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I would like to challenge the meme that Chuck Hagel is a Republican and, therefore, should not be supported in any fashion on the DailyKos.  There are a lot of former Republicans who are now DailyKos members in good standing.   A very important one once was, in case you didn't know.

People's opinions evolve.  The warmongering talking heads are going through everything Senator Hagel has ever said with a very fine sieve to dredge up excuses to keep him from being nominated for Secretary of Defense for two main reasons:  he is against going to war with Iran, and he is in favor of "paring down" the "bloated" defense budget.  

President Obama has him on his short list for SecDef for a lot of good reasons:  

1.  Chuck Hagel, a decorated Viet Nam Vet, had Obama's back against fellow Viet Nam Vet, Senator McCain, the first go around when McCain questioned Obama's patriotism.

2.  Chuck Hagel mirrored President Obama's stance on Iran, favoring detente over war.

3.  Chuck Hagel criticized the war in Iraq at a time when the warmongers questioned your patriotism for doing so, and spoke in favor of ending it.  

Americans voted for Obama based on his reluctance to start a war with Iran, both in the primary against Hillary Clinton, who discussed the possibility of obliterating Iran, and against McCain, who sang about bomb, bomb, bombing Iran.  They voted for Obama, because he promised he would end the war in Iraq.  

Everyone here is correctly up in arms over the threat to gut Social Security now that the warmongers have recklessly spent us over a fiscal cliff on their endless series of wars based on lies, but no one seems to appreciate the reality that Chuck Hagel is one of the only politicians, who as Secretary of Defense, would have the guts and street cred to stand up to the war machine and cut the sacrosanct and out of control Pentagon budget before grandma is thrown under the bus.  

Being a Viet Nam veteran with 2 purple hearts gives him the wherewithal to do this, which is why the war machine fears him and is vehemently smearing him, just as they've done to vets before him.

Let's go back to 2008:  Viet Nam Veteran and Republican Senator John McCain vs. Democratic Senator Barack Obama.  Before Senator Obama's trip to Iraq with Senators Hagel and Reed, who are both Viet Nam veterans, a WashPo/ABC poll reported 72% felt McCain would be a good Commander-in-Chief, whereas only 48% favored Obama.

That trip Obama took to Iraq with Senator Hagel was a huge boost to his campaign, and Senator Hagel went to bat for Senator Obama over and over again on the MSM talking head shows.

14 years ago, when "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was our nation's military policy on gays, Hagel said:  

I think it is an inhibiting factor to be gay—openly, aggressively gay, like Mr. Hormel—to do an effective job.
In Behind the Ugly Attacks on Chuck Hagel, Amy Davidson in The New Yorker wrote:
Hagel apologized this week “to Ambassador Hormel and any L.G.B.T. Americans who may question my commitment to their civil rights,” and more importantly said something about what he would do as Secretary of Defense, leading a post-Don’t Ask Don’t Tell military: “I am fully supportive of ‘open service’ and committed to L.G.B.T. military families.” Hormel has accepted his apology.
As someone whose own career was damaged by antiquated attitudes about women, I don't like what Hagel said at all, but I think he said it, because he honestly was concerned about how being openly gay at that point in time would be perceived in foreign relations and whether it could hamper his ability to be effective, not out of hatred.  How can people learn and grow if they're too afraid to speak their mind and converse freely?  He was serving in Viet Nam at a time when the military discharged servicemen for being gay.  It's intellectually dishonest to dig up something someone said 14 years ago when the world wasn't as accepting of gays and condemn it as if he said it today in a world that has made enough progress in gay rights to render his concerns essentially moot, and thus reprehensible.

I worked as an engineer over 25 years ago and wrote scientific software, which my company wanted to sell overseas.  My company obviously had enough confidence in my ability to hire me and sell my product, but when it came time to send me to Europe, a higher up openly questioned whether clients may be reluctant to buy my software, knowing a woman wrote it.  I hate to say it, but what that manager said may have been true at that time.  My career was hurt by prevailing attitudes about women in science.  I don't think my boss's boss hated me or hated women or thought women couldn't do good work, but I think he wanted to sell the software the best way he could at that point in time.  If this incident happened in the context of today, what he said would be really out of whack and be grounds for lodging a formal complaint, but back then, it wasn't as black and white.  

