be two Vietnam vets at SecState and SecDef. Five Purple Hearts between them, something ridiculous like that. The SwiftBoatVeterans can suck it.

  79. 79
    BGinCHI says:

    @PsiFighter37: Actually, that sounds like a perfect description of the Bush-era DoD.

  80. 80
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @handsmile:

    Heh, you funny person. It turns out a lot of Troyens’ length was because of all the balletic interpolations. Straight out of Paris Opéra tradition, of course, and gorgeous music and beautifully performed, but it did make for a long afternoon, for sure.

    Personally, I’m panting to see Lohengrin, but then I’m a kind of obsessive Wagnerian (in the nicest way, of course) and dont mind the long hours in a theatre seat. And of all the major works in the Wagner canon, I probably know Parsifal least well, maybe only excepting Dutchman. Also, I’m eager to hear Jonas Kaufmann at last (he was scheduled to sing Siegfried last season but had to bow out because of illness).

  81. 81
    👽 Martin says:

    This is a clear political tactic. On the eve of a Democrat inauguration, the GOP will oppose a Republican nomination for a spot in the WH? This is a wedge in the GOP caucus. Half the GOP caucus has to be wondering what the fuck these guys are on.

  82. 82
    beltane says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Perhaps, but to say it doesn’t matter who’s chosen is to say that Robert Gates and Donald Rumsfeld were indistinguishable from one another.

  83. 83
    Heliopause says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    The argument for Hagel is less about whatever policy substance he brings to the Administration than what the mere fact of his nomination means. The Mullahs have spoken; it shall not be Hagel. A polite “fuck you” from Obama would be salutary.

  84. 84
    RaflW says:

    It’s fucking brilliant.

    Everyone not as nuts as Jennifer Rubin will look at the GOP voting 100% against Hagel (except of course he’ll be filibustered and the media will blow that coverage horribly, but still…) and the Republican media freakout that Hagel is a lefty, horrible, awful commie Hamas-lovin’ jew-hater — this will help cement the idea that the current GOP is insane and far removed from the Hagel-era Republicanism people still think the GOP is.

    *Popping popcorn *

  85. 85
    Mandalay says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    Hagel with Kerry would be two Vietnam vets at SecState and SecDef. Five Purple Hearts between them, something ridiculous like that.

    Kerry’s Purple Hearts don’t count because he shot himself on purpose. Michelle says so. Why would she lie?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....detailpage

  86. 86
    Comrade Jake says:

    By the way, epic Michael Moore takedown of Bill Kristol on Hagel is EPIC:

    http://www.michaelmoore.com/wo.....ll-kristol

  87. 87
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Comrade Jake: Not a huge fan of Moore (more because of style than because of substance), but damn, that was good. Remind those PNAC fuckers they can’t conveniently erase their past.

  88. 88
    👽 Martin says:

    Now, somewhere the teatards must have a bunch of those purple heart band-aids stashed away. Can we break those back out again? They were hilarious. Well, Gingrich thought they were hilarious.

    Peter Jennings turned to Newt Gingrich: “Did you squirm a little when you saw the guy wearing the purple heart?” Gingrich: “No. I think it’s funny.”

  89. 89
    Anya says:

    fox-trotting in to save the day on the fiscal cliff as the “dancing partner” of McConnell, Biden seemed more like an indispensable partner to the detached president who loathes dealing with Congress — a capable, genial Captain Kirk balancing out Obama’s brilliant but rigid Spock.

    Speaking of foreign affairs, is there any hostage we can exchange Maureen Dowd with? I despise her for being inane and shallow in her analysis; and for waisting a huge opportunity to use her valuable column for things that matter. Why must she be so idiotic.

  90. 90
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    And everyone realizes SecDef is a salesman’s job?

    That’s why I like Hagel for it. As much as we like to dismiss optics, a bluff, phlegmatic Vietnam vet can sell Pentagon cuts better than most. Assuming, of course, that that’s the idea.

    @👽 Martin: Gingrich: “No. I think it’s funny.”

    Jesus. I don’t think even Gingrich thought his Home Shopping Network presidential campaign would be the road back to respectable pundit-hood. You really can’t overstate how much the SCLM sucks.

  91. 91
    Paul says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Peter Jennings turned to Newt Gingrich: “Did you squirm a little when you saw the guy wearing the purple heart?” Gingrich: “No. I think it’s funny.”

    Pretty astonishing comment considering that Gingrich never served, and hasn’t met a war he could disapprove of OTHERS taking part in.

    Not exactly a patriot…

  92. 92
    Gex says:

    @West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.): Sometimes being white and male trumps anything else. That is all the explanation you need for LCR or GG.

  93. 93
    Kyle says:

    @Paul:

    If the deficit is as bad as everybody on the right claims, why are we still donating $3 billion to Israel each year? Shouldn’t that donation be eliminated BEFORE we start cutting our own Medicare to OUR OWN people.

    If you want some cheap entertainment, talk to one of the low-information rightards who decry “foreign aid” as a giant proportion of the federal budget, and mention cutting aid to Israel. They suddenly become great enthusiasts for “legalized theft” from US taxpayers (as they call it in any other context) to send $ to Israel.

    Teahadist Eric Cantor even tried to exclude Israel aid (but not other aid to other countries) from the automatic cuts in the Fiscal Gentle Incline as an essential military expense.

    Israel and Israel-related aid is more than half the US foreign aid total.

  94. 94
    herr doktor bimler says:

    He has long severed his ties with the Republican party.

    I am in awe of the sense of entitlement by which Graham expects Obama to be nominating active members of the Republican party for his cabinet positions. Because of Bipartisanship, I suppose, and because anything else is a Slap in the Face.

