Thursday, December 20, 2012

WaPo hit piece on Hagel

By Frank Moraes

(Ed. note: Hagel is also being targeted by Billy Kristol and the neocons, of course, basically because he doesn't gleefully fellate Israel. I'm still not sold on Hagel, and I doubt I ever will be, but this just makes me like him all the more. -- MJWS)

I've had my problems with the idea of Chuck Hagel as the new Defense Secretary. Why is it not possible to have a liberal? Why does Obama continue to try to court the right by having Republicans in his cabinet? But The Washington Post has a different take on this in an editorial, "Chuck Hagel is not the right choice for defense secretary." According to them, Hagel is to the left of Obama, and that's a bad thing.

So what are Hagel's sins? First, they claim that nominating a Republican is only done in the name of bipartisanship. Somehow they don't even consider that maybe Republicans of only a few years ago are now to the left of our current president. That can't be. Obama's choice of Hagel would only be to make nice with the right and so he apparently has to pick someone like Allen West.

The biggest problem for The Washington Post is that Hagel thinks going to war with Iran is a bad idea. "Mr. Obama may be forced to contemplate military action if Iran refuses to negotiate..." But the Post does not know how Hagel would act in that situation. Regardless, he would be pursuing Obama's agenda, not his own.
There's more. Hagel thinks the defense budget is bloated. This is indisputable. The military says the same thing. The only people who want to continue to throw more and more money at the Pentagon are chicken hawks like those at The Washington Post. Hagel, having actually been at war, thinks a little more carefully about these things.

What is most telling in the editorial is that it is filled with caveats. The truth is, even from their own perspective, they don't have the goods on Hagel. They just think that there are "other possible nominees who are considerably closer to the mainstream." The mainstream of the Villagers who the Post represents. This is nothing more than a hit job.

It isn't just because The Washington Post is conservative that people call it "Fox on 15th Street." But I guess we should be pleased that this article was put on the opinion page rather then on the front page where many of their editorials go.

(Cross-posted at Frankly Curious.)

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