Hagel for Defense Secretary
I’m actually agnostic on this choice. The always excellent Charles Pierce makes a good case for Hagel, but why should Obama go for any Republican? This just continues to promote the canard that Republicans are somehow stronger or more capable on defense issues than Democrats.
The irony here is that the greatest opposition is coming from Republicans, some of whom have gone so far as to call him an anti-Semite* because he has spoken openly and honestly about the excessive influence the pro-Israel lobby has on American foreign policy. When we consider the pros and cons of any individual for any position, we ought to do it on the basis of real qualifications and real disqualifications, not make-believe nonsense put forward by neocons and the cadre of rabid right-wingers whose policies have done such great and possibly irreparable damage to the world in this century.
I rarely agree with Mish on anything political, and to find myself agreeing in principle with him when he’s agreeing in principle with Patrick Buchanan has my stomach turning and my head spinning.
Vertigo, nausea and angular momentum aside, this appointment is the president’s decision, and I want to see the debate procede along substantive rather than ideological, illogical or untruthful lines. And I most particularly don’t want to see him get Riced.
Now, where do I pick up my pony?
* On 1/07 I heard Eliot Abrams do exactly that in an NPR interview. Abrams was an Iran-Contra cohort of Paul Wolfowitz and Oliver North.
The most vocal opponents, Graham (R Closet), and McCain had no reservations supporting Jim “fuck the Jews” Baker during the Bush administration. What’s changed? Oh, that’s right, it’s the blah!
Hagel isn’t a bad choice for Obama. I’d consider my self neutral as well, however, having a defense secretary who is both pragmatic about Israel/Palestine, and who is a Republican, might go along way in terms of getting the political capital to advance a more practical agenda in that region.
Of course that prospect isn’t something that McCain et al. want to deal with. Especially as their ideology becomes increasingly more outdated.
So the Jews of Israel have congressional influence? Would their influence be any greater than Grover Norquist or the NRA’s influence? Besides a cascade of varying influence, the problem I see is the amount of influence any individual or group has which supercedes that of the constituency which placed these knuckleheads in Washington. The irony is the voting record of Congress which ignores their very needs in favor of this lobbying groups or individuals.
But then, who am I?
Whoever you are, I agree with you.
The things I’m – I guess “impressed” is as good a word as any – by is the bold-faced hypocrisy of McCain and Graham, and the torture of facts and logic by Abrams, who would probably be pleased to see John Bolton as defense secretary.
BTW, I think Norquist has a much brighter past than future. Not so sure about the NRA. Lobbying in general has been a huge millstone around the neck of of our quasi-democracy.
JzB, I have always known that I had a lean to a communality with Pat Buchanan because I can’t help being an America first isolationist. I do understand the difficulty but it’s down in the heart somewhere and I can’t get to it.