Where was the Neocon outrage when Obama appointed Larry Summers Treasury Secretary?  In 2005, Larry Summers made a speech questioning whether the reason women were not proportionately working in science was due to a "different availability of aptitude at the high end," not discrimination.  I called his office and offered to tell him how I was repeatedly told not to go for my Ph.D by several professors who threatened me that they or friends of theirs would unfairly administer the prelim to eliminate me.  The prelim is conducted by individual departments, and in many cases, you don't get it back.  I can attest first hand experience that it is not a fair and incorruptible national or state exam like the Med Board or Law Board, fields that also require the left side of the brain where women have excelled.  Summers never returned my call.  I doubt he raised the politically incorrect issue to start a dialog to help women, yet that didn't stop Obama from appointing him Treasury Secretary.

The MSM is also unduly focusing on Chuck Hagel incorrectly referring to the Israeli Lobby, as the Jewish Lobby and stating that he was a US Senator, not an Israeli Senator, during an interview with Aaron David Miller for his book, The Much Too Promised Land.

The MSM doesn't bother to provide the context of those two quotes in Miller's book, in which Miller laments:

[P]olitical pressures have taken a serious toll by conditioning a key branch of the American government to be reflexively pro-Israel at a time when serious questions need to be asked and debated about Middle East policy.

and made it clear that he admired Hagel for thinking outside of the box and telling it as he sees it:

Of all my conversations, the one with Hagel stands apart for its honesty and clarity.
Paul Woodward in his post, ‘I’m a United States Senator. I’m not an Israeli senator’, also admires Hagel for his courage in speaking his mind:
How many American senators have the courage and integrity required to say this? At least one, but not many others. That one was the senator being quoted: Chuck Hagel.
Senator Max Cleland, lauds Senator Hagel's outspoken veracity and critical thinking more colorfully:
There are two things I think are wonderful about Hagel.  One is his experience as a combat infantryman in Vietnam; the other is experience on The Hill as a U.S. Senator.

But he also has the wisdom of Washington, and his years on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. You can't piss on his boots and call it rain.

Former U.S. national security advisers, James L. Jones, Brent Scowcroft, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Frank Carlucci wrote, In defense of Chuck Hagel, in the Washington Post:
We strongly object, as a matter of substance and as a matter of principle, to the attacks on the character of former senator Chuck Hagel. Mr. Hagel is a man of unshakable integrity and wisdom who has served his country in the most distinguished manner in peace and war.

He is a rare example of a public servant willing to rise above partisan politics to advance the interests of the United States and its friends and allies. Moreover, it is damaging to the quality of our civic discourse for prospective Cabinet nominees to be subjected to such vicious attacks on their character before an official nomination.

This anti-Hagel attack ad, which aired on cable tv in the Washington DC area, menacingly depicts President Obama's and Senator Hagel's faces cut in pieces, shown through shards of glass.  At the end of the ad, a pane of glass over Chuck Hagel's face explodes.  The violent imagery in this hateful attack ad is appalling and unjustifiable.
.

This nasty ad attacking Chuck Hagel brings to mind another against Max Cleland, a Viet Nam Vet, who lost three limbs, in which Senator Cleland's face was seen along with Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, questioning Cleland's patriotism and falsely implying Cleland voted against homeland security after 9/11.

.

Chuck Hagel proved once again his courage and integrity to "cross the aisle" and support a worthy Democrat by offering Max Cleland to appear in an ad that would rebut Republican Saxby Chambliss' ugly ad.

Senator Max Cleland:

Saxby Chambliss got wind of what Hagel had proposed. He called Chuck seven times in one day begging him not to side with me. Hagel asked him to take the ad down. Instead, Chambliss modified the ad somewhat, but still ran it.
Cleland still burns with indignation when he recalls the campaign and the negative ads that hurt McCain during the 2000 primary in South Carolina and the Swift Boat Veterans ads that helped defeat John Kerry in 2004:

"The attacks on McCain, Kerry and me, all decorated wounded combat veterans, are a shameful legacy of the Bush administration, and among the most shameful political stunts in the nation's history."

Here we go again.  Another decorated wounded combat veteran being swift boated.

