Chuck Hagel’s Future: All Options on the Table

-

hagel.jpg
Senators Chuck Hagel (R-RI) and Jack Reed (D-NH) just acquitted themselves very well on Tim Russert’s Meet the Press.
Hagel made an articulate, compelling call for a new American comprehensive strategy in the Middle East that includes robust diplomacy, coordination with moderate Sunni regimes in the Middle East and new forms of economic engagement.
Hagel said that the White House keeps focusing on a “military approach” to Iraq. But he stated quite firmly, “the US military will not determine the future of Iraq.”
Reed was impressive too — until he began to focus on his and Hagel’s early call for increasing the overall size of the US army. He probably meant “military forces in total” rather than just the “army”. Hagel said nothing about this, but Reid made it sound like the key to solving the problem of an over-extended military apparatus is just making it larger.
I think — and I believe that Hagel believes at some level — that the first step in solving the “military over-reach” problem is getting better management and figuring out why despite more dollars and resources being thrown at the Pentagon that perceived “security deliverables” are declining.
Hagel said that he would make a statement about his intentions to run for the presidency or not in a few weeks. He reminded listeners that despite Vice President Cheney’s recent criticism of Hagel that Congressionaly Quarterly found in a recent survey of 30 key votes that Hagel votes with the Bush administration more than any other U.S. Senator.
Hagel is a classic conservative — but apparently not the kind of Republican that Dick Cheney likes.
Cheney recently stated:

Let’s say I believe firmly in Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican. But it’s very hard sometimes to adhere to that where Chuck Hagel is involved.”

This opposition by Cheney is exactly what makes Hagel such an interesting proposition in a Republican primary presidential race. He might take the Republican party to a “sensible conservatism.” That could be healthy for the Republican Party, for both parties actually — and for the nation as a whole.
Hagel says he has not made up his mind on running. Some indicators though are bubbling forth, and this writer has been privy to some informed gossip.
First, Hagel has a book deal underway to get his thoughts on America’s future out during the 2008 primary season.
Second, Hagel has told a number of people close to him that if he does run for the presidency, that he won’t keep his Senate seat. He reportedly does not want to be in John Kerry’s position. That makes sense to me.
There have been some rumors — strong rumors — that Hagel was on the verge of quitting the Senate and not running for the presidency. That seems to be curbed somewhat — both after a call by many in the grassroots asking that Hagel not quit the Senate and also because he has seen the value and felt national support for standing strong in his opposition to the Iraq troop surge.
But the biggest thing that has happened is that Hagel had decided not to run previously because he thought that he and John McCain occupied the same political space. That is no longer true — and his profile is rather unique on the Republican side. His Sandhills PAC is also clearly picking up steam and is reaching out.
My hunch is that Hagel will announce an exploratory committee in a few weeks. Could be wrong — I don’t know anything from the deep inside about what Hagel is really likely to do. But I think he will announce this exploratory committee step in such a way that he is not making a full-fledged commitment to running.
Others tell me that Hagel is waiting for the American public to sour on those first out of the gate. He feels that it would be a mistake to be chasing favor this quickly in a presidential race, when there is all sorts of opportunity for frontrunners to stumble and go stale.
One downside of this strategy is that it reinforces in the minds of some that Hagel is not serious or does not at the end of the day have the appetite for the kinds of things he’d have to do to to get moved into the White House. One top tier national security voice of Republican ilk told me the other day that he wishes “Hagel would just make up his mind.” This former government icon said “I like Chuck Hagel, a lot. I am not sure that Chuck Hagel really wants it bad enough and that he will do what it takes to win. But if he does and he’s solid and committed to that decision, it would be healthy for the country.”
Another top tier national security voice — of Democratic ilk — wrote this to me recently regarding a meeting with Senator Hagel that he knew I would be attending:

. . .Give my best to Chuck — I hope he runs. . . You can tell him that.

Hagel is clearly cautious and is taking his time to make up his mind on this important investment of time and political capital. Mitt Romney may be a big challenge to him, but the two have very different takes on the war and on what it takes to get America’s national security portfolio back in shape.
Frankly, I think his entry into the race could be helpful as far as serious discussions of America’s foreign policy missteps — as I believe that his national security and foreign policy views are exactly what any successful Republican or Democrat candidate should be expressing. No one on the Democratic side has really stolen his brand of sensible, enlightened realism in foreign policy.
That gives Hagel a chance to continue to own the space he is in. But when he enters, watch quite a few of the Dems and Republicans try to begin mimicking him. Nothing wrong in that.
– Steve Clemons

