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Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) leaves a news conference in Omaha, Nebraska March 12, 2007. REUTERS/Dave Kaup
Very much a conservative Republican.
Democrats won the elections, thus Democrats get to run things.

Yet there's a bizarre tradition of sorts where Democratic presidents suddenly act like Republicans are right—that only they can run our national affairs—and thus appoint Republicans to head the Pentagon. Like every Democratic president who has preceded him except for Jimmy Carter, President Barack Obama fell victim to that kind of thinking when he first took office. And if the latest trial balloon has merit, he's set to kick off his second term in the same fashion by nominating former arch-conservative Sen. Chuck Hagel.

As Ilan Goldenberg of the National Security Network wrote a few years ago, when this nonsense last came up:

Appointing a Republican as Secretary of Defense could send a message that Democrats are still too uncomfortable with the military to take on the responsibility of defending our country by themselves. Moreover, there's no reason not to appoint a Democrat. The party has a deep defense bench that includes military and defense advisors for the Obama and Clinton campaigns—many of whom have served in the Pentagon in previous administrations.
Hagel is a Republican who voted for all of George W. Bush's pet wars. He got a 0 percent rating from NARAL and the Human Rights Campaign as the Pentagon deals with further integrating women into combat roles and implementing the DADT repeal. And yes, while he has reneged on his past support for our nation's disastrous wars, there are plenty of good qualified Democrats who weren't idiotic enough to support them in the first place.

It's time for Democrats to embrace the fact that yes, they know what the hell they're doing on matters of national security.

Sign the petition urging President Barack Obama to select a qualified Democrat to run the Pentagon, and not yet another Republican who got it so wrong when it mattered.

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Comment Preferences

  •  TOTALLY ABSURD (24+ / 0-)

    It is actually the best possible thing. It gives cover to have a Republican be the face of defence cuts, and watch Republicans twist themselves to explain why Chuck Hagel is suddenly apologizing for America.

    It does not mean Democrats can't do national security. A Democratic president IS. It means it is smart to have a Republican if you want some defence cuts and some diplomatic distance with Israel. And Hagel is totally on board with both.

  •  You're absolutely sure we won? (10+ / 0-)

    All right, I'll go do it.  Man.

  •  Where does this sit with Sequestration and related (0+ / 0-)

    defense cuts?

    Panetta already made the hyperbolic statements without ever conducting a top down budget review. So he's not going to look stupid by implementing sensible defense cuts and demonstrate we're not "Hollowed out"....

    The 1st Amendment gives you the right to say stupid things, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee a paycheck to say stupid things.

    by JML9999 on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:36:36 AM PST

  •  Just as absurd (12+ / 0-)

    Lugar for SoS was floated here.
    Im from Indiana and say hell no.
    Its time to put this country back on track and thats gonna take Democrats in all the key positions.

  •  Obama Republicans = A Good Thing (8+ / 0-)

    That should have been the case with Susan Rice and

    Democrats now have the upper hand on national security issues. For an obvious list of reasons.

    So relax all...we're the adults now and adults don't have to pretend about how things look.  Yes, LBJ stuck with McNamara out of perceived weakness.  But that is not the proper parallel here:

    Reagan made Jim Webb Secretary of the Navy and Jeanne Kirkpatrick Ambassador to the UN.  By those simple acts the idea of 'Reagan Democrats' was institutionalized.

    Chuck Hagel, Colin Powell, Charlie Crist...these and others are the Obama Republicans. Who feel more comfortable with our President than they do with the crazies who have hijacked the Republican party.

    If Obama picks Hagel, it'll be because he's the guy he wants at SecDef, and there's a trust there between him, Biden, and potentially Kerry at State.

    Follow Me on Twitter!!/ZeddRebel

    by TarantinoDork on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:37:38 AM PST

  •  It's about where a GOPper does least damage (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pamelabrown, ManhattanMan, alba, TXdem

    Democrats don't pick Republicans because they know more about or they're better with national defense. It's a way of showing that the President is prepared to reach across the aisle -- that he's not unable to see merit in Republicans or Republican ideas. Defense is singled out because it's where it makes the least difference. Iit's not a domestic policy question, where the difference is huge and you wouldn't want to see a Republican.

    The question is whether Obama will get any political benefit for selecting another GOPper for his cabinet.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you:

    by FischFry on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:37:39 AM PST

    •  That completely ignores the peception... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hannibal, NonnyO, Losty, shaharazade, Patate

      ...that Republicans are stronger at national security. Are you a child? Do you have no memory of the last 40 years?

    •  The President reached across the aisle to have (7+ / 0-)

      Gates as SecDef and Jon Huntsman as Ambassador to China in his first term and look at the amount of good will he received from the Republicans for doing so.  Nothing, Nada, Not one ounce of Goodwill!  

      For all his show of reaching across the aisle, the Republicans united in a monolithic block to do their best to torpedo every initiative that the President had and seek to deny him re-election at any cost.  They cheated, they lied, they obfuscated, and now people are advocating that he nominate people who the Republicans are not quite sure are good Republicans anyway to high cabinet positions just as a show of Goodwill.  

      Doing so would just reenforce the Republican perception that it is relatively easy to steal the President's lunch money again and again and again.  That seems to be all they are learning from the Susan Rice cave-in and the appointment of Republicans to major cabinet positions will just add to that perception further.

