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Ted Cruz’s not “bogus attack” on Hagel

Ted Cruz’s not “bogus attack” on Hagel

Chuck Hagel was an embarrassment yesterday at this confirmation hearing.  John Podhoretz has it right:

Well, as a result of this confirmation hearing — the most disastrous of its kind since another veteran senator, John Tower, blew himself up in his pursuit of the same post back in 1989 — Hagel has probably lost many, many votes to confirm him as secretary of defense.

Though he was being asked about things he had said over the course of the past 15 years, it was what Hagel said yesterday — and how he said what he said — that had his defenders reeling in shock and even his critics aghast at how poorly he handled himself.

Hagel said many, many things yesterday — incoherent things, confused things, wrong things, untrue things, and things that seemed to contradict other things he had said previously. Some were about Israel, some about Iran, some about American policy.

One of the many things Hagel fumbled was his earlier comment about Israel’s “sickening slaughter” during the 1986 Lebanon War.  As Podhoretz notes, at best Hagel was drawing a moral equivalence between Israel and Hezbollah:

He was also sorry to have said Israel keeps the Palestinians “caged in like wild animals.” Oh, and he didn’t mean to have drawn a moral equivalence between Israel and Hezbollah by referring to “the sickening slaughter on both sides” during a war inaugurated entirely by Hezbollah’s rockets.

Ted Cruz hammered Hagel on the “sickening slaughter comment,” which Dave Weigel rushed to label a “bogus attack” because, as Podhoretz noted, Hagel accused both Israel and Hezbollah of “sickening slaughter”:

Hagel wasn’t accusing Israel of carrying out a slaughter, or war crimes. He described the conflict that way—a sickening slaughter was occuring—blaming both sides, and quickly following up by criticizing Iran and invoking the “special relationship.” Cruz’s truncation of the quote completely changed the meaning.

Cruz’s line of inquiry was not “bogus.” Israel went far out of its way to avoid civilian casualties and probably cost itself a military victory because of that, while Hezbollah fired rockets into civilian area for the purpose of hurting civilians.  That’s not a “bogus” distinction, it’s the core of Hagel’s misaligned view of the Middle East.

The “bogus” defense of Hagel ignited by Weigel caught on like wildfire.  Mission accomplished.

I’ll tell you what a truly “bogus attack” looks like — Weigel writing in a post last Friday about possible changes to how electoral votes are counted in a handful of states (emphasis added): “William Jacobson, last seen falsely accusing Elizabeth Warren of abusing her law license, makes the argument in its simplest form.”

To the contrary, see the Law License Controversy page at  That’s one of the reasons we have collected the research about Warren all in one place, so people have the resources to respond to bogus attacks.

Hagel should not be confirmed.  His defenders know it, they’re just too deep in at this point, so they are attacking people who point out the obvious deficiencies in Hagel’s record and understanding of issues.  That’s bogus.


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After Hagel’s performance yesterday, it is beyond political hackery to EVEN vote for him when whipped to it (as many will be), much less support him.

Weigel would give a tongue bath to anybody connected with Obama, and slime anybody opposed.

Pathetic. Hagel’s nomination is a dirty joke on the American people.

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to Ragspierre. | February 1, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Hagel will fit right into the model of what Obama wants: lapdog cabinet members and advisers.

    Narcissists gonna narsc!

Insufficiently Sensitive | February 1, 2013 at 9:57 am

Watching Senator Cruz’s examination of Hagel yesterday was one of the small windows of sunshine peeking through this gloomy and threatening second Obama term. Would that John McCain could so clearly build a case in front of the public. Hagel, with his kneejerk defense of the day (“I’d have to see that statement in context, I don’t remember…”) was overwhelmed and routed.

I have always said the TRUE mettle of a president is the people he chooses to be around him.

Obama picks all mediocre people because he doesn’t want anyone to outshine what he thinks is his own brilliance. Nepolitano and Holder. Both yes men. Even Clinton, look at how she deflected questions about Benghazi to protect Obama. Valerie Jarret, perfect example.