  95. 95
    monkeyfister says:

    Sweet Senatorial Sister Lindsey Graham has some very serious issues.

    That non-commitment to Honesty is at the top of the list.

  96. 96
    Maude says:

    Is the left going to get upset if Hagel is nominated? IT would shouting in stereo if so.

  97. 97
    Paul says:

    @Kyle:

    Teahadist Eric Cantor even tried to exclude Israel aid (but not other aid to other countries) from the automatic cuts in the Fiscal Gentle Incline as an essential military expense.

    Their hypocrisy is just mind-boggling. I wonder when the useless media will realize that the GOP is about as concerned about our deficit as our goldfish.

  98. 98
    Jay C says:

    Unfortunately, I have a sinking feeling that the Israel (-First) Lobby and its Republican allies in Congress are probably going to use the opportunity of Chuck Hagel’s nomination to Defense to turn the hearings into a hysterical circus of bogosity in order to damage the Obama Administration as much as possible. My guess is that Hagel’s nom will trigger a barrage of full-page ads, TV spots, talk-show blather, etc. from AIPAC and its neocon enablers trying to paint Mr. Hagel (and/or President Obama)as the bastard love-child of Adolf Eichmann and Ilsa the She-Wolf Of The SS: followed up by similar on-camera rants by Senate Republicans at the hearings. Not a bit of which will be any form of serious critique, mind you: but if it tars the Administration with even the least bit of bad press… well, it will have been worth it.

    My worst feeling, though, is that our oh-so-Serious political media will probably just feed the frenzy to milk for ratings: the most unfortunate part, IMO, is that President Obama and his senior officials have not, in general (the Susan Rice contretemps excepted, sort-of) shown much inclination to push back against partisan smears (any bets as whether or not John Kerry’s nom brings the Swiftboaters out of the woodwork again??) and/or media enabling of them.

  99. 99
    Sparky Satori says:

    Miss Lindsey complains that things are shoved down her throat or shoved in her face.

    Methinks Miss Lindsey doth protest too much.

  100. 100
    Anya says:

    @West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.): I think self hatred should not be discounted along with greed and white male privilege.

  101. 101
    JWL says:

    Hagel ties with the GOP were “severed the day he endorsed Obama, and referred to McCain’s foreign policy advisors as a dangerously radical group. I would preferred Obama nominate a democrat, but yeah, I’m all for having it out on the floor of congress, too.

  102. 102
    Jax6655 says:

    @West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.):

    I am at an utter loss to explain the Log Cabin Repubs. Are there any psychologists in the house? Is it a matter of deep self-hatred that they identify with a group that so disdains them?

    Straight-up racism IMO. LCRs are primarily gay white (affluent) men.

    ETA: Basically angry white males, just gay.

  103. 103
    Beenscrewedandattooed says:

    What America really needs is to give the citizenry the right of binding referendum on those issues, that the corrupt, gutless and owned politicians will not touch because their priorities are not for America, but instead to getting reelected.

    The pols want campaign money from those same so called greedsters that have stolen so much and usurped the USA middle class and now are taking our public assets with their chicanery and financial bubbles.

  104. 104
    mainmati says:

    @aimai: Hah, totally agreed!

  105. 105
    xian says:

    @herr doktor bimler: yeah, he says “He has long severed his ties with the Republican party” like it’s a bad thing.

  106. 106
    WaterGirl says:

    I think Robert Gates got a lot of good things done that a democrat would not have been able to pull off. I’m not talking about talent; I’m talking about politics. There would have been way too much resistance to a democrat doing the exact same things.

    I am all for Hagel as secretary of defense. I like his sane position on Israel. I like the idea that he doesn’t want to go to war. And I LOVE who his enemies are. I’m even okay with his previous stance on the gay guy, because it was a long time ago. Things change, people change.

    I’m delighted with this nomination and I hope he gets through the approval process.

  107. 107
    liberal says:

    @Jay C:

    …President Obama and his senior officials have not, in general (the Susan Rice contretemps excepted, sort-of) shown much inclination to push back against partisan smears…

    Not sure if that was true, but let’s not forget the shameful withdrawal of Lani Guinier’s nomination by Clinton.

    Oh, wait, firebaggers like me never criticize Clinton…

  108. 108
    smeh says:

    @Chonchito: USS Liberty

  109. 109
    Jay says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin): “The President, in his passive-aggressive manner, is saying FUCK YOU, BiBi.”

    I think both men are playing the “appointment game.” To elaborate, I believe Bibi’s likely choice of the ex GOP operative Ron Dermer to be Israel’s next Ambassador to the US put Hagel’s name back into play after the initial poopstorm.

    So, this could turn out to be sound “strategery” by Obama because both Hagel and Dermer know the language of Israel hawks, particularly right-wing ones.

    Eleven Dimensional Chess, and all that.

  110. 110
    priscianusjr says:

    @Yutsano:Evangelists need Israel so it can burn when Jeebus comes back.

    Or, more to the point, they need Israel to burn so Jeebus will come back.

  111. 111
    priscianusjr says:

    @Anya: is there any hostage we can exchange Maureen Dowd with? I despise her for being inane and shallow in her analysis; and for waisting a huge opportunity to use her valuable column for things that matter. Why must she be so idiotic.

    I know. The fact that maybe a few times a year she actually writes a good column makes it all the more frustrating.

  112. 112

    […] Yep, Robert Gates is a Republican too, and John Cole at Balloon Juice adds this: […]

  113. 113
    Bob h says:

    So we’re going to let Benjamin Netanyahu pick our SecDef.

  114. 114
    John says:

    @redshirt:

    Exactly. He will make it sound as if he has both America’s and Israel’s interests in mind and no one will ask him a follow up question or to explain what he means

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