      And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

      by MrJersey on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:35:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Obama is sacrificing We The People... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FischFry, MrJersey, shaharazade

        ... and our money in our Treasury, for his dream of being the "bipartisan" president.  Meanwhile, he's keeping the Bushista illegal and unconstitutional wars going, illegally including drone bombings, and the latest is sending troops to Turkey.  All of which is costing us more in lives and money..., and the rich rat bastages who will benefit from this illegal and unconstitutional idiocy still don't want to fork over any tax money, but they expect to get blood and/or money from turnips and stones that were bled dry years ago and additionally have no more jobs to show for it.

        Well, at least that's how I see it.

        Obama still does not get the fact that the Republican'ts don't give a rat's patootie that Obama is sucking up to them at every turn, and has been doing so for four years already.  They want him gone at all costs for whatever ideological or racial or religious reichwingnut reasons they can dream up - see Guano Loco Bachmann's most recent rants and raves for the latest in crazy ideas and terminology.  (I can't pretend to keep up with her loony notions.  She's a paranoid, homophobic, xenophobic idiot and anyone with an IQ higher than a rock knows that.)

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:49:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That was kinda my point (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MrJersey, Patate

        I should have added that giving Defense to the GOP is often seen as a way to mollify GOP concerns on defense and maybe get some goodwill on domestic issues.  

        It certainly didn't work out that way. Even after putting LaHood in charge of Transportation -- you left that out -- the GOP was especially contentious over the Transportation bill and stimulus projects.

        I don't see the value in giving the GOP a sop at Defense. They haven't earned a gesture of goodwill, and they need to earn that now.

        Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you:

        by FischFry on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:54:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Jim Webb for SecDef (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Carlo, Patate

    or how about Joe Sestak?

    Filibuster reform now. No more Gentleman's agreements.

    by bear83 on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:38:16 AM PST

  •  What this country needs (23+ / 0-)

    is more Republicans running things said no sensible person ever.

    I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

    by Gentle Giant on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:38:34 AM PST

  •  More Importantly and Seemingly Off Topic (16+ / 0-)

    but not really....President Obama, do not take out one of our Senators by naming them as Secretary of State!  Please!  

    Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

    by tikkun on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:38:49 AM PST

    •  Look for Kerry to be called to the White House (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ROGNM, cactusgal, NonnyO, LSophia, DSPS owl

      soon. Obama will want to express personally why he wants Kerry to remain in the Senate at this time, to offer apologies for having to pass him by for the position.

      Obama is no minor-leaguer.

      I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

      by Gentle Giant on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:43:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hear! Hear! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hannibal, mightymouse, NonnyO, LSophia

      Pick someone, some DEMOCRAT, who is currently "between jobs".
      Like Russ Feingold f'rinstance.

      If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

      by CwV on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:46:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

      There have got to be many qualified Democrats out there who are not currently in high offices (Governor, Senator). It's important to have a deep bench of such people for cabinet seats and even Supreme Court appointments.

      Hey, the Republicans get away with recycling old cretins like Rumsfeld, Cheney, and the rest, none of whom could win a contest for dogcatcher anymore. (Apologies to all good Democratic dogcatchers out there.) We can do better than that, without endangering any current offices.

      The party needs to do a better job, in general, of building and maintaining its bench. How come Howard Dean doesn't have a high post, huh?

  •  You had my hopes up when I read the title; on (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hannibal, NonnyO

    first read I thought/hoped they had dumped Hagel for consideration.

    Why is when the Tea Party won all we heard from the Obama administration that "a strong message" was heard.

    When we Democrats win/won we get the middle finger?

  •  What drives me nuts (17+ / 0-)

    is that all Democratic "trial balloons" are right-wing trial balloons.  (Hagel for SecDef, raising Medicare age to 67, etc...)

    Will there ever be a progressive trial balloon -- one that's actually good for the country?  Ever?  

  •  How about a qualified person instead of a (23+ / 0-)

    political hack?


    It's not a stepping stone.  We don't need a carreer politician in the job.

    Shinseki has done great work at the VA.  He'd be even better as SecDef.

    I have no idea what his political party is, and I don't care - he told his superiors, his President, and the Congress the truth whether or not they wanted to hear it.

    He's got courage, he's got integrity, he's got experience, and he's got the raw ability.

    This is way too big for petty politics.

    This place needs a PVP server.

    by JesseCW on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:42:17 AM PST

    •  Agreed. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW, mightymouse, LSophia, NonnyO, Simplify

      Get the most competent person for the job. Being a Democrat or a Republican shouldn't be a factor in one way or the other. No "symbolic" appointments please. We've got a politician as the commander in chief as it should be. Apart from that, someone whose smart and can take orders from the President.

      "Today is who you are" - my wife

      by I Lurked For Years on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:06:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The president is not OUR... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Simplify, shaharazade

        ... Commander in Chief.  He is our President.

        US Constitution, Article 2, Section. 2.

        The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices...,

        Notice it says "WHEN called into the actual Service of the United States."

