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The Last-Ditch Attack Against Hagel's Opponents: 'McCarthyites'

At least Rutenberg quotes Richard Perle, who makes the case well: “He said his opposition to the nomination stemmed from his fear that Mr. Hagel was among those who ‘so abhor the use of force that they actually weaken the diplomacy that enables you to achieve results without using force.’” Hagel, Rutenberg notes, voted to give George W. Bush the authority to go to war, but now regrets his vote. He turned against his vote after he voted for it, we might say.

So the fight to stop Hagel’s opponents is on. It is turning ugly, because -- despite their supposed confidence that Hagel will be confirmed -- they fear the valid reasons against his nomination might be taken seriously by those now on the sidelines. Like New York’s Senator Chuck Schumer.

And that is why they are resorting to the old canard of calling their enemies “McCarthyites.” That term is a last resort of the Left. When they use it, we know they are desperate.