Chuck Hagel has a rare political quality; he self-reflects. He shows growth. He acts as an independent and speaks his mind. Growth is a natural process, once admired; so is independence. Yet some in his own party and in the opposing party have labeled him dangerous. For them, these naturally admired qualities disqualify him.
The politicians who set the standard for growth were Alabama governor, George Wallace, West Virginia senator, Robert Byrd, and Texas President, Lyndon B. Johnson. All three renounced their narrow-mined mistakes and misconceptions publicly, and went on to contribute greatly to the promise of democracy. I see Sen. Hagel added to this list. His errors lie in the realm of political reality more than in the real world.
Sen. Hagel’s appointment as Secretary of Defense is also being miscast as a foreign policy appointment. Sen. Graham said his former colleague would be the “most antagonist” Defense Secretary toward Israel in US history (which means since 1948!). Graham’s inflation narrowed the policy process to skip pass the roles of the Sec. of State, the Joint Chiefs, the West Wing, and the President himself. Israel is a very distant Hagel concern. US support does not come from his budget; decisions about it don’t fall in his sphere. The budget and the readiness of US uniformed forces is the work of Defense; Chuck Hagel is no Cap Weinburger, a rogue bending policy to his will.
Lindsey Graham and other critics need to get out of our faces; their antagonism toward every appointment of President Obama is diminishing America’s stature at home and abroad. The most transparent part of the process is the clear misrepresentations the world easily sees through.
~Lindsay Graham is one of the poster children for the term Chicken Hawk. In his petulant whine he poses as one of the most aggressive defenders of America. Unfortunately his defense is one sided, always in favor of a potential or outright military response and an overweighted amount of dollars going to the military industrial complex. He is not believable on these issues anymore, nor in my view, ever.