        Congress is the only body that can vote to go to war (or not), and Congress is the only body that can authorize money (or borrowing thereof) for war, and even that has a constitutional time limit.  We do not have a legal war against any country going on - only an illegal and unconstitutional fight against a little gang of criminals, and that's been going on for a decade now, plus we had an illegal invasion of Iraq and some troops have been pulled back to a nearby country, but have not been brought home to US soil.

        The president does NOT have to be called into actual Service of the United States to serve as Commander in Chief.  Even when he is, he's only CiC of the military forces..., not the civilian population.

        WE do not elect a CiC because the general population is not a military force.

        WE elect electors to vote for a president at the meeting of the electoral college.

        Sorry... little nitpicky, I know, but ever since Dumbya was put into office, the little ratbastage yapped about being CiC, started incorrectly saying we cast our votes for CiC..., and the Media Morons parroted him instead of reading the Constitution to see that a President is only CiC WHEN called into actual service, and is only CiC over the military forces, not the civilian population since we elect a president, not a CiC.  [The Bushista regime f##ked up big time, especially with their loose implications and terminologies incorrectly applied..., and the Fourth Estate didn't call them on it, but dutifully repeated their words like a bleeping tape recorder.  I fear we won't get back to correct terminology in media for a very long time, possibly not even in my lifetime.]

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:16:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  What are you talking about? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW, NonnyO

          All I'm saying was that as stated in the constitution, the person we elected as president is the commander in chief of the military. There's no reason why the SecDef needs to be a politician too. Not seeing exactly what I stated that you're arguing with me about...

          If it makes you feel better I'm very much opposed to all our military ventures, including opposing the Afghanistan war back in 2001 when republicans and democrats alike thought it was great...

          "Today is who you are" - my wife

          by I Lurked For Years on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:32:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  :-) I'm not arguing... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            I Lurked For Years

            ... merely pointing out how the terminology is used.

            We totally agree on the military ventures.  I never saw the sense in going after a little group of criminals in some remote place..., since they didn't actually DO the crimes.  The actual criminals died with their victims.  Who was there to "go after?"  Then there was that whole illegal and unconstitutional invasion of Iraq that made even less sense, and I knew they were lying from the get-go.

            Now drones have been added - less than a full week in office when Obama approved that idiocy.

            Then today, in a Friday News Dump:
            Pentagon to send missiles, 400 troops to Turkey

            I can't begin to express my dismay and how underwhelmed I am with this further stupidity.

            How not to win friends and make new enemies....

            I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

            by NonnyO on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 10:17:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  What a concept ! nl (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, LSophia

      I think that Republicanism is revealing itself as a personality disorder, not so much an ideology." -- Naomi Klein

      by AllanTBG on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:14:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I still have no idea why during the first month (10+ / 0-)

    after the election the WH is spending half their time testing the patience of their base coalition?

    It is a pretty ridiculous political strategy....and the second time...makes the mind boggle

    "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

    by justmy2 on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:43:07 AM PST

  •  Amen. (9+ / 0-)

    I am tired of yielding this ground to Republicans.  It just builds the misconception that only R's are strong on defense.  Do Republican administrations appoint Dems to education and labor?  Hell no.

    "When a nation goes down, or a society perishes, one condition may always be found; they forgot where they came from. They lost sight of what had brought them along." --Carl Sandburg

    by Mote Dai on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:43:51 AM PST

  •  Ilan Goldenberg ... (12+ / 0-)

    ..misses a salient point:

    By appointing some idiot right winger to this position, you automatically side-line a Democrat who has displayed party loyalty.

    What loyalty to the Democratic party has Chuck Hagel displayed?

    I hate to even Google Chuck Hagel, because I know I'll find all kinds of ignorant wingnut bullshit he has pulled against Democrats.

    Yet a Democratic president is willing to rob a Democrat of the opportunity to head the Pentagon, by appointing a right wing shitheel to the position.

    Somebody please explain how this is good politics on Obama's part.


    "You just gotta keep on livin man! L-I-V-I-N!" - Wooderson

    by wyvern on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:44:08 AM PST

    •  Whether or not it is good policy *should* be (3+ / 0-)

      seen as immensely more important than whether or not it is good politics.

      This place needs a PVP server.

      by JesseCW on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:47:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What makes you think that Obama (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wyvern, NonnyO

      cares about pleasing the democratic party?  

      •  This was... (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gof, mightymouse, NonnyO, shaharazade, Patate the back of my mind, but I wasn't going to go there.

        I realize it's an article of faith that Democratic presidents must, ever so often, kick their base in the gonads.

        But going the Chuck Hagel route in order to prove how much you loathe your base is a bridge too far.

        Chuck freakin' Hagel?  You might as well appoint Louie Gohmert.

        "You just gotta keep on livin man! L-I-V-I-N!" - Wooderson

        by wyvern on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:59:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Tell me a recent kick in the nads that the Speaker (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wyvern, shaharazade

          of the House, or McConnell have given to their base?  They don't do that.  Perhaps because they are afraid of their base, but they just do not do that.  On the other hand, we, the fucking retards, seem to be kicked on a regular basis.  

          I just want to see the President put up a good fight on something and win something that I care about.  Other than DADT, not much has happened to please me, and I actually gave money to have him re-elected.

          And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

          by MrJersey on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:52:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Idiot? Ignorant? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Shitheel (whatever that means)?