But you know and I know, despite his awful performance, and despite some saying they won’t vote for him, Hagel will get confirmed. If for no other reason than the Dems know Obama wants another yes man under him, someone exactly like Hagel who doesn’t know too much, and who won’t question Obama. Why else would Obama nominate such a doofus?

    Rosalie in reply to eosredux. | February 1, 2013 at 10:43 am

    I hit “dislike” when I meant to hit “reply”. Sorry. I think the reason he picked Hagel is that he’s not pro Israel and, even better, he’s a Republican who’s not pro Israel.

    David Yotham in reply to eosredux. | February 1, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Ques: Should I put a snake in my pocket, especially if he promises to never bite me?
    Ans: Snakes always bite when life doesn’t go their way!

    Mediocre people are ‘mediocre’ for a reason. My thoughts are that Obama’s goals are very nefarious, hence he’s seeking loyalty above all else. What coinage can he offer? Protected POWER without accountability – just look at ‘TurboTax’ Timmy, a case in point. Loyalty unhindered by honesty, morality, ethics – a person can get a lot done with people like that, especially if they’re threatened with their loss of power (something they crave like pedophiles crave Boy Scouts).

      ” Protected POWER without accountability –just look at ‘TurboTax’ Timmy, a case in point. Loyalty unhindered by honesty, morality, ethics”

      Reminds me of this article which provides the smoking gun example of your point.

      Can we hear a response from the SEC?…FBI…DOJ…FED. No, all I hear are crickets

      You’re correct about mediocrity, but keep track of the players. Erosredux, above, was correct when she described Hagel as a “doofus.” Geithner, on the other hand is a ‘fellow traveler” and should be taken much, much more seriously, as should other fellow travelers Holder and Garrett. Geithner’s not done, trust me. Rahm is also a fellow traveler but is a one act show who’s in over his head and will be (has been) dumped. Hillary is a “groupie.” She just wants desperately to be there, believes she deserves to be, and will suffer personal embarrassment and humiliation repeatedly to do so, e.g. tolerates a genuine creep as husband and father of her children and, most recently, serving as an Obama sycophant – all while genuinely believing she’s been living a life of “public service.” The last thing she did on her own was participating in a real estate scam as an attorney in Arkansas; “on her own,” of course, ignores the presence of The Creep in the governor’s mansion. Otherwise, she has not done a single thing on her own and has no personal accomplishments. None. She is a Professional Nominee for the Democrats. This includes her incomplete term as U. S. senator from NY – a nominated position. If it weren’t so serious, she would be pitiable.

      Don’t lose sight of who they are, what they are, and were they are.

        Tparty in reply to Owego. | February 2, 2013 at 1:29 pm

        I agree I think a goal was chosen to be a doofus and missmanage things so badly, cut Veterans Services, impose impossible rules of engagement and multilateralize our armed forces. I think the ultimate goal of the institutionalized left is to have a fully unionized military, subject to multilateral UN control.

Bravo Ted Cruz. I had no idea until I watched the posted videos (Tx LI) yesterday that Cruz was so articulate, poised, effective and sharp. Very impressive guy.

    Browndog in reply to george. | February 1, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Never forget:

    The republican establishment didn’t want him. Backed his opponent.

    Sarah Palin had to step in to rescue his candidacy.

    Insufficiently Sensitive in reply to george. | February 1, 2013 at 11:34 am


    Now watch the MSM exert their utmost, first to avoid reporting on his Senatorial doings, then for the next six years to poison public opinion against him. If the Republicans had half a dozen Senators so articulate and competent, the country might flourish again.

    Neo in reply to george. | February 1, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    It’s somewhere between baffling and incomprehensible,” a member of Mr. Obama’s own team of advisers on Iran said on Thursday night when asked about Mr. Hagel’s stumbling performance on the question during the all-day hearing. The worry was evident in the voice of the official, who would not speak on the record while criticizing the performance of the president’s nominee. For those who question whether the no-containment cornerstone of the Obama approach to Tehran is for real, or just diplomatic rhetoric, Mr. Hagel clearly muddled the message, he said.

