Skip to main content

View Diary: LGBT Servicemembers group responds to Hagel, wants reassurance (50 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Did he apologize for (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RainyDay, liberaldemdave, craigkg

    his 12 years of horrendous voting in the Senate?

    I might have missed that.

    Anyway, I'm resigned that Obama will find his 51 votes, and just hope Hagel fans are correct, and he's a totally different person now.

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

    by Scott Wooledge on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:55:23 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  So you'd prefer a hawkish, necon curious (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OIL GUY

      technocrat like Michelle Flournoy, by all accounts the leading alternative?

      Surely you'd at least acknowledge that his views of Israel and Iran are superior to the establishment norm?

      You're right to take him to task for his bigotry, but there's no good reason to ignore the positive elements of his record.

      As for conservative voting record, I'm not sure his record on health care and the like are terribly relevant, but one vote that is his vote for the war in Iraq, a war that by all accounts compelled him to rethink his views on American power:

      What the Republican foreign-policy establishment fears is that with Hagel as secretary of defense, it will be impossible for Obama to minimize the dangers of war with Iran, as George W. Bush minimized the dangers of war with Iraq. Hagel would be to the Obama administration what Dwight Eisenhower was in the 1950s, what Colin Powell was in the 1990s, and what, to some degree, ex-Mossad head Meir Dagan was in the Netanyahu government, the military man who bluntly reminds his colleagues that war, once unleashed, cannot be easily controlled. “Once you start” a war with Iran, Hagel told the Atlantic Council in 2010, “you’d better be prepared to find 100,000 troops, because it may take that.” You can’t say “it’ll be a limited warfare. I don’t think any nation can ever go into it that way.” For Hagel’s ex-friends in the Republican foreign-policy class, such a statement is kryptonite, because they know that given the American public’s weariness of war, a president who outlined the risks that way would have trouble gaining popular support. It’s also likely that Hagel’s position would be reinforced by the leaders of the uniformed military, some of whom have already expressed skepticism about bombing Iran.

      More generally, Hagel’s Republican critics realize that Iraq has changed his view of American power. To call Hagel an isolationist is silly. Unlike Pat Buchanan or Ron Paul, he is enthusiastic about international institutions and foreign aid. But Iraq and Afghanistan have convinced Hagel that boosting American military spending, and extending America’s global military footprint, can weaken national security if they drive America deeper into debt. Like his hero, Eisenhower, who slashed defense spending because, according to his Treasury secretary, he “feared deficits almost more than he feared the communists,” Hagel believes the defense budget must “be pared down,” because he refuses to divorce the conversation about military spending from the conversation about fiscal solvency. Unlike the Republican foreign-policy elite who for eight years cheered as the Bush administration charged its expansive “war on terror” to the nation’s credit card, Hagel does not view substantial cuts to the Bush-era defense budget as a retreat from American global power. To the contrary, he views them as essential to restoring the economic strength that must undergird that power. In that way as well, Hagel’s insistence on learning the lessons of the past 10 years would threaten the historical amnesia that governs Republican foreign policy.

      •  I never thought I'd see you, of all people (4+ / 0-)

        arguing the "we must rally behind the lesser of two evils" view.

        And I would have thought you'd know me well enough to know I don't want a "hawkish, necon," so I don't know why you'd ask that question.

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

        by Scott Wooledge on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:12:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry for the way that was phrased (0+ / 0-)

          I know you wouldn't, and if you think Hagel is beyond the pale -- would make a bad defense sec -- or just want to speak out against the troubling parts of his record, then by all means do.

          But I think given the pool of potential applicants, then Hagel is actually decent on the issues most directly relevant to his job. (That's not to say his views on LGBT and abortion aren't relevant, just war with Iran is more relevant.)

          And rightly or wrongly, I was relating your front-page posts about him to the Daily Kos effort to oppose him, and effort I regard as quixotic and ironic given that imo he's one of Obama's relatively good nominees.


    •  Oh, and I'm not (0+ / 0-)

      a Hagel "fan," just a leftist resigned to the fact that some kind of hawk will reside in that office and that it would be less bad to have someone who's shown a willingness to buck conventional (conservative) opinion from time to time. And a strong critic of US policy toward the I-P conflict who think a fight against AIPAC and its allies is well worth winning.

      •  On that we agree. (0+ / 0-)

        as I said:

        Anyway, I'm resigned that Obama will find his 51 votes
        I hope I'm wrong about Hagel.

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

        by Scott Wooledge on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:12:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site