Yet Hagel is not some stereotyped cloistered academic who has learned everything from books. He is a Midwestern equivalent of a “good old boy,” a backslapping, genial sort who merely thinks of his own advancement. And that’s why he is so scary. There is only one reason for Hagel to be so extreme: he has picked up on the game plan of the winning time, the dominant ideas of this era which he tries to copy in his dimwitted way, like a country bumpkin trying to follow the latest fashions from the big city. Hagel is the purest, most showy example that anti-Americanism, apologies for America’s enemies, the fixation that the United States has been an evil bully that must be curbed, and contempt for its courageous soldiers and foreign friends are the obsessions of the “in” crowd, the decision-making elite. And if you want to be one of them, those are the ideas one has to mouth, even if one doesn’t even understand them.
Hagel’s brain is the mass market version of Kerry’s, and Kerry’s is the collector’s edition of Obama.
Update: The New York Times editorial claims (as its lead no less!), in what is starting to look like an antisemitic pattern (I’m not accusing the paper of antisemitism but merely of using such a theme) that Hagel’s only problem is that he isn’t sufficiently servile to Israeli interests: “One dispiriting lesson from Chuck Hagel’s nomination for defense secretary is the extent to which the political space for discussing Israel forthrightly is shrinking.” The man showed himself to be an embarrassing fool and this is their claim–that it’s the Jews’ fault? Let’s be clear here. If Hagel said everything he ever said about Israel and had no other problemmatic statements or if Hagel said everything he ever said about Israel and had done a mediocre to minimal job at the confirmation hearings, no one would be talking about his not getting an overwhelming majority in the Senate. A sign of antisemitism: Blame the Jews first. By the way, Obama, Kerry, and Brennan don’t have a sterling record on Israel but they had no problem getting elected, appointed, and confirmed.