      Maybe you should google Hagel after all, you may find out a thing or two.

      •  Okay... (7+ / 0-)

        ..I Googled Hagel & I learned a thing or two.

         From just his wikipedia page, I learned...


        Voted for the Iraq war
        Voted for the Patriot Act
        Voted for the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts
        Voted for No Child Left Behind
        Voted against Bush’s Medicare prescription drug bill
        Voted against McCain-Feingold[21]

        If you are going to become a messageboard advocate for this asshole (you can ass "asshole" to your list), I don't see it ending well for you.

        "You just gotta keep on livin man! L-I-V-I-N!" - Wooderson

        by wyvern on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:06:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not *necessarily* a negative (0+ / 0-)

          Might just show he takes orders from his president well.

          "Today is who you are" - my wife

          by I Lurked For Years on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:09:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Let's look at Kerry's record (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Or Susan Rice's on FP.  

          Domenstic policy votes are meaningless as SecDef.  He'll have zero input or influence on domestic policy matters.  

          They have the billionaires, We have the Big Dog!

          by Jacoby Jonze on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:16:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  You realize many Dems have similar voting records? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          But it's okay if you're a democrat right?

          "Today is who you are" - my wife

          by I Lurked For Years on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:20:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Well... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Many voted for the Iraq war (unfortunately), and Hagel's vote was done after he warned that it may be a serious mistake. Why he nevertheless voted for it, I don't know. No chiled left behind? It was a 91-8 vote. And so on... And yes, he is a republican, so he voted mostly as a republican.

          Finally, why the "threat" to me?!?!?

        •  This: (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shaharazade, TXdem
          Voted against Bush’s Medicare prescription drug bill
          ... was a good thing to do.  Too bad more Democrats didn't vote against that shite.

          As a person who is on Medicare and gets Part D, I resent the hell out of paying a corporation for prescription insurance that benefits only the profit margin of insurance and pharmaceutical corporations.  I'd much rather it be included on the pre-paid Part A and Part B of Medicare which WE pay for (when we are working, and also after we retire and Medicare premiums are deducted before Social Security is deposited in one's account).  Part D is all corporate insurance for prescription drugs, and we are responsible for paying that out of Social Security (either as retired persons, or as disabled recipients who get SSDI & also qualify for Medicare).

          That clause in the Bushista Medicare Part D prescription plan said "buy corporate prescription insurance or else."

          The plan for corporate insurance THIS time around says "buy corporate medical insurance or pay a fine of $1000."

          I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

          by NonnyO on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:28:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Dems challenged on the whole party loyalty thing (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wyvern, shaharazade, Patate

      see, e.g., Dems caucusing with the GOP in NY & WA state senate, handing chamber control to them.

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:44:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here's the bottom line (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Obama should appoint the person that he feels is best suited to serve the needs of our nation as Secretary of Defense.

      He doesn't owe you your preferred framing, he doesn't owe you good politics, he owes you the person he feels is best suited for the job. If you don't believe that you can trust Obama's judgement for these things then you should not have voted for him.

      Shit like NARAL rating doesn't matter at all when we talk about Sec. of Def. What matters is competence and the trust of the Commander in Chief.

  •  I have no problem with a Republican at Defense. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    winsock, wheeldog, pamelabrown, Matt Z, JackND

    The Secretary of Defense does what the President tells him to do. In no other area of government does the President have such clear-cut Constitutional authority.

    Hagel will be on a very short leash. Plus, he'll have to deal with the pain of any (hopefully large) Defense budget cuts.

    If throwing the Repubs this small, meaningless bone helps move our fiscal and social reforms, I say do it.

    The only caveat I would have is if we really truly believe that not having a Dem at DoD makes us look "weak". I understand why people might think this, but I disagree. The President has killed so many terrorists that we don't need to do any chest-thumping.

    Let's throw a bone to these whining and whimpering right-wingers and get back to talking about raising the Capital Gains Tax and protecting Obamacare.

    Appointing Hagel is great ju-jitsu and robs the Republicans of the chance to spend several news cycles of moaning and groaning. Instead, we'll use those cycles to talk about that Middle-Class Tax Cut discharge petition that none of them have signed...

    •  SecDef non-partisan office (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The title doesn't come with a party letter.  And it shouldn't.  The Secretary of Defense serves at the pleasure of the President.  If Republicans want to regard Hagel as a bone, fine -- it's not as if they lack anything else to gripe about.

      Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.

      by winsock on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:02:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ever since Newt and the Contract on American, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Medium Head Boy, Patate

        there has been no such thing as a non-partisan office.  Everything is measured through the lens of a party letter and to think otherwise seems romantic and naive.  

        Democrats may think of certain offices as non-partisan, but I can assure you that the Republicans and the Republican noise machine think of everything on the terms of partisan advantage.

        Look at the Susan Rice episode.  The tragic death of the Ambassador and his guards should have been seen as a national tragedy that Dr. Rice had nothing to do with, but it was then escalated by the Republicans to a major deal merely to gain a momentary partisan advantage.  Given the perceived "offense" committed by Dr. Rice by appearing on the Sunday pundit shows in no way justified the firestorm of Republican abuse heaped upon her as a potential SecState and can be explained in no other way than the hyperpartisanship of the Republican Party.

