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Report: Hagel Will Be Nominated Next Week

Josh Rogin reports [1] some good news:

President Barack Obama is expected to name Chuck Hagel as his choice for defense secretary as early as Monday, as critics of the former Nebraska senator prepare to go to war to fight his expected nomination.

There are other reports [2] saying the same thing, so it appears that the Hagel pick will go forward as expected. The confirmation battle is shaping up to be contentious and unpleasant, as we assumed it would be, but the decision to nominate Hagel in the face of so much vocal opposition and a concerted smear campaign is an encouraging sign that his confirmation is not really in doubt. If there were any substantial Democratic opposition to the nomination in the Senate, Obama presumably would have chosen someone else.

Yes, McCain and the usual hard-liners will grandstand during the hearings, but they likely would have done that anyway, and I doubt that most Senate Republicans want to be seen blocking Hagel. Not only would that be an extraordinary thing to do in response to any Cabinet nomination, but it would be unheard of to do it to a former colleague and a member of their own party. Republican hard-liners will do what they can to make the hearings a tiresome and drawn-out process, but in so doing they will simply be reconfirming why the public doesn’t trust them and why Hagel was the right choice.

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23 Comments To "Report: Hagel Will Be Nominated Next Week"

#1 Comment By Happy New Year On January 4, 2013 @ 3:25 pm

It’s pretty pathetic that this has to be considered to be “good news”. But it does.

#2 Comment By Scott McConnell On January 4, 2013 @ 5:47 pm

It’s really good news. Both that Hagel is a courageous figure, but also that Obama didn’t retreat in the face of the smear campaign, which would have been terrible. Indeed, to see a smear campaign like the one waged against Hagel lose is the best thing that has happened in a very long time. And who knows, he might even be a good sec/def.

#3 Comment By Spooner On January 4, 2013 @ 5:51 pm

Good news indeed. It will be a relief to have the traditional (i.e. pre-neocon) Republican sensibility represented in the cabinet.

#4 Comment By bluto On January 4, 2013 @ 5:53 pm

Schumer, and Lindsay Graham, who all showed up specifically ‘on cue’ for that purpose

Please go to Mondoweiss.net and see the top article – it’s a must read

It will be a political disaster for the Israeli Lobby to have Chuck Schumer, Lindsay Graham, John Cornyn, and other Israeli Lobby-/neocon-/AIPAC-paid employees go up face to face against Chuck Hagel during Senate confirmation….

If the Neocons were smart, which they’re not, they will not let the Israeli Lobby be drug thru the Senate like a old wet mop by putting up a full court press/’Susan Rice-style’ fight on Hagel. But they will…

Don’t get me wrong –

I’m hoping and dreaming and wishing and praying they DO – not just because it won’t matter and Hagel will still be confirmed, which he will, but because of the devastation to the Israel Lobby of being exposed like this, and of having the entire nation turn against Netanyahu and his minions.

They’ll even start losing some of the FOX news demographic – and that would be curtains for the Lobby

Saying that, let me close with a quote from Napoleon Bonaparte (no, not Bibi, silly rabbit)

Napoleon: ‘one should never interrupt the enemy when he is making a mistake’

Enough said 😉 (stolen from Chas Freeman)

#5 Comment By cameyer On January 4, 2013 @ 6:12 pm

I can’t wait for the hearings! Mano a mano! The hardliners have seriously over-stepped this time, and promise to keep it up. Obama has finally given them enough rope (by ‘floating’ Hagel’s name) to hang themselves. The popcorn’s poppin’ and the beer’s chillin’….

#6 Comment By Grumpy Old Man On January 4, 2013 @ 6:20 pm

It did happen to John Tower, but the rumour was that he was a mean drunk.

Hagel’s less than wonderful, but he’s less of a reflexive hawk than many, and a kick in the teeth to the Likud branch of the Israel lobby will evoke a wry smile from this observer.

#7 Comment By Clint On January 4, 2013 @ 6:43 pm

Apparently, The Israeli Lobby is opening a door right into their face.

Chuck Hagel will be the first combat non-com, as well as decorated and wounded Vietnam vet nominated for Secretary of Defense.

#8 Comment By Frank OConnor On January 4, 2013 @ 8:04 pm

Congrats to Obama, I thought he was going to fold. This should be interesting. Reminds me of the Leffingwill appointment that set off the fireworks in Drury’s “Advise and Consent.” This country needs a good, loud, contentious foreign policy debate and the Hagel nomination just might give it to us. Kristol must have the phone lines burning tonight.

#9 Comment By Tom Skene On January 5, 2013 @ 7:24 am

Ar long last…a challenge to the Zionists .!!….
and will this be the start of a long fight to end their power over US policies…
Let’s hope so…an let’s give Obama credit for having the guts to finally take them on
This may also show the Lobby that there is a growing tide in the US and around the world which is sick to death of them

The Israeli election in a few weeks will also show the extent of the rising tide of extremists who will win many seats in the new Knesset
and will be an influence on Netanyahu’s policies in the future

Great days !

#10 Comment By Uncle Vanya On January 5, 2013 @ 9:43 am

Obama is awake and can smell the coffee. He knows that Romney lost the election because a lot of Romney’s base deserted him when Romney surrounded himself with the neocon gaggle.

Obama recognizes that many conservatives deeply detest the self-serving neocons. It’s a pity the republicans don’t.