The timing of the vicious attacks against Chuck Hagel to intimidate Obama not to nominate him for Secretary of Defense, coming on the heels of thwarting Obama's first choice for Secretary of State, Susan Rice, puts President Obama in a difficult spot.  If Obama allows the extreme right to veto yet another nominee, especially a man who crossed "enemy lines" to support his presidency, he will not appear as an unfettered Commander-in-Chief, but squarely under the thumb of powerful PACs and their dutiful smear machine.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

    by CIndyCasella on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 09:49:35 AM PST

  •  Let me put it this way (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CIndyCasella, condorcet

    Hagel would be better than Panetta. And Gates was better than Panetta as well. So if Obama is going to pick another neo-con "Democrat" over Hagel, then I suppose he'd be better. But I'd prefer someone else.

  •  How come nobody mentions Wesley Clark for SecDef? (6+ / 0-)

    Is there a reason?  I'm asking in all sincerity, because he seems to me like a good candidate.  

    "We *can* go back to the Dark Ages! The crust of learning and good manners and tolerance is so thin!" -- Sinclair Lewis

    by Nespolo on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 10:05:18 AM PST

  •  For the record, fuck Chuck Hagel (6+ / 0-)

    I thought this was a Dem blog?

  •  I completely support Hagel for SecDef. (8+ / 0-)

    Pres Obama should nominate him already rather than leaving him to twist in the wind like this.  Maybe he's waiting until after the debt ceiling, but then why nominate Kerry in the midst of it?

    The GOP detractors sense blood in the water given their perceived or real success in torpedoing the Susan Rice to Secretary of State nomination.  

    Whether you are are Republican or Democrat matters little on Foreign Policy - those party designations are based largely on domestic policy issues.  I mean explain to me what a Democratic FP looks like compared to Republican FP?  There is more than too many MIC bought and paid for Dem War Pigs in Congress.  

    The NRA is the Gun Manufacturer Lobby. Nothing more. Their pontification about the second amendment is nothing more than their ad jingle. They're the domestic version of the Military Industrial Complex.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 10:08:52 AM PST

    •  I agree that Obama needs to nominate SOMEBODY (8+ / 0-)

      This nonsense of "floating" a name and then leaving that person hanging out to dry is not helping anyone (except the Republicans)

      "We *can* go back to the Dark Ages! The crust of learning and good manners and tolerance is so thin!" -- Sinclair Lewis

      by Nespolo on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 10:12:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Amen There (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CIndyCasella, chuckvw, Pinto Pony, Nespolo

        I mean if I am a high level person watching this why would I want the job? Hang me out to get beat bloody. Sorry I am not going to sign up for that.

        When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

        by webranding on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 10:15:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It could be epic GOP stratergy... (0+ / 0-)

        Defeat Rice, and they pretend to try and block Hagel knowing that Obama and Dems wouldn't accept two "defeats" so would almost be forced to nominate and support Hagel...

        I liked Flournoy at SecDef and Hagel over Kerry at State (view Kerry and Hagel as largely interchangable, but didn't want the Senate seat fight and Menendez chairing Foreign Relations Committee).

        The NRA is the Gun Manufacturer Lobby. Nothing more. Their pontification about the second amendment is nothing more than their ad jingle. They're the domestic version of the Military Industrial Complex.

        by Jacoby Jonze on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 10:18:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Clearly, the solution (0+ / 0-)

          is to nominate Frank Lautenberg for Agriculture, move Tom Vilsack to Defense, and clear the path for Chuck Hagel to move to Council Bluffs and run for the Iowa Senate seat in 2014 if Harkin retires or 2016 against Grassley.  The open Senate seat from NJ in this scenario doesn't go to Cory Booker, but instead to Rex Ryan, and the head coach of the New York Jets goes to Michele Flournoy.  MUSICAL FUCKING CHAIRS.

          Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

          by Loge on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 04:52:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you so much! Your comment is so well put (0+ / 0-)

      and helpful.

      Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

      by CIndyCasella on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 10:28:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Feeds into the GOP argument that Democrats... (10+ / 0-)

    Are too weak to be trusted with national defense.  Therefore, I don't like this ongoing trend of Democratic Presidents naming Republicans Secretary of Defense.

    Period.

    "I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell."

    by Notthemayor on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 10:16:27 AM PST

    •  That Thinking Pisses Me Off (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CIndyCasella, whizdom, emidesu

      My father is a Republican. Sane, but Republican. Worked at high levels within the DoD. Taught at the Army War College. He has a clue.

      Not saying he should be the head of the DoD, buy alas he is against the wars we're in. Ponder that for a few ......

      I want the best person for the job. I could care less their political leanings.

