I have not been on team anti-Chuck Hagel mostly because I didn’t know a lot about Chuck Hagel.
But what I’m finding out is deeply troubling — including David Brooks’ excellent post highlighted in my post Hagel the perfect foil to manage military’s decline over Republican objections.
Hagel seems like the perfect smash-mouth Obama nominee, someone who, like his possibly future boss, is more interested in smashing Republicans and dividing the opposition than strengthening our international standing. He’s a flip-flopper’s delight, for the war then self-righteously against it, on the wrong side of almost every issue (such as the Iraq surge) while claiming moral superiority every step of the way, as Bret Stephens demonstrated.
I warned repeatedly that in a second term Obama would bring the hammer down on Israel, and Hagel has the pedigree to do it with a smirk on his face.
Make no mistake. The problem is not Chuck Hagel in isolation, it’s what the nomination of Hagel says about where Obama wants our defense and foreign policy to go.
I’ll use this post to collect links on Hagel:
- Israel Matzav has several good sources in this post, Hagel tied to James Wolfensohn, purchaser of Gaza hothouses.
- Daniel Foster at NRO, Two Buck Chuck: “… Obama will give Hagel a mandate to be Hagel, the president’s second-term defense policy could end up being quite different from that of his first term.”
- Aaron Blake at WaPo, Why Republicans don’t trust Chuck Hagel — in 5 easy steps: “Republicans have long been skeptical that Hagel is truly one of them, and it’s not just because of his opposition to the Iraq war or his comments about Israel. In fact, there are several reasons dating back to before his first Senate campaign in 1996.”
- John Cornyn, Why I can’t support Hagel: “These comments and actions indicate that he does not fully appreciate the dangers of a nuclear Iran or the character of the Iranian regime…. Thus, by nominating Hagel for defense secretary, the president has sent the worst possible message to our closest Middle Eastern ally and our greatest Middle.”
- Ted Cruz: Why I expect to oppose Hagel.
- Via @GabriellaHoffman: