Dan Drezner comments on the likely Hagel nomination:
That said, a Hagel nomination would also be evidence that the GOP has pretty much shed all of the realists from its foreign policy team.
Unfortunately, that seems to be mostly right. The problem for Republicans here isn’t just that Obama has stolen away some of their better-known realists (or at least those members of their party identified as realists), but that it is unimaginable that someone like Hagel would ever receive a top position in a future Republican administration. There were some self-identified realists among Romney’s advisers, which created the false impression that there was space in the Republican camp for realists that hold even slightly unconventional or dissenting views.
As the early Republican hawkish reactions to the report about Hagel’s nomination suggest, that space does not yet exist, or if it does it is still very small. These reactions reflect the intense hostility towards anyone whose views on Israel and Iran are not completely conventional and reliably hawkish. When one reads reports citing complaints about Hagel’s “outrageous positions” on Israel and Iran, it is important to remember that the people Hagel outrages are hard-liners and fanatics. The GOP continues to shed realists because it is increasingly difficult for realists to work within a party in which they are frequently maligned and their ideas are held in contempt. It will obviously take much longer to reform Republican foreign policy if the people more likely to lead the party towards a foreign policy of prudence and restraint no longer see a place in the party for themselves.
As far as Hagel’s nomination is concerned, the good news is that Senate Republicans don’t appear to be interested in derailing Hagel’s confirmation. Assuming that doesn’t change, that’s a wise move on their part. The GOP has a long way to go to fix its weaknesses on foreign policy, but confirming Hagel will avoid doing any more damage. Attacking a fellow Republican because he isn’t enough of a warmonger would be another huge step in the wrong direction.