        And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

        by MrJersey on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:01:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  not quite (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, MrJersey

      when Obama came into office, Gates and the generals advised him to put more troops into Afghanistan.
      I think Gates clearly had an impact in that decision.

      Obama 2012...going to win it with our support!!!

      by mattinjersey on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:02:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why not just bring back Rumsfeld (8+ / 0-)


    "And once again, the forces of niceness and goodness have triumphed over the forces of evil and rottenness." --Maxwell Smart

    by emobile on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:46:35 AM PST

  •  Signed it. (7+ / 0-)

    Hagel is a conservative Republican. He voted for the budget-busting wars. There are plenty of qualified Democrats, and we don't need another white male in the cabinet. I vote for Democrats because I want Democrats in positions of power.

  •  Hagel would be a fine choice for SoD (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, Hannibal, Radiowalla, Patate

    if Mittens would have won.

  •  Dem bench (0+ / 0-)

    Who else might be able to come off the bench and fill these post at State and Def.???  I've seen Gore's name floated but it doesn't seem to have gained any traction.  How about Bill Bradley?

    There have to be others.  Thinking caps, people!  Put them on.

  •  Yeah, I get it, Bi-partisanship (8+ / 0-)

    Bah Humbug!
    Wesley Clark.
    4 Star General, Supreme Allied Commander, Endorsed Obama in 08, a Democrat and currently wasting his time on Reality Tv.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:51:11 AM PST

  •  Hagel would be acceptable to John McCain and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mkor7, MrJersey, Radiowalla

    Lindsey Graham?

  •  I'm fine with Hagel. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pamelabrown, mangusta, JackND

    Would it be okay if he had an [I] or [D] after his name?  

    Do you think it will be easier or harder to cut DoD spending with a Republican SecDef pushing for cuts?

    Hagel all but endorsed Pres Obama in 2008, his wife did.  Hagel is of the Scowcroft school, as is Pres Obama.  

    Susan Rice supported Iraq war, as did Kerry and Hillary Clinton.  

    They have the billionaires, We have the Big Dog!

    by Jacoby Jonze on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:53:18 AM PST

    •  The President doesn't need a buddy at (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      allenjo, manyamile, shaharazade


      He doesn't need to pass it out as a plum to a loyal follower, either.

      "Really Really Really gets along with President Obama personally" isn't a job qualification.

      This place needs a PVP server.

      by JesseCW on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:00:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, it isn't (0+ / 0-)

        The fact that he is very smart and very knowledgeable in FP and nationall security issues, is known to be both thoughtful and able to think outside the box, on the other hand, is.

        I will probably be attacked for defending hagel (not that he needs my "defense" :-). The thing is that these automatic reactions against somebody because they have an R after their name make me feel very uncomfortable. Aren't we supposed to be more open minded and inclusive and not label and pigeonhole people?

        Yes, hagel's voting record in the Senate was mostly conservative. OTOH he was and is resepcted by most senators with a brain, on both sides of the isle. Spend a bit of time on Google and you will see what I mean.

      •  It's not about needing "a buddy" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        I Lurked For Years

        at Defense.  It's about Obama picking a person who he believes to have the right skill set who he can work with.

        While I know I hold a minority view here, I don't understand the belief that we get to pick the President's cabinet or veto who he wants.  We progressives are part of a coalition not its entirety.

        I think we need to be focused on how we best lobby/support/oppose the fiscal curb, the debt ceiling, immigration reform, getting out of Afghanistan earlier, finding new candidates to take back the crazy repub. state houses that are wreaking so much havoc and destruction, etc.

        •  I don't oppose Obama apointing Republicans (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hannibal, rigcath, mightymouse

          If he feels they are the best person for the job. I do oppose Obama appointing Republicans if he feels that appointing a Republicans somehow makes him a more virtuous politician. I wonder if the people here opposing Hagel based on his conservative record have been equally opposed to Hillary Clinton's service as Secretary of State since she shared a number of those positions as Hagel. John Kerry too.

          "Today is who you are" - my wife

          by I Lurked For Years on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:14:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Since we don't get to pick, (0+ / 0-)

          I think we should just trust our president in every decision that he makes and we should just support that.

          This place needs a PVP server.

          by JesseCW on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:30:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, because that's what I said...oh wait (0+ / 0-)

        no it's not.  But I can see you're just being ridiculous because you don't know a damn think about Chuck Hagel other than he's a Republican.  

        They have the billionaires, We have the Big Dog!

        by Jacoby Jonze on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:18:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  No Republicans anywhere (6+ / 0-)

    Fuck em.   This Susan Rice bullshit should be enough to lock them the hell out.

    Or perhaps, Obama should nominate McCain only to have the Democrats block the nomination.  

  •  Too bad Mark Kirk is medically unfit for the job (0+ / 0-)

    One more Democratic Senator...

    Unapologetic Obama supporter.

    by Red Sox on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:56:26 AM PST

  •  I'll be unpopular (7+ / 0-)

    but that's fine.  I have no problem with Chuck Hagel as SoD.  He endorsed the President twice and has no problem telling the truth to power.  

    I find it ironic that people are saying he would have been a good SoD if McCain or Romney had won.  The funny thing is that hw would have no chance at a post in either of those administrations because he opposed both their campaigns and their policies.

