Monday, April 30, 2007

Hagel on Iraq - Another Must Read

For those of you that don't regularly look at Washington Post Op-Ed's, I'd like to draw your attention to yet another one.

Any time a member of a President's party disagrees with him publicly it is worth listening to what that person has to say. At times, such disagreement can be explained through unusual political circumstances (e.g. aRepublican nearing reelection in a relatively liberal state).

However, in Chuck Hagel's case, politics do not appear to be a major driver of his decision. He is from Nebraska, a solidly Republican state to this day. Although he is up for reelection in 2008, he is extremely popular at home. He won reelection in 2002 with 83% of the vote. As of now, his only visible challenger in 2008 is another Republican who is planning on hitting his right flank.

Despite this political landscape, Hagel has been the most vigorous and visibile Republican opponent of the President's Iraq policy since the surge was announced.

It is a stark contrast to John McCain's recent assessment of Iraq - particulary when you consider how incredibly similar the two men are politically and personally.

The article can be found here.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

It's unfortunate that we had to get the common sense of Chuck Hagel filtered through the sneering condescension of the despicable Bob Novak.

I suppose that I am not surprised, since this is how politics goes, but I am still saddened that so many Republican legislators are as loyal to the President's ineptitude as they are. McCain is a lost cause. He simply baffles me; I am beginning to wonder whether he is actually insane. But the fact that Hagel is in a tiny GOP minority on this issue is distressing, if not, as I say, shocking.

(The same goes for the President's approval rating, which, as it was widely reported last week, is at about 28%. This is comically low, but still, who are those 28%?? What exactly is it that they liked about the last six years? Have they been in a cave, or under a rock?)

It is unbelievably refreshing to hear Hagel dismiss out of hand the idea that leaving Iraq will cause a rash of terrorist activity against the United States. It's also unbelievably sad that this is unbelievably refreshing since, if you ask me, it is rather obvious. It just goes to show how successful the administration has been with its fear-mongering propaganda efforts.

I can't end this comment without a remark on Novak's last-sentence zinger:

Hagel represents millions of Republicans who are repelled by the Democrats' personal assault on President Bush but are deeply unhappy about his course in Iraq.

Personal assault on President Bush? Only if you count "his every last policy is awful and we would like to undo some of them" as a personal assault. Frankly, I think that when you're as terrible a President as Bush is, you deserve the occasional personal assault. Besides, some of us recall a little thing called "the Clinton impeachment," so we know what a personal assault on a President is really like. Ugh, I despise Bob Novak.