#11 Comment By Jim Dooley On January 5, 2013 @ 10:21 am

If it should happen, major kudos to the President. Can it be possible after so many years that some new course is about to be struck? Now we shall see whether the extreme partisans of the neo-right will slit their own throats by borking the nominee, so further diminishing what public regard remains for the Republican Party as a coherent political force.

#12 Comment By Ron Beasley On January 5, 2013 @ 1:20 pm

Kristol attacks Hagel for stating the obvious!

#13 Comment By Richard Earley On January 5, 2013 @ 2:54 pm

Rarely do Americans consider character when considering those fit for public office. Political considerations not having immediate consequences are far more important. In the first Gulf War this became readily apparent.

The Senate had turned on one of its own, former Senator John Tower of Texas and denied him the position as Secretary of Defense. Tower had been accused of seeing a woman who was not his wife and occasional excessive drinking. Opposition to Tower had been led by toad-like Paul Weyrich, a confirmed Jehovah man. Tower had been so proud of his military service in World War II he had kept his enlisted rank. He had become the senior Chief Petty Officer in the Reserves. The pharisaical Weyrich had avoided military service in the Vietnam War, but obviously regarded traditional military behavior as repugnant. Toad-like conduct by Cheney did not bother him. It probably was an asset. American emphasis on superficial qualities was once again displayed publicly.

Even by abysmal American standards Colin Powell’s nominal superior, Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney, had behaved disgracefully and cravenly to avoid military service in Vietnam. He had taken every available deferment for education, and after his studies failed to exempt him, he applied for and received a deferment for a having a pregnant wife. He had a child nine months and two days after being notified he was eligible for the draft. He would tell investigative reporters he had other things on his mind than military service in the 1960s. Watergate supersleuth Bob Woodward had gained from Cheney the admission that he regarded himself as the “ultimate Republican Hawk”. Later during the Gulf War against Iraq he would try to send both mother and father who were in the military into the combat zone. Secretary Cheney had no qualms of forcing others to endanger themselves and die if necessary. Orphaned children of other people were not of concern to him. This galling hypocrisy and lack of guts was characteristic of much of the white political class which had gained ascendancy. However, his behavior did satisfy the American legalistic sense of scruples. In a country which demanded character from public officials the loathsome Cheney would have been denied an entry level job. In America he became overseer of the military.

#14 Comment By Semiotics On January 5, 2013 @ 5:44 pm

Isn’t it amusing how readily neocons resort to politically correct argument when it serves some tactical purpose?

#15 Comment By jamie On January 5, 2013 @ 10:14 pm

“He knows that Romney lost the election because a lot of Romney’s base deserted him when Romney surrounded himself with the neocon gaggle.”

Let’s not go crazy, Vanya.

#16 Comment By TP 4vr On January 6, 2013 @ 10:37 am

Any GOP senator opposing the Hagel nomination should be immediately targeted by the Tea Party.

#17 Comment By Sombre Note On January 6, 2013 @ 11:05 am

Hasn’t the GOP been embarassed long enough by its association with Mr. Kristol and the neocon cult?

Doesn’t the GOP want to win elections anymore? Or become the party of responsible foreign policy again?

#18 Comment By Mark Vadnais On January 6, 2013 @ 5:48 pm

The Tea Party won’t oppose Republican Senators who vote against Chuck Hagel. Their new star, Senator Ted Cruz, was on Fox News Sunday spewing the same vicious, neo-con talking points against Hagel. I don’t see much effort from the Tea Party organizations fighting against foreign interventionism, oversees spending or Pentagon spending.

#19 Comment By dbc On January 6, 2013 @ 6:56 pm

Reminds me a bit of the time Jesse Helms (successfully) blocked Bill Clinton’s nomination of Massachusetts Republican Bill Weld to be Ambassador to Mexico.



Of course, Weld would be to the left of Hagel overall on social issues, who really is rather conservative in general, isn’t he?

#20 Comment By American Breakfast Tea On January 6, 2013 @ 8:05 pm

The Tea Party is more than one thing of course, but all the TP voters I know are sick of interventionism – me included. You might call it a core principle: no more bankrupting wars, and no more letting foreign lobbyists dictate American foreign and military policy.

Hagel is much closer to that Tea Party sentiment then Cruz (whoever he is).

#21 Comment By AZS On January 6, 2013 @ 8:15 pm

Semiotics wrote “Isn’t it amusing how readily neocons resort to politically correct argument when it serves some tactical purpose?”

Amusing (in a macabre way) it may be, but it is not surprising. Political correctness is the logical outcome of democratism, so they clearly go hand in hand. One of this magazine’s best writers, Paul Gottfried, is a scholar of that subject.

#22 Comment By Alive Alive-0 On January 6, 2013 @ 8:21 pm

Their new star, Senator Ted Cruz, was on Fox News Sunday

Ted Cruz is no Tea Party patriot. He defended a Chinese company that stole tire design blueprints from an American company that subsequently went out of business. No hope there – typical neocon globaloney.

#23 Comment By ottovbvs On January 7, 2013 @ 3:23 pm

Of course he’ll be confirmed easily. The Democrats are already replaying McCain and McConnell plaudits from only 4 years ago. Unless they want to look like total jackasses they will be well advised to drop this……and in fact I suspect they will when it gets down to the wire.