David Brooks, the house "conservative" at the Washington Post (even my scare quotes do not do justice for the disdain I have for him), sort-of defends the Chuck Hagel pick for Secretary of Defense, but makes an illustrative point in doing so:
All the charges about Hagel’s views on Israel or Iran are secondary. The real question is, how will he begin this long cutting process....?
How, in short, will Hagel supervise the beginning of America’s military decline? If members of Congress don’t want America to decline militarily, well, they have no one to blame but the voters and themselves.
We can't be both a military superpower and a welfare state. It's long been obvious which status was favored by Barack Obama. It took the election of 2012 for the American people to give him the flexibility he needed to undertake the structural work of the transformational change the president promised. And so we have sealed our own fate.
And while I don't believe that Hagel’s views on Israel or Iran are secondary...they may in fact be to Obama. The fact that they align with the president's worldview is just added value, as they say.
In fact, Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel are kindred spirits - two intellectual lightweights with swelled heads and delusions of grandeur. The New York Sun takes Hagel down with one power punch:
By what deep principles is Senator Hagel guided in his long years of hanging back from anything that could be construed as helpful to the Jewish state or unhelpful to her enemies? He’s made no life’s work of sound money. He’s made no life’s work of constitutional fundamentals. We can’t think of a single over-riding principle in his career, save for an abiding sneer at Israel, in which he seems to take a certain mischievous glee. Maybe we’re missing something that will emerge during the confirmation process, but based on the record so far, we’d be surprised....
Who else does that sound like, by the way?
Finally, we get to those pesky Jews - the Wall Street Journal:
But give Mr. Hagel this: When it comes to expressing himself about Israel, its enemies, and the influence of the so-called Jewish lobby, he has been nothing if not consistent and outspoken.
Chuck Hagel talks about the "Jewish lobby" - not the "Israel lobby", mind you. One almost expects him to start to sputter Hitler-style, and begin screaming about "lebensraum" and "der Juden"...
Maybe that's political courage. Or maybe it's a mental twitch, the kind you can't quite help. The confirmation process should be illuminating...
It won't tell us anything we don't already know.
And he will pass through the Senate, because each individual (Democratic) Senator cares more about his political fortunes than the fortunes of the nation, or the wishes of their constituents.
And I will have a drink, and ponder how instant karma got the Jews right between the eyes...