    Hagel put party label on the back seat when he endorsed the president twice.  If he is the best person for the job (and that is a decision which is above my pay grade), I can also put aside party label and support my President's decision that Chuck Hagel as SoD is in the best interest of the Country.

    "He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that." - J.S. Mill

    by dmsarad on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:58:13 AM PST

  •  If Hagel will front Def cuts equal to W's deficits (0+ / 0-)

    The only justification for appointing Hagel would be

    if he will front Defence cuts equal to W's budget-busting tax cuts that Hagel voted for.  

    Hagel is not needed for mere incrementalism, although Panetta should probably move on after exaggerating the Defence impact of the Republican's Fiscal Tiff.

  •  Democrat appointees? like Geitner and Summers? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KYrocky, mightymouse, NonnyO, shaharazade

    I signed the petition, of course, but hold very little hope for a change.

    Whatever the motivation, Obama has more than proven he is Bush-lite.  Maybe not even so lite - since has not just continued vile war policies, he has expanded it to  include assasination as official policy.  

    Let's face it - Obama is not going to do the right thing.  He is not going to address climate change.  He is not going to prosecute war and wall street crime. He is not going to scale back/eliminate the TSA or repeal the "Patriot" Act.

    The best is he going to be is NOT Rmoney.

    Warren 2016?

  •  The last two Republican Sec. of Defense (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rigcath, NonnyO

    lost two wars. I guess Preisdent Obama thinks three is a charm.

    When someone tells you they are lying, you should believe them.

    by shoeless on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:09:10 AM PST

  •  Susan Rice (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rigcath, MrJersey, NonnyO, mwm341, Patate

    If Republicans whine that they aren't getting another Republican secretary of defense, point them to Susan Rice and their disgusting behavior.

    I don't really know who would be the best choice for Defense, but I see no reason for the President to do anything nice for the GOP. They have been enemies of the state for the last four years. Let them rot.

    The GOP is the party of mammon. They mock what Jesus taught.

    by freelunch on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:10:29 AM PST

  •  Obama should appoint the most qualified person (3+ / 0-)

    who is confirmable, who mostly shares Obama's vision for the future of the military but will not hesitate to privately disagree with him when he sees things differently, but will ultimately do what Obama asks of him or her in the end. I'd prefer that it be a Dem, but if that person is a Repub, so be it. It's Obama's pick, not ours--while reserving the right to object to his pick on merits, or lack thereof.

    Plus, there are obvious Nixon goes to China advantages to picking a Repub if Obama intends to take the military in certain directions.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:15:30 AM PST

    •  Confirmable? (0+ / 0-)

      Enough with that; look at the amount of Republican blockages there have been. How about carefully considered and vetted appointments during recess? If nothing else, it might get the Republicans working.

      President Barack Obama. Good man in a storm.

      by mwm341 on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 11:38:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why in the name of all that's unholy would we (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NonnyO, prgsvmama26, Patate

    want to give a repub ANY opportunity to shine in a democratic administration?  Total bullshit.

  •  I signed, kos.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gof, shaharazade

    Partly because I've always been ticked off at Obama for keeping the Bushistas in DoD, Pentagon, & DoJ when he should have fired the whole lot of 'em or accepted their traditional resignation letters when the previous war criminals left office.  I have zero faith that the petitions will do any good, but I'm SO f##king sick of these illegal and unconstitutional wars and fake "justifications" for interfering in other countries that I'll do dang near anything to try to stop our politicians from further ruining our lives with spending all of our treasury on illegal and unconstitutional wars and putting us further in debt because of them.  I just wish signing petitions actually did some good.

    ALSO, there was this on the news just couple of hours ago, and given free reign, Republican'ts will escalate this to a bigger conflagration (quite a lot more of the article at the link):

    Pentagon to send missiles, 400 troops to Turkey
    INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey (AP) — The U.S. will send two batteries of Patriot missiles and 400 troops to Turkey as part of a NATO force meant to protect Turkish territory from potential Syrian missile attack, the Pentagon said Friday.

    Defense Secretary Leon Panetta signed a deployment order en route to Turkey from Afghanistan calling for 400 U.S. soldiers to operate two batteries of Patriots at undisclosed locations in Turkey, Pentagon press secretary George Little told reporters flying with Panetta.

    Germany and the Netherlands have already agreed to provide two batteries of the U.S.-built defense systems and send up to 400 German and 360 Dutch troops to man them, bringing the total number of Patriot batteries slated for Turkey to six.

    German lawmakers voted 461-86 Friday to approve the deployment of two Patriot missile batteries. The mandate allows Germany to deploy a maximum 400 soldiers through January 2014. NATO foreign ministers endorsed Turkey's request for the Patriots on Nov. 30.

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:17:21 AM PST

    •  "German lawmakers voted 461-86 to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      approve the deployment..."  
      Our lawmakers weren't involved?
      Just our executive?

      The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

      by DSPS owl on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 04:13:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah..., I wondered about that, too (0+ / 0-)

        Remember this 2007 Bill Moyers Journal show on impeachment?  John Nichols' story about the metaphorical cherry wood box containing presidential powers?  Remember those unitary executive powers Dumbya & Dickie claimed for the executive?