      Heck I didn't even know my father was a Republican until he retired, case as it told me as a kid, "I serve at the pleasure of the President."

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 10:23:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Chuck Hagel is the biggest (6+ / 0-)

      Dove on Obamas shortlist, its not even close. I could care less about party labels because, Neocons aside, the foreign policy establishment on both parties are similar (Gates vs Panetta).

      Anyone who's a liberal on FP should be all for Chuck Hagel.

    •  Bush and Obama presidencies killed this meme (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CIndyCasella

      and the Romney vs Obama campaign cemented it - Republicans are seen as neo-Con war drum beating MIC supported cowboys.  Pres Obama is running a center-right FP by in large.  Romney felt he needed to offer up an alternative to Obama on FP so went full neo-con, whereas I think he would have been much better off agreeing with the President on FP, saying that he do was a Scowcroft guy, like George HW Bush was.  

      The NRA is the Gun Manufacturer Lobby. Nothing more. Their pontification about the second amendment is nothing more than their ad jingle. They're the domestic version of the Military Industrial Complex.

      by Jacoby Jonze on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 10:30:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This didnt start with Obama (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        condorcet

        Hillary was to his right on the campaign and within the administration, from all accounts. LBJ escalated Vietnam, FDR interned Japanese Americans, Woodrow Wilson was terrible with civil.liberties. When it comes to national security both parties have basically been identical with the exception of GWB. In many ways HW Bush was preferable to Clinton on FP. The differences with the parties have been on domestic issues.

  •  Nope (5+ / 0-)

    Republican

    Homophobe

    Anti-Choice

    And he only "apologizes" years later when it might land him the job he wants. Here's a clue, folks, there's a huge difference between these two "apologies":

    Mommy, I'm sorry I hit Sally yesterday. Now can I have dessert?
    Sally, I'm sorry I hit you just now. Are you okay?
    You need to be able to tell the difference between those two apologies to know why Hagel's "apology" is worthless crap.

    Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Palate Press: The online wine magazine.

    by dhonig on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 10:22:21 AM PST

    •  Read my diary, please. I don't think it's fair to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      whizdom

      characterize Hagel as a homophobe based on that comment 14 years ago.

      Nor is it reasonable to call him anti-semitic for calling the Israeli lobby, the Jewish lobby, when he has a strong voting record in support of Israel.

      Don't drink the kool-aid.  Realize the timing of these attacks on Hagel's character and why they've gone after him.

      If these are the worst they have on him in such a long, outspoken public life, then they're really scraping the bottom of the barrel.

      We all make mistakes.   This morning I forgot to put baking powder in my muffins.  Does that make me a bad cook?  This morning, yes, but I've baked  plenty of wonderful muffins before, and shouldn't be judged on this bad batch.

      Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

      by CIndyCasella on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 10:42:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Speaking of mistakes, look at how badly I typed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chuckvw, Pinto Pony

        my name when I joined DailyKos!  I wish I could change the capital I to a small i and separate my first and last name.

        Sometimes commenters who disagree with me say that everything I write is not worth reading, because of that mistake.

        The people who control our Congress/government data mine everything anyone who opposes them ever said or did.  

        They have something to humiliate everyone, and the fact that Chuck Hagel stands up to them, knowing how brutal they can be and how they can destroy anyone in their bought and paid for MSM, makes me admire him all the more.

        Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

        by CIndyCasella on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 10:51:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Chuck Hagel lied when (0+ / 0-)

      he neglected to state on his financial statements that he owned the voting machine company that counted the votes when he was elected (including a record ninety-eight percent of African-American voters in Nebraska, a new record).

      Drop Hagel.  Appoint a Democrat.

  •  It is a terrible idea and terrible policy... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Fieldswithoutfences, Aspe4

    ...for a newly re-elected Democratic President to nominate opposition party members/Republicans to cabinet posts. The Republican party will never be satisfied, and it makes the President and the party look weak, and weak on defense.

    •  I don't have a problem with Republicans (5+ / 0-)

      in cabinet posts of a Democratic administration.  For example, Ray LaHood has done a great job at Transportation.  That being said, I am sick and tired of having the GOP call the shots at Defense.  And Hagel's homophobic actions re Hormel (regardless of the "apology" which Hormel initially rejected since it was public and never directed to him and only grudgingly accepted after someone obviously got to him) totally disqualify him in my mind.  There will continue to be hiccups in the ending of DADT.  I want someone in there whom I trust to implement the WH policy on it.  I don't trust Hagel, given "the totality of his record".

