I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
Well Newshoggers has closed it's doors so Middle Earth Journal is active once again.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Slimeing Hagel

Looks like The National Review is pushing Michelle Flournoy over Chuck Hagel for Defense. 
...had Flournoy’s name been leaked as the potential secretary of defense nominee instead of Hagel’s, there's no shortage of material the GOP could have drawn upon to slime her instead, and it’s hard to imagine why they wouldn’t have. There were her ardent defenses of Obama’s foreign policy during the campaign, and her unmasked distaste for Republicans' politicization of the Benghazi attacks. Flournoy, says Kahl, spearheaded the strategic implementation plan for Obama’s $400 billion in cuts to defense spending, which conservative think tanks and leaders—including the outfit where Senor, who has trouble spelling Flournoy’s last name correctly, and Kristol, who has trouble spelling her first name correctly, are board membershave roundly opposed. The fact that CNAS, which she founded with Kurt Campbell, a fellow Clintonista, hasbecome a feeder for the Obama Defense apparatus would not serve her well, either. Even Kahl, a huge admirer of his former colleague’s, has no delusions about the nature of Republican praise for her. “It’s more to criticize Hagel than to prop up anyone else that they’re saying her name,” he said. “Suggesting other names is mainly an indirect way to criticize Hagel,” he said. “The real cynic in me says they’re trying to rhetorically punch Hagel in the face and then raise up somebody else. But since both Hagel and Flournoy strongly back the president's foreign policy, there’s no indication that the neoconservatives really want either one of them.” (To wit, Kristol writes that he would “would expect to differ” with Flournoy “on many issues.”)
Some claim the attack on Hagel is the problem of deranged Republicans, and in a way it is. But that is like saying gun control is a Republican problem, implying that the NRA is just a natural feature on the landscape--as if there is no point figuring out where, given a tail and a dog, the wagging starts. No, this attack on Hagel started with the predictable Jewish organizations and pundits, who are now practiced at creating momentum for all kinds of attacks on the peace process. (Its latest initiative is to sign-up congresspeople to, of all things, close the office of Abbas' PLO in Washington--i.e., to punish him for taking his case to the UN, which the Israeli peace camp generally endorsed.)
President Obama, one hopes, will stick with Hagel and force the issue, much as Beinart has advocated. But Obama also has to count Senate votes for confirmation. Besides, he cannot as president attack the power and intoxication of Jewish organizations, which have many Democratic supporters, any more than Eisenhower could simply attack McCarthy and Taft supporters and utterly divide the Republican Party. Any president must be a consensus-builder and this one has an especial fear of divisiveness.

1 comment:

  1. I so want to climb on a soapbox and preach a fire and brimstone sermon whupping up on Conservatives for being so pig-headed. Unfortunately I'm a three-time old-guy blog-looser reduced to Facebook, Twitter and assorted comments threads.
    *sigh*
    So here are three more links this morning that get my Liberal blood flowing. I never expected to get excited over anything in the American Conservative, but stranger things have happened.

    ►http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/revenge-of-the-reality-based-community/

    ►http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/27/bruce-bartlett-is-a-mensch/

    ►http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/28/books/28conserv.html?_r=0

    ►http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/25/a-conservative-case-for-the-welfare-state/?ref=economy

    This last link will warm the heart of any good Liberal. Bruce Bartlet (remember Reagan's chief economist, dean of American Conservative economists?) writes this...

    Thus Republicans are now using the fiscal impasse to try to raise the age for Medicare and reduce Social Security benefits by changing the index used to adjust them for inflation. They know that such programs will be easier to abolish in the future if the number of people who qualify can be reduced and benefits are cut so that privatization becomes more attractive.

    This is foolish and reactionary. Moreover, there are sound reasons why a conservative would support a welfare state. Historically, it has been conservatives like the 19th century chancellor of Germany, Otto von Bismarck, who established the welfare state in Europe. They did so because masses of poor people create social instability and become breeding grounds for radical movements.


    Whether Hagel sinks or swims, a rotting malignancy that has infected the Grand Old Party is clearly on the horizon. We will know after the 2014 mid-terms if it has metastasized or forced into remission.

    ReplyDelete

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