        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 04:25:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Obama's call (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Obama gets to choose who he wants to serve in his cabinet. Except Susan Rice I suppose. If Hagel is appointed to sec of defense it's who Obama wants.

    •  Didn't we vote for him? Do we have no say? (0+ / 0-)

      "In an individual, selfishness uglifies the soul; for the human species, selfishness is extinction." -Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell

      by rigcath on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:20:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We absolutely get to express (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rigcath, DSPS owl

        our opinions.  Much of what goes wrong in this country, IMHO, is that the electorate tends to switch off between elections.

        I don't understand the accommodation of people who are trying to destroy you.  I also think that this is the perfect time to appoint a Democrat as SoD, so as to put an end to the meme that we are weak on National Security, once and for all.  Eric Shinseki.  Wes Clark.  Jim Webb.  Joe Sestak.  All Democrats.  All eminently qualified.  

        If we must have a Republican in the Cabinet, give them another post- not Interior or Education.  Commerce maybe?

        •  I have the same problem with any GOP appointment (0+ / 0-)

          It projects the image that the Dems don't have someone capable of doing the job, or that we agree with the GOP's positions on the given issue. I would be equally outraged if a Republican's name were being floated for Commerce, Education, or Interior. Republican presidents don't see the need to appoint Dems to their administrations, and Obama will receive nothing from the GOP for throwing them this bone. So there's really no point to doing it unless he seems to think Chuck Hagel is the best person for the job--a notion which is absurd.

          "In an individual, selfishness uglifies the soul; for the human species, selfishness is extinction." -Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell

          by rigcath on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:04:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  lol, no not until 2014 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        when democrats will break out their progressive speeches.

        Obama won and will never have to face an election ever again.  Everyone was told to not complain or palin would be president.  Now we all get to live with whatever obama decides to do.  

  •  Thank you. I would point out... (8+ / 0-)

    that Hagel has the following voting record rating:

    0% from Human Rights Campaign on LGBT issues
    0% from NARAL on women's issues.
    11% from NAACP on people of color issues.

    So as a Senator, Hagel has a record of only concerning himself with straight, white men.

    What could possibly go wrong putting someone like that in charge of the military?!?!

    It's not like there are gays on the military or people of color or women getting sexually assaulted every single day.

    "The marriage fight is over when we say it's over, and it's over when we win."—Dan Savage

    by Scott Wooledge on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:26:01 AM PST

  •  put a dem in the post (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citizenx, shaharazade

    this is silly. if i wanted a republican i would have voted for one. stop helping the people that hate you the most. put a qualified democrat in the post. republicans will only use it for there crony friends, not that the dems will not do the same thing. i do not want to see or hear of a republican in this freaking cabinet. what is wrong with you, did you learn nothing. oy vey

  •  Time for Dems to pull a John McCain and hammer (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rigcath, a2nite

    this guy to no end until he's eliminated, before he's even nominated.

    Recommended by:
    NonnyO, mwm341, Patate

    Sorry for shouting but he still doesn't seem to get the message.

    Quit trying to accommodate lunatics who are committed to hanging you from the nearest tree.

    No Republican should be considered for ANY role in the adminstration, and those already there should be fired by sundown.

    Probably 95% of the stuff that has gone wrong in the Obama Administration can be traced either to following the advice of Republicans, or preemptively trying to "address their concerns" and folding on key issues.

    The Republicans' concerns are mainly shiftless lazy "colored" people stealing all their tax money, and diverting as much money as possible straight up to the 0.00001 Percent.

    Who the hell cares if those "concerns" are addressed?

  •  Al Franken for SECDEF!!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  Dems didn't win the entire election (0+ / 0-)

    Executive yes, so just clarify there. But this isn't 2008

    a little bit of this, a little bit of that

    by MWV on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:50:36 AM PST

    •  The president gets to make appointments, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DSPS owl

      and the Senate confirms them. Dems won both of those, correct? Why should the fact that the House is controlled by Republicans impact the makeup of Obama's administration?

      "In an individual, selfishness uglifies the soul; for the human species, selfishness is extinction." -Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell

      by rigcath on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:12:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  why a politician at all? (0+ / 0-)

    put in the best administrator, thinker and effective manager. someone who understands foreign matters, the armed services. Someone who can deal with the services , politicians or military contractors, but not beholden to them. this is a tough job and it needs the most competent, effective person..who ever it is.

  •  I feel... (0+ / 0-)

    ...joementum coming on!

    He's pasty, rested, and ready!  

    Progressive LIBERAL-right, yet "disloyal" since January 20, 2001

    by howie14 on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:12:43 AM PST

  •  after the whole debacle w/Rice I am losing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NonnyO, DSPS owl

    confidence in Washington politics and the President's ability to use the lame duck session. This is Obama's chance. He needs to straighten up and reward his supporters who knocked on doors, made calls, spent hours on social media, traveled to neighboring states to campaign ... he needs to recognize the women who came out to support including the numbers of women who were conservative unenrolled/independents who may have set all other politics aside and voted for him simply because they believed he would stand up for them, against the old white men of the GOP ....

    He needs to understand that so many people voted against the GOP as much as voted for him.