      •  This Is Just My Take (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CIndyCasella, Pinto Pony, Vetwife

        folks get outraged by stupid stuff. I've read Hagels comments and I wasn' that offended by them (but I will  note I am a straight dude). I am totally sure you can find something I've said here far worse.

        This is a rant of mine. Why would anybody want to run for public office or serve said office when they know they will be savaged? We are pushing out the smart people. We'll get second rate people.

        I don't want my nation run that way ....

        When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

        by webranding on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 10:36:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  He didn't make a stray statement. He (5+ / 0-)

          orchestrated a mob attack on a nomination.  And solely because of his sexual orientation.  That is just plain wrong.  And it is not the kind of mindset we need at the Pentagon right now.

        •  Hagel gets a few points in my book (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Vetwife, CIndyCasella

          because the 'angry, old white dude' McCain doesn't like him. Do we remember president Obama wouldn't  take a stand on LGBT rights until his hand was forced by the Veep? Most people 'evolve' over time and I am sure we all have regrets. If we don't then we have learned nothing. If you don't think so I will check back with you in 10 years. I can remember not so many years ago when I thought the 'angry, old white dude' McCain was a moderate maverick. Not so much now, in fact not at all.

          'It isn’t fair: the caterpillar does all the work, and the butterfly gets all the glory.' - George Carlin

          by FloridaRedneck on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 02:46:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's a bit of revisionist history (0+ / 0-)

            Obama certainly had a stance in favor of gay rights -- before personally endorsing marriage equality, he supported ENDA, DADT repeal, defended state-level decisions to adopt marriage equality, and refused to defend parts of DOMA in court (where he felt precedent allowed such a step).  It's also unclear whether Biden "forced" anyone's hand, or that Obama would have done it anyway.  Cheney proved a VP can be more pro-gay rights than the President, after all.

            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

            by Loge on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 04:57:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  My sentiment exactly (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          emidesu, CIndyCasella

          look people.  We are one nation whether the republicans think so or not.  I deal with republican, conservative, fundies, right wingers, liberals, greenies, aethists, etc every day of the week in the Vet area of advocacy.  Does it matter ....really about how a person parted their hair 14 years ago and who now maybe knows how to style his hair fine?

          Secretary of Defense should know about the trauma of war.  Hagel knows that.  My opinion.

          We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

          by Vetwife on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 04:09:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Gates was asked to stay on in 2008 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Loge

      And President was much weaker, in that he was an unknown entity on security/FP matters.  

      The NRA is the Gun Manufacturer Lobby. Nothing more. Their pontification about the second amendment is nothing more than their ad jingle. They're the domestic version of the Military Industrial Complex.

      by Jacoby Jonze on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 10:33:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It should be obvious by now (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pinto Pony, Loge, condorcet, CIndyCasella

      that if BO nominates Hagel its not because he's trying to appease Republicans or sound bipartisan, they're his biggest critics.

  •  To me, this is like the lesser evil thing. (3+ / 0-)

    Although in this case probably even more immaterial.   But I'm an anti-imperialist, nothing of this sort really matters to me when it's all the same anyway.

    "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 10:40:44 AM PST

  •  I'd much prefer Hagel (4+ / 0-)

    to a permanent war Democrat. His nomination would actually connote strength much than the nomination of another blinkered MIC apparatchik.



    Those who do not move, do not notice their chains. Rosa Luxemburg

    by chuckvw on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 10:46:06 AM PST

  •  Also... (7+ / 0-)

    Also note that Hagel has advocated to sharply reduce nuclear weapons, which I think is a great policy choice.

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

    by mattinjersey on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 10:48:00 AM PST

  •  Except of course that Hagel is not a former (6+ / 0-)

    Republican. He is a current and very thorough Republican.

    Now... there is a good argument to be made in his favor in that he has fairly sane views regarding Israel and doesn't think a US Secretary of Defense should swear allegiance to the Israeli right wing and its bat shit crazy views.

    But not supporting him because he is a Republican is not a "meme." It is completely in-line with the stated purpose of this website... to support more and better Democrats.

    Hagel doesn't fit...

    1. more democrats
    2. better democrats
    3. democrats

    That said... I'm wavering in my very partisan democratic position in thinking about supporting him due to his independence from the rather treasonous allegiance to a foreign nations right wing politics being required of American politicians.