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to george. | February 1, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Ted was our Solicitor General and has a number of arguments before SCOTUS.

    The first time I heard him speak was very early in his candidacy, and it was at an informal event held in a small Houston venue. He connects with people in a way that is both personal and informative. Every word has purpose and meaning, and he delivers it more like a conversation than a lecture or pedantry. Yesterday, he was in full litigator mode, yet the passion showed through clearly. He was even better in the gun control legislation hearings.

    I’m proud to have been an early supporter of Ted. I hope I get to work on a presidential campaign for this man.

Joe (Fake Conservative) Scarborough and Mika (Fake Journalist) Brezinski and “friends” on MSNBC (Fake Media) attacked the questioners today for how “rude” they were to Chuck (Fake) Hegel. Another brilliant ploy by B.O., in nominating a clown. (Although Joe & Mika said that it was Ted Cruz that turned it into a “clown show”). Look for Jay Carney to state that the president tried to “reach across the aisle” and nominate a Republican, but that he was rejected by his own party.

Since they always show us who they’re afraid of, this must mean that the Left is afraid of Cruz. From what I’ve seen
of Cruz, they have good reason. I guess we’d better brace ourselves for the onslaught of Cruz.

Make no mistake; the long knives are now going to come out against Ted Cruz. He poses a danger to their “We have the Hispanic vote wrapped up for-evah” meme. And Cruz, a brilliant (Constitutional) lawyer, is not stupid enough to be duped by the likes of Lindsay Graham and John McCain.

But remember, David Dewhurst is a consumate politician and he threw everything but the kitchen sink at Cruz, only to lose miserably.

So expect the attacks on Cruz to get really heated. He made Obama’s choice for SoD look like the total brain dead moron Hagel is. What is depressing is that Nebraska elected that guy for so long. Nebraska, what were you thinking?

    MaggotAtBroadAndWall in reply to retire05. | February 1, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Yeah, the long knives may be out, but from what I’ve seen Cruz is sharp as a tack and he is unlikely to make the self-inflicted “gaffes” that others on our side often seem prone to make (at least in the eyes of the leftsphere who get the big media to parrot them).

    They’re going to have to come after Cruz the way Weigel did – by saying Cruz was unfair for using Hagel’s own words against him. That’s weak tea. It’s only going to get Weigel’s compatriots on the far left ginned up, but they are inclined to hate anybody with an “R” next to their name anyway, especially if they’re conservative.

    Cruz-1, Weigel-0.

    AmandaFitz in reply to retire05. | February 1, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    I agree about “the long knives.” As I said on another thread yesterday, I have no doubt that Soros’ Media Matters, OFA, etc. have already dispatched private detectives to ferret out anything and everything they can find out about Ted Cruz. They’ll go after his in-laws, law firm, yard man and third grade teacher. Between the Obamabots and the Tort Bar, there’s both money and manpower available.

    Cruz scares the pants off of the Left. He’s smart as a whip, actually KNOWS the Constitution, has outstanding credentials, a beautiful wife and child, and can articulate his principles. John Cornyn is smart to support Cruz. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Mike Lee, Rob Portman, Paul Ryan, Ken Cuccinelli, Greg Abbott, and the Wisconsin governor (whose name slips my mind right now) are formidable opponents to Obama’s agenda to “transform America” if they work together.

I think that Cruz may become the Allen West of the Senate. It’s about time that someone there began to tip sacred cows.

Everything that I’ve heard Cruz utter has been factual, articulate and thus highly offensive to the liberal democrat left.

I love it!

Reading Hagel’s words was very creepy — because they were echos of Obama’s warped sentiments.