Comments

48 comments on “Chuck Hagel’s Future: All Options on the Table

  1. Pissed Off American says:

    “On January 25th and 27th of 2003, Baird met with Hagel’s office. Later on the 27th, he abruptly resigned his post, ending a sixteen year stint with the committee. Later that day, Baird’s replacement, Robert Walker, changed the committee’s definition of “excepted investment fund.” Under the revised definition, the committee would have the ability to decide, based on the specific facts of each case, whether an investment had been made in a publicly available firm. Many argued that the new definition made it virtually impossible to determine whether Hagel, or any other legislator, must report investments in non-traded private companies.”
    Even knowing that most of them are scumbags, its still always disheartening seeing the details. Knowing the details, yet seeing them avoid accountablity time after time is depressing to the extreme. There seems to be no incentive for these slimey bastards to observe ethics, because they are repeatedly allowed to bend and break the rules without fear of censure or punishment. We have truly become a nation with two separate systems of law. One for the elites, and one for the commoners.

    Reply

  2. Mary says:

    I’d like to ask why suddenly Hagel is presented to a liberal constituency as being anything worth discussing.. ? No progressive would credit his sudden realignment on Bush’s Iraq war as a sign that he is even an option.. Hagel is not even a lukewarm moderate. It’s known that he was a hawk and has a voting record that identifies him as right wing conservative.. whether it’s on the environment, choice, economical issues, workers rights.. across the board, he is one of Bush’s ideological jackboots.
    And there’s this.. (read below) Hagel’s ties to the blackbox voting industry, his refusal to disclose the ties, and his subsequent large investments in the same, and the strange fact that his surprise first election came as a result of the same blackbox voting machines in his state (the votes of a large number of African American voters who were democrats were attributed to having voted for him, though there was no sign of their having done so)
    it kind of gives me pause that one of Arianna HuffPo’s columnist is hawking Chuck Hagel, the same way she hawked McCain after she claimed to have seen the light and became a progressive… lol, I still remember the dupes who had shown up for her Shadow Convention in a state of shock when she and McCain endorsed Bush onstage.
    Failure to disclose involvement with electronic voting firm
    For the first ten weeks of 1996, Hagel served as chairman of American Information Systems (AIS), a voting machine company which later changed its name to ES&S. He also had holdings in the firm’s parent group, McCarthy Group Inc., worth between $1 and $5 million. [11] In November 1996, Hagel was elected to the Senate, the first Republican elected from Nebraska since 1974. He came from behind twice during his run (according to polls), first against well known Republican Attorney General Don Stenberg in the primary, and then against popular Democratic Gov. (and eventual senator) Ben Nelson. In fact, one Nebraska newspaper described his victory as a “stunning upset.” [12] In January 1997, the Washington Post called Hagel’s victory, “the major Republican upset in the November election.” [13] According to Bev Harris of Blackboxvoting.org, a group aimed at “consumer protection for elections,” Hagel won virtually every demographic group, including many largely African-American communities that had never before voted Republican. AIS was responsible for counting approximately 80% of the votes in the election. [14] [15] [16]
    In a disclosure form filed in 1996, Hagel did not report that he was chairman of AIS during 1996 or go into detail regarding the company’s underlying assets. Rather, he cited his holdings as an “excepted investment fund,” which is exempt from detailed disclosure rules. [17] [18] [19]
    On May 23, 1997, Victor Baird, then serving as director of the Senate Ethics Committee, sent a letter to Hagel requesting “additional, clarifying information” for the personal financial disclosure report Hagel filed. In 2002, the issue surfaced again as Charlie Matulka, Hagel’s opponent for reelection, wrote to Baird requesting an investigation into Hagel’s ownership in and nondisclosure of ES&S (the information remained undisclosed as of 2002). Baird replied that Matulka’s complaint lacked merit and dismissed the matter. [20] [21] [22]
    Under the ethics panel’s regulations at the time, an “excepted investment fund” was one that was “publicly traded (or available) or widely diversified.” The committee had defined a “publicly available” stock or investment as one that could be purchased on a public market or for which information was publicly available. This type of information, some contended, would typically be found in reference outlets such as Moody’s Financial Services Information, Standard & Poor’s register, or Barron’s The Dow Jones and Financial Weekly. A 2003 search of all three by The Hill, however, revealed no references to McCarthy. In addition, a comprehensive report ordered by The Hill from Dun & Bradstreet, a leading financial information firm, indicated that McCarthy’s financial information was not publicly available. Michael McCarthy, chairman of the McCarthy Group and Hagel’s campaign treasurer, acknowledged that the company was not publicly traded or widely diversified, but claimed that it was publicly available nonetheless. [23] [24] [25]
    On January 25th and 27th of 2003, Baird met with Hagel’s office. Later on the 27th, he abruptly resigned his post, ending a sixteen year stint with the committee. Later that day, Baird’s replacement, Robert Walker, changed the committee’s definition of “excepted investment fund.” Under the revised definition, the committee would have the ability to decide, based on the specific facts of each case, whether an investment had been made in a publicly available firm. Many argued that the new definition made it virtually impossible to determine whether Hagel, or any other legislator, must report investments in non-traded private companies. [26] [27] [28]
    Soon after the change, Lou Ann Linehan, Hagel’s chief of staff, denied that Hagel had ever failed to meet the Senate Ethics Committee’s reporting requirements in his annual financial disclosure forms. She claimed that she was sure that at least one investment advisor and broker confirmed that McCarthy Group Inc. was publicly available. She was unable, however, to offer the name of any investment broker or advisor who consulted with Hagel or his staff on the matter. [29] [30] [31]
    You can see the article in it’s entirety with source links here: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Chuck_Hagel

