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Rubin Reports

It seems certain that Chuck Hagel will be confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the next secretary of defense. But it shouldn’t be. For the Hagel issue is the perfect symbol of the dilemmas faced by America today.

The first problem is the willingness of all too much of the mass media and the Democratic Party to be a doormat for President Barack Obama even though this stance is against their own interests. Many Democratic senators resent the fact that they are so pressured to vote for Hagel even though it makes them look foolish and might endanger their reelection chances.

Their willingness to vote for Hagel, however, shows the triumph of partisanship and ideology over national interest. Obviously, there are times when those factors will prevail, especially if the question is more marginal. But when a clearly unqualified man who has made a fool of himself in public hearings is going to take a post that involves the very lives of so many, that’s where you should draw the line.

In other words, even if one argues that the president should be given whoever he wants in high posts unless there is a really good reason to deny consent to such a nomination, here is the case where that exception applies.

Second, there is the way the issue is defined. A New York senator and a New York newspaper, for example, want to narrow the problem into the idea that Hagel may have used one word — “Jewish” as in “Jewish lobby” — in an offensive way. That’s supposedly why Hagel isn’t fit for the job.

If that’s true then anyone who opposed Hagel might be considered to represent a selfish, narrow interest group. Indeed, some of Hagel’s defenders have turned the issue of his being criticized for saying nasty things about Jews having too much power into proof that Jews have too much power. In defending Hagel’s gaffe, both that senator and that editorial have also committed what might be called ideological antisemitism.

If Hagel is innocent then those who oppose him are merely too (right-wing) Jewish or pro-Israel or “neoconservative” (a code word for “Jewish,” especially in the Middle East).

What makes this view objectively absurd is that there are dozens of reasons to oppose Hagel’s nomination, most of them having nothing to do with Israel.

First and foremost among these is that he has expressed objectively anti-American views, as was shown, for example, in his agreeing with an al-Jazeera caller who described the United States as an aggressive bully. Anti-Americanism may be fashionable among the U.S. elite today but it is not a good characteristic for a secretary of defense. Aside from everything else, if the United States has always been bad for pursing its interests in the past, why should this secretary of defense compound the sin by championing U.S. interests today?

Second, it is painfully clear — even to his supporters who would never admit it in public — that Hagel doesn’t understand the issues and is incapable of running a huge bureaucracy. Hagel even admitted his incapability in his own defense, boasting that this didn’t matter since he wouldn’t be making any decisions anyway!

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Top Rated Comments   
Hagel has absolutely ZERO qualifications to be Secretary of Defense outside of his adoration of/for Obuma's foreign policy doctrine--hate Israel and other friends of America while showing love of/for Islam.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The problem with saying that Hagel is unfit to be a senator who do you square this with the fact that Obama is unfit to be president and clearly shares all of the same unfitness chracteristics that Hagel has. The hypocrisy of this process is painful to watch. Finally who gets hurt if these two continue their policies the people of the USA and the constitution that these two jerks swore to uphold.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Remember, ideology trumps all. Hagel is a profound force of the left, or soon will be. And with the regular "generals" of the left being all-too-exposed as the miscreants they are, they need fresh, new faces that they can rewrite the narratives on.

After all, it worked for D'oh-bama, pulled from relative obscurity, having his entire life fabricated from whole cloth to appeal to the low-information voter. It's what works in advertising in the US so they simply applied it to politics. One obvious irony is that it was the left that drove truth-in-advertising laws and made everyone put labels on things. Oh, but would that work so well with politics.

WARNING: THIS CANDIDATE CANNOT LOWER THE SEA LEVELS OR CAUSE THE CLIMATE TO COOL. THIS CANDIDATE IS A LIAR AND THEREFORE CANNOT BE TRUSTED. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK.

But still, the low-information voter, wrapped up in feel-think, cannot ascertain the difference between a promise and a lie to get elected/reelected. They imagine a sublime world with unicorns and free food for themselves...not for everyone, mind you..but for themselves.

Utopianism is the ultimate selfish attitude. It's also evidence of brain-damage. Whether they were dropped on their heads as children or through heavy drug-use, they have never been taught to think. Only to feel. That's why they take such offense when someone tells them they are stupid; Because that's something they cannot blame on someone else.

But Hagel as SecDef? Well, McNamara under LBJ was bad enough. But Hagel is also being installed because, again, its destructive and D'oh-bama knows it, while also affording him the coverage of blaming Hagel when things go wrong. He is kicking himself for missing the opportunity he had for blaming the republicans when Hitlery was SecState....but at least everyone knows that Kerry is a moron. It'll be much easier to throw him under the bus when the next terrorist jihad happens on his watch. But Hagel is being set up to take the blame for the gutting of the military, Chicago-style.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (16)
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Here we have an ex-pat Israeli, born in the USA, about whom I have been able to find almost nothing in the way of a biography - not age, not education, not private life other than that he has 6 cats - writing nasty things about the qualifications about a man who has excelled in both private enterprise and public service. If you doubt Senator Hagel's bonafides, check out his Wikipedia entry.

