A Word About the Chuck Hagel Nomination

I know it's more or less a foregone conclusion that he'll be confirmed, but I'm not thrilled with the nomination of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense for several reasons, but near the top of the list is this growing trend that DoD needs to be run by a military veteran or a Republican or both. This will be the second Republican to serve at the post under the Obama administration. Yes, I get the president's Team of Rivals penchant, but I worry about the trend. DoD can be run by anyone confirmable by Congress: even a liberal who never served in the military.

For the sake of precedent, Future Republican Presidents, it probably wouldn't hurt to get a few more of those into the mix.

  • TippersDad

    I’m so glad that America chose Democrats so that the Democratic President can choose Republicans. Obama choose to shite on America’s vote for Democrats. How very ubber-bipartisan! And how has that worked for the President so far?
    We must assume that what he’s given us is what he wants: gridlock (more of the same, no change)

    • JMAshby

      Concern troll is concerned.

      • TippersDad

        JMAshby favors the Republican party also… as long as a Democrat is leading the way back to Republican policy. She’d split the baby in order to be bipartism.

  • JMAshby

    I don’t necessarily disagree about appointing Republicans but I also don’t think that’s really much of an argument against him.

    As far as having never served, you’re probably right they would be just as capable of making the right decisions, however I think someone with a long history of service has a better chance of brokering deals with the various heads of each branch of service.

    If you need the secretaries of the navy and air force to come to an agreement on who gets what amount of the budget, I think they would be more inclined to deal with someone who’s been there.

    If what you’re looking for is cooperation, I think it’s a solid pick.

    • TippersDad

      If you are looking for more of the same (Bush III) it’s a solid pick.

      • JMAshby

        You couldn’t be more wrong, and people said the same thing when Bob Gates stuck around even though he was instrumental in ending DADT.

        • TippersDad

          Your history grade is an “F”. Ending DADT was brought about by Nancy Pelosi in the House. Keep eating at the trough of Obama’s butt cheeks; it IS a smorgasborg.

          • JMAshby

            Wrong again. Bob Gates conducted all the congress-pleasing studies and initiatives that proved the integrity of the service would not be harmed.

            Congress eventually voted to repeal the law, but only after over a year of extensive ass-covering that made it possible for more members of congress to vote to repeal it.

          • ranger11

            “Progressives” are such stupid uninformed assholes.

      • mrbrink

        Actually, Chuck Hagel is on the record insisting that containment policy with regard to Iraq was working. He’s on the record plainly stating that he, like a few others, regretted his vote for the resolution that the Bush administration used to bomb and occupy Iraq that ultimately proved to be based on lies.

        That is the opposite of the Bush/Cheney doctrine, or whatever “Bush III” is supposed to look like.

        There are plenty of other areas you could criticize Chuck Hagel,

        Comparing him to Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld is not really one of those areas.

    • mrbrink

      Yes. Well said.

      He won two purple hearts leading an infantry squadron in Vietnam. “I have to admit,” said Karen taking the gun from Henry, “It turned me on.”

      And die-hard conservatives, and some liberals, should revel in the notion that Chuck Hagel isn’t an “AIPAC puppet.”

      Other than the unsubstantiated agent orange flashbacks and his ties to voting machines, I’m good.

  • brantl

    ” DoD can be run by anyone confirmable by Congress: even a liberal who never served in the military. ” The phrase before the colon and the one after are antithetical, as well as antipodal.

    • Bob Cesca

      Point taken.

  • MrDHalen


    I think this works in the President’s favor and can pry a few more of the conservative populace from the GOP cult. He has already punched major holes in the belief that Democrats are weak on defense and GWB took a sledge hammer to the Republicans credibility. The DOD is the one place you can really stick a conservative and sometimes find agreement.

    • TippersDad

      Has this policy of appointing Republicans ever worked? I know the Catfood Commission (simpson bowles) didn’t have a single progressive or liberal on board. That went smashingly.

      • ranger11

        Firedog Lake refugee? Also, what about Jan Schakowsky?

      • MrDHalen

        Well, not much of anything from Simpson Bowles has been
        signed into law. Plus, there are and have been Republicans in his cabinet who performed just fine.

        I don’t hate or dislike all Republicans. I don’t like what their party has been twisted into, but conservative thinking serves a useful purpose in our two party system when its not bat-shit crazy. We bring progressive views and conservative views together and create balanced policy for the nation.

        Fact is, at least 47% of voters, voted for the conservative in the last election. Those are real people and they’re Americans as well. Not all of them are crazy and I’ll sit down and debate with any of them who argue in good faith & with facts. These are the people the President can wake up with moves like this.

    • mrbrink

      And not only that, Dan, but I think the president nominating a Republican shines another spotlight on just how partisan Republicans have become. That, “hey, look at how screwed up and unserious this party is right now, they’re blocking fellow Republicans!”

      It just goes to show reasonable people how unreasonable the GOP has become.

  • trgahan

    it is not ideal, but seeing how quickly the right turned against Hagel because it takes bombing/invading Iran off the table for 4 years is enough for me….for now.

  • scifritz

    I agree. But another thing I haven’t seen (maybe I am not searching hard enough) are non-Republican alternatives being mentioned who would be a painless (adult-like) approval process.

    • TippersDad

      Why choose a Democrat? Spineless Dems will cheer Obama regardless of his policies and appointments. Right JMAshby? (“I don’t necessarily disagree about appointing Republicans”)

      • mrbrink

        It’s called, “politics.”

        You should look into it.

    • nicole

      “non-Republican alternatives being mentioned who would be a painless (adult-like) approval process”

      Painless approval process for a “non-Republican”?

      There is no such thing.

  • IrishGrrrl

    “…this growing trend that DoD needs to be run by a military veteran or a Republican or both….”

    Yeah, that was my first thought too. But he was so against the Iraq war that I tend to trust him more than a lot of the other options. I think it means he won’t be so quick to jump into open war with Iran. On the other hand, surely there were others just as qualified on our side of the aisle.

    Ultimately it’s not just a “Team of Rivals” thing…it’s more of that bi-partisanship appearance thing.