    Reply

  3. rich says:

    (glitchy glitchy)
    MP:
    “Precedent does count for something, though. How much it counts, and in what way it counts, is open to debate. Often it’s a matter of whether one agrees with the precedent or not.”
    Of course it counts for something. But what?
    The argument made is that WHATEVER HAPPENS is a valid precedent. That’s another form of ‘suicide pact’–which we know the Constitution isn’t.
    If I go out tomorrow and rob a bank, but get away with it, is that a VALID precedent, merely because it happened?
    Applying some Reason indicates that even minor misjudgments CANNOT become shackles or leg-irons binding the Nation (& People) to a suddenly unlimited Exec–or even the possibility of an extremely counterproductive policy (internment). It means ‘anything goes’ is substituted for ‘the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land.’
    Further, should a truly malicious figure occupy the White House–say a marginal, charismatic figure is elected & goes Bad (maybe a Nader or a Huey Long or a Pat Robertson)–and goes on to commit heinous & unholy crimes. Thousands die; tens of thousands tortured. Or Nixon was never caught. Does that mean that genocide, or torture, or COINTELPRO are somehow NOW ok? Or, were even legal? Simply because there was no court ruling verifying what we know the Constitution says?
    No. Of course not.
    Should a Monarchist with a lifelong fetish for King George III’s pomp, position, and style ascend to the Oval Office, and remake it into a Unitary Executive by ‘virtue’ of Executive Orders–WOULD the Nation be bound to accept EACH or EVEN ANY of the self-styled Kinglets next in line?? No. I think not. Why would the Nation EVER be in leg-irons that force it to REPEAT the egregious violations of lawless officials? Again, the logic fails.
    –”I’m not entirely sure, however, that following the Constitution as written will prevent us from getting into bad, unjustified, and counter-productive military conflicts. “–
    Which means what? Go along to get along down a path you KNOW will lead to quagmires & disasters? An elected body is fallible–but far less likely to make mistakes. Where One Man might be vain, foolhardy, syphilitic, malevalent, vengeful, or mad–a group of men will be very likely to have a different viewpoint–and every interest in checking and reasoning with One Guy, badly directed.
    Plus, it’d be Legal/Constitutional. Which is HALF the point.
    –”that following the Constitution as written.”–
    You make it sound like a dubious proposition. Isn’t that the point of this Country? To follow the Constitution as written? To be a Nation of Laws, not Men? To improve ourselves, and Form a More Perfect Union, as best we can?
    Ultimately, the upshot right now is that there IS NO Constitution–not really. That’s the stance; that’s the attitude. The more you look at it, the more all solid evidence points us to one understanding: where faithless men act as though the Constitution does not exist, and proceed to assert they are not bound by it (‘I’m the Decider’)–and no one asserts otherwise–then there IS NO Constitution. At all.
    A social contract is a social contract only so long as everyone agrees. The breach, at some point, has to be repaired.

    Reply

  4. rich says:

    MP:
    >>”Precedent does count for something, though. How much it counts, and in what way it counts, is open to debate. Often it’s a matter of whether one agrees with the precedent or not.”>”I’m not entirely sure, however, that following the Constitution as written will prevent us from getting into bad, unjustified, and counter-productive military conflicts. “>”that following the Constitution as written.”<<
    You make it sound like a dubious proposition. Isn’t that the point of this Country? To follow the Constitution as written? To be a Nation of Laws, not Men? To improve ourselves, and Form a More Perfect Union, as best we can?
    Ultimately, the upshot right now is that there IS NO Constitution–not really. That’s the stance; that’s the attitude. The more you look at it, the more all solid evidence points us to one understanding: where faithless men act as though the Constitution does not exist, and proceed to assert they are not bound by it (‘I’m the Decider’)–and no one asserts otherwise–then there IS NO Constitution. At all.
    A social contract is a social contract only so long as everyone agrees. The breach, at some point, has to be repaired.