    That is a hold on power that needs breaking in America.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 10:53:30 AM PST

    •  and you can't trust Republicans (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo

      It would be insanity to put one in charge of Defense when they're so radically committed to their own agenda of endless war and destroying the Dem Party.

      Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

      by Betty Pinson on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 11:49:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have a more cynical view (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CIndyCasella

      I would support him just because McCain doesn't like him, but be careful of the Republican Trojan horse. McCain was once a somewhat likable, 'moderate', Republican at one time. Repeatedly losing presidential elections can alter ones principles.

      'It isn’t fair: the caterpillar does all the work, and the butterfly gets all the glory.' - George Carlin

      by FloridaRedneck on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 02:30:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, on the correction of "meme" (0+ / 0-)

      The SecDef isn't an elected position, so I'm not sure the point applies - do we think choosing Hagel versus Gary Oldman has any effect on the 2013 VA Gov race?

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 04:58:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  More and better Democrats in ELECTED OFFICE. (0+ / 0-)

      That is the purpose of this site. Cabinet positions will only affect certain areas of policy, while elected office affects all policy. That is why advocating for a Republican in elected office is a bannable offence here, while advocating for a Republican in a cabinet position is not a bannable offence. That is why Republicans are so opposed to Hagel, they don't want a dove in that position, even if it is a Republican. And personally, regarding cabinet positions, I don't care what party someone is in, I just wish that a Democratic president wouldn't nominate sitting Democratic senators(John Kerry) or potential Democratic senators(Kathleen Sebelius, Janet Napolitano) because I like the idea of more Democrats in the US Senate.

      More and better, especially better Democrats!

      by BetterDemocrats on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 06:39:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Adding the qualifier "in elected office" (0+ / 0-)

        is silly. Cabinet officers and similar high ranking administration officials are very important and influential. I am not completely opposed to putting a Republican into such a position every once in awhile but I am in general opposed to it because I want more and better Democrats running the show.

        I feel the same about chief of staff too. When a former Democratic Congressman in my area got elected in a special election and then appointed a Republican as his chief of staff I knew we were in trouble. And sure enough we were. Now we have a real Republican Congressman because the last guy didn't know how to keep himself in favor with local democrats since most everything had to go through his republican chief of staff and the advice he got came from a republican and not democrats.

        More and better democrats... period.

        "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

        by Andrew C White on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 07:35:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well I think it's good to want cabinet officers (0+ / 0-)

          to be liberal in the area that they are in charge of. So if they are conservative in other areas, it won't have a negative affect on policy. Chief of Staff is a position that will affect many multiple areas of policy, so it is a good idea to have someone that is liberal in general, not just a few key areas, where as other cabinet positions will only affect one or a few areas. I would be comfortable with Hagel as Secretary of Defence because I find him liberal enough for this area. I understand the perception argument, but I think the fact that Obama has been an outstanding Commander in Chief while Bush43 was an aweful CiC has helped shatter that perception.

          More and better, especially better Democrats!

          by BetterDemocrats on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:10:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  There is also talk of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Loge, condorcet

    Michele Flournoy as a possible SecDef nominee. I don't know enough about her to support or oppose but what little I do know makes her sound like a reasonable Democratic nominee in a Democratic administration.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 11:26:17 AM PST

    •  i have not heard or read much about flournoy, but (0+ / 0-)

      she is apparently one of the top defense intellectuals in the pentagon.  (i do not think military intelligence is an oxymoron.)

      it would be very nice to have a woman in charge of the pentagon, and maybe she would do more about the hideous levels of sexual violence against women in the military.

      but i don't know about flournoy's views on defense spending, reductions of nuclear weapons, hawkishness, etc.  hagel seems to be to the left of most D secretaries of defense on spending, and going to war, so i don't care that he is a R.

      hagel's history on non-military issues is bad, and not irrelevant, b/c military now does lots of alternative energy work, allows gays and has many women.

  •  Hagel is a former Rethug? (0+ / 0-)
    I would like to challenge the meme that Chuck Hagel is a Republican and, therefore, should not be supported in any fashion on the DailyKos.  There are a lot of former Republicans who are now DailyKos members in good standing.
    Could've fooled me.

    As far as I'm concerned, he should be under criminal investigation for his role in his own election to the United State Senate, seeing as he'd owned the company that provided the voting machines upon which he was elected . . . but somehow he's better than any Democrat for Defense.

