Goldfarb offers more sharp political insights of the sort that did so much for the McCain campaign:
And there are no pitchfork wielding Republicans intent on burning Chuck Hagel at the stake. There was hardly a peep from the right over his heresy because nobody cared.
This is, shall we say, entirely untrue. I don’t know whether Hugh Hewitt has a pitchfork, but his lame, late, unlamented Victory Caucus was an effort to punish anti-“surge” Republicans (which is all Hagel ever really was) with primary challenges and to cast out opponents of the “surge” as defeatists. You would have to have been oblivious to what was going on on the blog right to not know that there was profound disgust for Hagel. The loathing of Hagel and liberal admiration of Hagel were out of all proportion to what he had done. Unlike Lieberman, he did not lose a primary and then run against the nominee of his own party to secure re-election. Because Hagel was up for re-election in ’08 and he retired, there was no chance for this to happen. Unlike Lieberman, he never went over into the Obama camp and certainly never campaigned against McCain. What is remarkable is how furious conservative bloggers were with Hagel considering how little he did to provoke their ire. Lieberman broke ranks in every way possible, except that he still caucused with Democrats when he came back after ’06, while Hagel uttered a few skeptical statements. The anti-Hagel sentiment died down because Hagel decided to go away rather than risk a primary challenge or run for President, because he had good reason to believe that neither pursuing re-election nor running for another office was likely to be successful. Had he sought re-election or announced his candidacy for President, the attacks from conservative bloggers would have been intense and frequent. To believe what Goldfarb says, you would have to believe that there is no rank-and-file loathing for those who are deemed to be RINOs. This is absurd.
Update: Jason Zengerle makes a similar point.