Understanding Republicans' Reaction to Chuck Hagel

By:  Jack Kerwick, Ph.D.
01/10/2013
       
Understanding Republicans' Reaction to Chuck Hagel

The real reason Republicans are ballistic over the nomination of Chuck Hagel to the position of Secretary of Defense.

Neoconservative Republicans are none too pleased by President Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel to the position of Secretary of Defense.

Anyone who has been listening to neoconservative talk radio for the last couple of days, or reading such neoconservative publications as The Weekly Standard and National Review, is all too familiar with the litany of charges of which Hagel is presumed guilty. When it comes to foreign policy, Hagel is an “appeaser,” “naïve,” and “no friend of Israel.”

These allegations may or may not be true. What is true is that Hagel’s accusers haven’t even come close to substantiating any of them.

Mine is an attitude of indifference toward Hagel. To his credit, he was a trenchant critic of the Iraq War. However, he had none of the prescience of those of the war’s opponents who resisted it from the outset, for Hagel initially voted for it. The point, though, is that it is his opposition to this war that first rendered him persona non grata to his fellow neoconservative Republicans who aggressively advocated on its behalf.

They will not publicly admit this now, obviously. After all, as the elections of 2006 and 2008 proved beyond a doubt, to say nothing of poll after poll, it was some time ago that the majority of the nation decided the Hagels of the world were correct about the war while the Kristols, Krauthammers, Hannitys, Limbaughs, and Bennetts were sorely mistaken.  

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Jack Kerwick, Ph.D. (photo)

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