    Go figure.

  •  It is the president's cabinet (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, Loge

    Am guessing he knows what he is doing.

  •  wrong site? (0+ / 0-)
    Let's go back to 2008:  Viet Nam Veteran and Republican Senator John McCain vs. Democrat Senator Barack Obama.
    You might still have time to edit your diary to fix the typo.

    The plural of anecdote is not data.

    by Skipbidder on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 03:49:35 PM PST

    •  Before the election, he was Senator. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

      by CIndyCasella on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 07:39:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  right wing pejorative (0+ / 0-)

        Yes, but on this website, we don't use "Democrat" as an adjective. That fits better with Redstate. Just like your diary and follow up comments.

        The plural of anecdote is not data.

        by Skipbidder on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:14:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're right about the grammar , but your logic (0+ / 0-)

          or reading comprehension is faulty if you conclude my diary and comments are Redstate.  

          Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

          by CIndyCasella on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 09:19:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  My reading comprehension is faulty, eh? (0+ / 0-)

            You are the one advocating that a conservative Republican with a vile voting record and public comment history be appointed to a Cabinet position. This appears to be based mainly on his views about one particular war.

            Hagel had a bad Senate voting record.

            His record and his public statements make it such that I don't want him to be the appointment. This is clearly what the normal position for a Democrat should be. It is up to you to make the case that we should think otherwise. I don't think you managed it. It isn't that Hagel is a Republican that is the problem here. It is that his views are bad on several issues that are important to most of us. You place the emphasis differently than most of the rest of the site.

            Notice that while you aren't getting a ton of support here, you aren't getting HR'ed either. (Like you did when you were writing in support of Ron Paul.) Your position, while not popular here, isn't so far removed to be out of line. Support of Hagel for Defense would be more popular on Redstate than here, however. If that truth makes you uncomfortable, you might take that as a reason to reconsider your position.

            The President has his own ways of doing things, and I think that the sort of bipartisan gesture involved with nominating Hagel is important to him.

            The fact that Hagel is not quite as odious now as he used to be doesn't mean that he isn't still quite odious.

            He will be in charge of implementing policies that are directly opposed to the views that he expressed as a Senator. He will have to implement policies that he voted against and that he spoke against.

            Will he be able to do this? Probably. Would he do it as effectively as someone who actually believed them? Probably not. If he tries to foot drag or sabotage, will he get reprimanded in some way. Probably, but why do we want the drama? This is a Democratic administration, and there are actual Democrats who are qualified for the position.

            You should understand the idea of setting the bar high, since you've attacked John Kerry on this site before. You said he looked like a Republican, acted like a Republican, and voted like a Republican. You called him a "Democrat" in scare quotes and said he should retire. Interesting that you would have such a vehement reaction to someone like Kerry yet be so quick to accept someone like Hagel. I guess the most charitable view on this is that the issues of war are the most important to you. This would, I suppose, explain how you are able to defend Hagel (and previously Ron Paul), while attacking John Kerry.

            You seem to not worry too much about his attacks on James Hormel. You even defend them as justified based on the idea that his being gay would affect his ability to be successful in his role as Ambassador to Luxemborg. That is ridiculous. Luxemborg officials themselves indicated that he would be welcome (and that country had stronger anti-discrimination laws than we did). It was a hateful statement then. It was a hateful statement that remained hateful all the time that he failed to apologize for it as well. That he issued a mealy-mouthed, politically expedient apology long after the fact isn't too impressive to me. The fact that Hormel accepted Hagel's lame apology doesn't mean that anybody else has to. It wasn't just a single instance here, either. His HRC voting scorecard gets him a 0% voting record. The apology isn't too impressive in context of the fact that it is consistent with helping his political ambitions. Does anyone believe that he would have made it otherwise?

            I'd rather have someone in the position who actually believes that gays should be treated with something approaching equal rights. Instead, we'll get someone who either: 1) is giving lip service to the idea for political gain; or 2) has had a change of heart after a lifetime of extreme bigotry. My money would be on #1. Apparently you either hold #2 or (more likely) don't really care.

            This is a man with a 94% Right-To-Life voting record. A man who opposed even support rape and incest exceptions. He will be in charge of implementing the policies on abortion for US servicewoman abroad. He is someone who voted on multiple occasions to stop US servicewomen from spending THEIR OWN MONEY to get an abortion abroad.