Chuck Hagel has shown himself to be a man of honor and integrity. He is a patriot who put his life on the line when he could have honorably stayed safe. When he was a deputy administrator of the Veterans Administration he resigned rather than toe the line on the Administrator's lies about psychiatric care and Agent Orange. He has kept his commitments to his constituents when he could have easily gotten out of doing so.

Vietnam
When Chuck Hagel completed Advaned Individual Training in the Army in 1967, he was assigned to duty in Germany. Instead of accepting safe duty there, he volunteered for duty ion Vietnam, "because that's where the war was". While serving there he was twice wounded.

The Veterans Administration
At what was then the Veterans Administration, Hagel soon had run-ins with his boss, VA Administrator Robert P. Nimmo, who had described Vietnam veterans as “crybabies” and likened the health effects of the herbicide Agent Orange to “teenage acne.” Nimmo imposed tight budget restrictions limiting psychiatric counseling available at veterans’ centers, yet he spent more than $54,000 to refurbish his office.

Hagel raised concerns with the Reagan administration, but the White House backed Nimmo, according to accounts at the time and interviews with associates. In response, Hagel resigned in June 1982. Later that year, Nimmo resigned in advance of a General Accounting Office report criticizing him for the renovation spending, which violated a presidential directive.

Senator Hagel
When He ran for Senate in 1996 he said he would serve 2 terms and get out, that he believed in term limits. In 2002 he won re-election with 83% if the vote. He kept his promise to serve 2 terms, and left the Senate in 2008.

Chuck Hagel may be out of place in an administration mired in lies and dishonor, but that's the president's problem. He does not deserve to be rejected for the sins of the Administration.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Unfortunately, Hagel's comments that America has been an "aggressive bully" are completely accurate; don't even make me cite example after example. This does not make him unAmerican or an an American-hater or unqualified.

His admitting that he is incapable of the job seems to show a bit of humility that seems to be lacking today. Overconfidence would seem to me to be a much more disastrous trait for SecDef.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Are you serious? Exhibit number gazillion supporting the need for limited government . . because people with thought processes like these can vote.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The only thing that matters now is party label. Not only is this is precisely why Hagel will be confirmed, but it is also why the Democrats will take back the House in 2014. Obama is going to prove to the public over the next 20 months that the government cannot even minimally function with himself as President and the Republicans in control of the House. By Nov 2014, the public will be so fed up that they will want change, and they will change the only thing they can - the House. It won't matter who is to blame or who is right. A purely utilitarian argument will win the day.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Robert D. Kaplan wrote a book called "The Arabists" roughly 30 years ago. It concerned a group of career Foreign Service types who were enthralled by the Lawrence of Arabia myth. Henry Kissinger was a mean SOB when it came to bureaucratic infighting, and one of his great accomplishments as SoS was to purge the State Department of the Arabists and to put his own personnel into the permanent government. I cannot imagine Condy Rice doing such a bold thing, but Hillary and now Hagel? It will be interesting to watch.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Your ignorance is showing. Hillary was Secretary of State, replaced by the traitor John Kerry. Chuck Hagel is nominated for Secretary of defense.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Obama would nominate only yes men who in most cases would be incompetent. Hagel stands out as being particularly so. A culturally-deprived, backward man who would embarrass America on an international basis. But then we already have a president who is doing that. God help America because its voters failed to do so.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"A culturally-deprived, backward man who would embarrass America on an international basis." Are you kidding me? A 2-term senator who won re-election with 83% of the vote, and then didn't run because he believes in term limits?
You really need to read his Wikipedia entry. He's "been there, done that" in government, academia and the private sector.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Israel is the only real friend we have in that part of the world. Hagel is a known Israel hater. He shuoldn't be allowed anywhere near the Sec Def office, but then his future boss is not any better.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
if they don't have a brain tumor or a drinking problem as qualifications then the nation just has to settle for really, really dumb in our race to the bottom of the world.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
3:00 am, 3:00 pm, what dif? Who cares? Send another video maker to jail, give women free condoms, stuff Big Bird, and all is well.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Hagel has absolutely ZERO qualifications to be Secretary of Defense outside of his adoration of/for Obuma's foreign policy doctrine--hate Israel and other friends of America while showing love of/for Islam.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The problem with saying that Hagel is unfit to be a senator who do you square this with the fact that Obama is unfit to be president and clearly shares all of the same unfitness chracteristics that Hagel has. The hypocrisy of this process is painful to watch. Finally who gets hurt if these two continue their policies the people of the USA and the constitution that these two jerks swore to uphold.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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