I see Nebraska as a relatively rational state. I lived in So. Dakota. growing up, Colo. as an adult. I’ve seen it from both sides. Why does it consistently seem to vote for poser looney tunes maverick senators?

    listingstarboard in reply to secondwind. | February 1, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Colorado used to be Conservative until the mass influx of liberals from California. Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins are nests of dimwit liberals holding vigils for dead Elks. Try and take the guns from the dudes in the mountains, lots of luck.

      Tell me about it ! Colo. did elect dems. The only repub gov. in over 25 years was Bill Owens who was worthless. Also dems Schroeder, Hartpence, Wirthless & on & on. The state GOP leadership also has a talent for crapping the bed. California influx has poisoned the whole southwest into & thru Idaho. They leave California to escape consequences of dem policy only to vote dem elsewhere. Californians are a particular breed of delusional morons!

Just a quick jump back to yesterday —

Read this,and then re-consider any opinions on protecting the NY Times from the ChiComs:

Hagel’s the perfect choice – too ignorant of the position to do anything but what the WH tells him to do, anti-Israel, anti-semitic, PA and general jihad sympathizer, a Bush blamer, and to top it off, he chooses to wear the GOP label. Like Joe Biden, he’d be a 24/7 gaffe machine, drawing media attention away from whatever the WH ias screwing up at the moment. Hagel would be a tailor made Obama sock puppet at the head of the Defense Dept, and a sock puppet that obedient would immediately join the list of potential Democrat Party VP candidates come 2016.

If you’re Obama, what’s not to like?

It’s really frightening when a man nominated to be America’s Secretary of Defense sounds like the obnoxious anarchist hipster in my office when he’s talking about America and Israel.

Off topic:

Yesterday on Fox’s “The Five,” Dana Perino showed one of Branco’s cartoons and raved about him!

Congratulations, Branco!!!!

I saw this tweet from Brit Hume during the hearing:

@brithume: Cruz is bullying Hagel. He needs to let him finish his answers. Unimpressive round of questioning

It was retweeted by BuzzFeed and the left with comments like, “Even Brit Hume thinks Ted Cruz is a bully”, “When you’ve lost Brit Hume”, yada, yada, yada.

My blood pressure went through the roof. What is the matter with these people? Granted that Secretary of Defense doesn’t have a tremendous amount of power in this administration. But it does have some control, authority and significance relative to the government’s most critical duty to its citizens: our security. And in spite of the ever-growing threats to our nation, to Israel and our other allies, we still have Beltway-dwellers on our side (and ONLY on our side) insisting that we (and ONLY we) play by rules that were thrown out in the 1950s) as they provide “evidence” to the other side that we’re the problem.

    Insufficiently Sensitive in reply to jeannebodine. | February 1, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Senator Cruz did interrupt Hagel, only to hold him to the question when he want wandering off the subject. That’s not bullying, it’s nipping a filibuster in the bud. You can see that Cruz has gained valuable experience as a prosecutor, and since his time is limited, the interruption was necessary.

    retire05 in reply to jeannebodine. | February 1, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    jeanne, you noticed that Hume didn’t mention how John McCain also interrupted Hagel. You see, Hume, like all inside beltway insiders, perfers a RINO to an actual conservative Republican. And no mention how Lindsay Graham b!tch-slapped Hagel with his question about which Senators were influenced by the Israel “lobby.”

    Henry Hawkins in reply to jeannebodine. | February 1, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Jeanne, for the same reason we don’t spank a three month old for loading its diaper, we don’t blame anyone in the media for loading theirs. It’s what they do and unreasonable to expect them to control it.

[…] Blame GOP and AGW Game marches on: Chuck Hagel sounds like a cowardly blithering idiot yesterday so it must be the fault of guess who? That mean ole GOP, who ‘attacked Hagel’ and forced him to be stupid and stammering. Unfortunately for Hagel, he’s a white male and thus not entitled to any special protection, except of course he’s Obama’s guy and Obama is the MSM’s guy. […]