            Hagel wasn't a moderate Republican. The fact that some people call him that is another sign of just how far the country has lurched to the right.

            The plural of anecdote is not data.

            by Skipbidder on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 06:40:31 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The amount of time you must have spent reading (0+ / 0-)

              my past comments is extraordinary and kind of worrying.   Since you have pointed out that I do not have much support here, why did you go to so much time and trouble data mining my comments and diaries?  How do you have so much time at your disposal to spend on little old me?  Why would you choose to spend your time on me, someone to whom you have expressed such a lack of respect and so much contempt?

              Personally, I spent today in a positive way, cross country skiing.  It is a beautiful day here in New England.

              Please provide a link for this allegation:

              You should understand the idea of setting the bar high, since you've attacked John Kerry on this site before. You said he looked like a Republican, acted like a Republican, and voted like a Republican. You called him a "Democrat" in scare quotes and said he should retire.
              I volunteered to work for Kerry's Senate and Presidential campaigns.  

              Would you be so kind as to provide me with links of the things I wrote about Kerry that offended you, so I can review what I actually wrote, instead of how you interpreted it?

              You grossly misinterpreted my viewpoint here:

              You even defend them as justified based on the idea that his being gay would affect his ability to be successful in his role as Ambassador to Luxemborg.
              Far from making me reconsider speaking my mind here at DailyKos, HRs and aggressive retaliatory attacks that misrepresent my ideas in a way that makes me appear as something less than I am stoke the fire within me to continue to speak out.  I am encouraged all the more to denounce the ugly way Congress is being held hostage to PACs who are pressuring us to go to war after endless war based on false propaganda and smear attacks against anyone who dares to stand up to their tactics.

              My heartfelt rebuttal diary to the people who HRed me was one of the most recommended diaries I have ever written.  

              To quote Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice, "There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises with every attempt to intimidate me.."

              That being said, I am troubled by what you wrote about me, because you misrepresent my belief system in a way that is injurious to my character.

              Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

              by CIndyCasella on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 02:16:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Part 1 (0+ / 0-)

                I'm at work now.

                I will respond further later.

                I looked back through your comment history to get a sense of your expressed views on this site. If you happened to be spreading right-wing talking points on a regular basis, then the response would have been different. I flipped through pages of the comment screens, looking for HRs. This takes only a few seconds. It led to the Ron Paul diary and comments.

                After finishing up the RP diary, I pulled up a couple of other comments semi-randomly based on titles of the comments or the diaries.

                In terms of how I represent your belief system...
                It looks like you are someone who values issues of war and peace very highly. This prioritization led to your defense of Paul as well as your concerns about Kerry. It looks like it led to your defense of Hagel as well. Would this be a mischaracterization?

                This run through comment history didn't take very long to do. I think you are significantly overestimating the amount of time put into it.

                For many (most?) of us, Hagel having the right side of one war is not enough to make up for him being on the wrong side of so many other issues. The strategic value of having a Republican at Defense if cuts are to be made doesn't seem to be an important enough reason to choose him and it is countered by the strategic loss in allowing the message that only Republicans are qualified to be at Defense.

                As I said, I am at work, so can't respond completely now. (In case you are worried about the amount of time I spent typing this, please understand that it was done in small chunks, in situations when I can't usefully be doing anything at work.) It will be several hours before Part 2.

                The plural of anecdote is not data.

                by Skipbidder on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 08:00:25 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  PM sent (0+ / 0-)

                Private message sent, rather than continue the discussion (off-topic) in this diary.

                The plural of anecdote is not data.

                by Skipbidder on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 12:31:46 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  We vote for a Prez (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CIndyCasella, Vetwife

    and then allow his choices for the Cabinet to be trashed.  Historically, the President gets the cabinet that he wants. There has to be an overwhelming reason to abandon any President's nomination.  

    President Obama shouldn't have backed off Susan Rice.  He should go ahead and nominate Hagel. The Repubs are smelling blood because of the way these two people were smeared.  

  •  A little late to the party (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CIndyCasella

    Nice diary, and I see you brought the purity trolls out of the water. Sorry I missed it when it was live. But, I can still Tip and Rec.

    •  LOL! Purity trolls! Thank you! It's funny they (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BleacherBum153

      don't get upset about pootie or woozle diaries.  How they think pooties and woozles help us elect better Democrats is anyone's guess.

      Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

      by CIndyCasella on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 08:28:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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