    If you campaigned for him, you know that there were people that were less passionate about support for him as they were about getting rid of the growing extremest in the the GOP.

    So why would he appoint an R, especially a man with a poor record of truly supporting women.

    Women are underrepresented in govt, private corporations, banks etc...  we are easy targets when we take leadership positions - and clearly that hasn't changed an iota.

    Women are 51% of the population yet are represented in congress by barely 17%! Until our representation reflects the population, we risk sliding backwards .....

    by 51percent on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:21:30 AM PST

  •  Agree with the larger issue (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NonnyO, DSPS owl

    Definitely, the President should appoint someone who he trusts to realize his vision for America's military and for the Defense Department.

    BUT, this is, once again, another chance to demonstrate the Democrats are NOT, in fact, weak on National Security, and are perfectly capable of running the military, making cuts and cleaning up some of internal issues, particularly around rape and sexual abuse.  It's a shame there isn't a high-profile female three-star general or admiral out there - that would make an incredible pick.

    Given that, though, I can think of at least four Democrats who could run SoD (in alphabetical order):  General Wesley Clark, Admiral/Congressman Joe Sestak, General Eric Shinseki, or Senator Jim Webb.  We don't need the Republicans for this, and, more importantly, appointing one will continue to damage the Democrats' brand.

  •  Nebraska rethugs are probably hoping this happens (0+ / 0-)

    so they can appoint a real whack job to the senate.

  •  I suggest Max Cleland. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, mwm341

    I suspect that at least he understands the pain of war.

    And he has the Political Experience.

    ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

    by NevDem on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:45:07 AM PST

  •  I would even be Okay with a Non-partisan (0+ / 0-)

    Just not an R.

    Henceforth I ask not good fortune. I myself am good fortune. Walt Whitman

    by Sacramento Dem on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:47:32 AM PST

  •  W had a Democrat in his cabinet... (0+ / 0-)

    ...but it was Sec. of Transportation.

    Henceforth I ask not good fortune. I myself am good fortune. Walt Whitman

    by Sacramento Dem on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:53:58 AM PST

  •  I don't give a damn about "messaging" (0+ / 0-)

    I want a candidate who demonstrates intelligence, competence, skill and an ability to implement the president's policies, whatever his political persuasion is.

    Hagel has worked long with and for Obama, and I'm pretty sure they agree on a number of areas, and have a good working relationship. He's doesn't seem the type to start wars on his own, go on buying binges, or run roughshod over the president. That works for me.

    Finally, there's one thing that will keep him in line. He serves at the pleasure of the president. If he does a lousy job or something that ticks off Obama, he's gone.

  •  and furthermore... (0+ / 0-)

    ...when did Republicans get the right to start dictating who cabinet members would be, regardless of whether they won or lost?

    Republicans have been telling everyone that John Kerry should be the next Secretary of State, not Susan Rice, John Kerry, John Kerry.

    And appears that John Kerry will be our next SOS.

    Why do Republicans get to tell President Obama, who won the election, who he can name to his cabinet?

    And addition to letting Republicans dictate who the next SOS will be, we might be getting another Republican in a top cabinet position.

    The larger question is: why do Democrats work hard to get elected to office and then too willingly cede the power they've won to Republicans almost immediately after doing so? What is it in the psychology of Democrats that says that they fight, tooth and nail and then, after they win, they, basically, let their opponents dictate how they will act and vote?

  •  obama wants the gop (0+ / 0-)

    to like him therefore bow to the gop on defense, the spine has gone weak again after the strong 44 got reelected.

  •  BETTER AT STATE (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    love to see GOP pain when an ousted by a tea-bagger RINO has to go around the world repping BHO.  

    We need examples of decent 'R' s who can govern.

    A one party state is not good for America, and more than two is a pain in the ass...  

    Out of my cold dead hands

    by bluelaser2 on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 11:26:22 AM PST

  •  thank you, mr moulitsas. good/advocacy (0+ / 0-)

    clime parches on. terms: ocean rise, weather re-patterning, storm pathology, drout-famine, acceptance of nature.

    by renzo capetti on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 11:28:48 AM PST

  •  WTF?!?!? (0+ / 0-)

    I heard about the potential appointment of Hagel yesterday, and I thought, WTF?  Did the Dems/President Obama win the election or am I simply in an alternative universe?  Hagel might be a perfectly find person (I don't know one way or another), but, why is Obama even considering someone from the "other" political party?  I thought that this was going to be the year that the President and the Dems grew a spine?  I understand (and applaud) not sticking to ideology for ideology sake, but I also think that its important to send a clear message ( already let the GOP stick it to you on Susan Rice)...The people elected you...Its your administration...(I think, but I am starting to wonder) that we want you to stand up for your policies and to exercise your judgement!?!?!?!?!?

  •  Back in a bag... (0+ / 0-)

    Send Hagel back to the Midwest in a 30 gallon garbage bag.... NO RETHUGLICON AT DEFENSE !!! OR, ANYWHERE ELSE !!!!

  •  Thank You Kos! Now I will go back and read the (0+ / 0-)

    post. i am so tired of this BS. Jesus!

    "Aux ames bien nees, la valeur n'attend point le nombre des annees" Pierre Corneille.

    by Patate on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 02:17:42 PM PST

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