Hagel Is Ideal Republican for Obama, but Not for DoD

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), February 6, 2013 | Go to article overview

Hagel Is Ideal Republican for Obama, but Not for DoD


Byline: Charles Hurt, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Chuck Hagel, in all likelihood, will be confirmed as President Obama's next secretary of defense.

Sure, Senate Republicans will put up a fight, pounding their desks and making plenty of political hay over Mr. Hagel's bumbling incompetence, utter lack of qualifications and horrible judgment. But, in the end, they will let him pass amid their vocal objection.

Politically, this is probably the wisest course for the Republicans, given that the Hagel nomination was nothing more than a partisan trap set by Mr. Obama. Do you really think that this fairly obscure Republican has-been from Nebraska is the only person on the planet qualified to carry out Mr. Obama's defense policy?

Of course not. Mr. Obama picked Mr. Hagel because he is a Republican and because he is an embarrassing doofus. By thrusting him forward, Mr. Obama can claim the mantle of bipartisanship.

Mr. Hagel's comically bad performance at his confirmation hearing gave the White House the opportunity to wince and tell The New York Times that the nominee was somewhere between baffling and incomprehensible.

But, after all, what can we say? I mean, he is a Republican, the White House was saying. So, of course, he is stupid. But that is just how committed we are to bipartisanship.

The second part of the trap snaps every time Republicans justifiably scream over the unworthiness of Mr. Hagel's nomination. For Mr. Obama, this opposition is further proof of the Republican Party's insanely nasty partisanship. Even when I nominated a fellow Republican, Mr. Obama can say, they still went crazy. All because, he will say, it was Mr. Obama doing the nominating.

Still, it is worth taking a moment to highlight what a despicable human being Chuck Hagel is and how woefully out of his depth he would be in any serious government position.

For starters, Mr. Hagel is legendary in the halls of Congress for his explosive and unprovoked temper. Usually, these half-cocked tirades are directed at underlings trying to carry out his half-baked ideas. This is how Mr. …

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Hagel Is Ideal Republican for Obama, but Not for DoD
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