    Reply

  5. Bucky says:

    Tiny nit: You write “Senators Chuck Hagel (R-RI) and Jack Reed (D-NH)”, probably as a test to see if people are really reading everything you write. I read everything you write (on this blog anyway), Steve. And I’ll read it even if I’m on business in Rhode Island (NH) or on vaction in Nebraska (RI).
    I agree mostly with your assessment of Hagel. As a Democrat I don’t want to see him nominated, but as an American I do. He’s a unique and nuanced voice in a party that doesn’t seem to take to either nonconformists or speaker given to nuance. I fear the plentiful Roves of this world tend to chew up the occasional Hagels we get.

    Reply

  6. MP says:

    I won’t disagree with you, Rich.
    Precedent does count for something, though. How much it counts, and in what way it counts, is open to debate. Often it’s a matter of whether one agrees with the precedent or not.
    In this case, I disagree with the precedent.
    I’m not entirely sure, however, that following the Constitution as written will prevent us from getting into bad, unjustified, and counter-productive military conflicts. With more people having to agree, it will be harder. But I have less faith “in the people” than you do.
    I don’t think all the Founders had much faith, either. See James Madison.
    Anyway, we basically agree on this.
    Bring the troops home, NOW.
    Keep them and our bombs out of Iran.

    Reply

  7. Jim DeRosa says:

    You are looking at the next President, folks. The Democrats are going to elect the candidate that will loose 49% – 51% to this man, no matter how you slice it.

    Reply

  8. Mary says:

    Mr. Clemons, I have to take exception with this statement you make regarding Senator Jack Reed:
    “Reed was impressive too — until he began to focus on his and Hagel’s early call for increasing the overall size of the US army. He probably meant “military forces in total” rather than just the “army”. Hagel said nothing about this, but Reid made it sound like the key to solving the problem of an over-extended military apparatus is just making it larger.”
    I remember what you refer to as an “early call” it was just as General Shinseki had taken a stand on, the fact that the Bush administration, through Donald Rumsfeld was attempting to micro-manage the war, by under cutting the army’s need for adequate troop strength, which was very dangerous and contributed to the strain on our young men and women serving in what was an extremely volatile situation.
    The “increasing the overall size of the US army” and he did mean “army” was in actuality a call for funding to increase the army by 10,000 troops. The Bush administrations funding demands went 77% to sources other than the military.. y’know your friendly military industrial complex profiteer for the most part. Perhaps you’ve conveniently forgotten that, or the fact that Russert, who is known to be a shill for the neo-con interests, who once he had taken his place as the head of NBC news, was using his position and power to help Bush’s push into the war with Iraq???? Perhaps you’ve gotten the warrm fuzzies for him because of his having to testify at the Scooter Libby trial and that you believe that he’s gotten religion because of that?
    Reed, was referring to the fact that Bush is attempting to distract from his plan to send more than 21,000 more troops into Bagdad to conduct dangerous door to door searches that our generals have stated is not something they should be doing, by harking back to when Senators Hagel and Reed tried to get 10,000 more troops sent, to accuse the current effort as being a non-issue. Reed’s comments were apropo, as despite the fact that Russert was lobbing softballs to Hagel, he was playing his old partisan tricks by attempting to marginalize Reed and the democrats position on the subject. Back in ’02 Reed and Hagel responded to the requests by the generals that the Bush administration was placing the troops in greater peril by not sending in enough troops to take care of the job… the blogs were all up in arms about Rummy’s micro-managing the war.. how can you claim to not remember that. That’s not the same thing as what you inferred, that Reed was confusing the situation. Here’s the statement you misinterpreted from the transcipt of the interview:
    SEN. REED: Well, I don’t think it’s a concern that it’s a radioactive issue, but the president is inviting a debate and citing polls. There’s no American, and I don’t think there’s any senator, that’s consciously going to take away equipment, training dollars for American personnel. And again, this is the administration that went into this operation without a good plan for an occupation, went in without sufficient armored humvees, without body armor for troops, without training in counterinsurgency operations, despite the conventional success of that march into Baghdad. This is an administration that has persistently overstressed the Army. Chuck and I, in 2003, made the first proposal to increase the size of the Army. It’s only within several months that the president has embraced the idea of a larger Army. So their attention to the needs of the military, I think could be faulted significantly. And now they want to use the Army and the funding as a sort of political crutch. here’s the url for the page of the transcript I took the exact quote from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17168627/page/5/
    In case you’re uninformed on my state senator, Jack Reed here’s a bit about him. He was born into a working class family in Cranston, RI, his dad was a janitor. After graduating from West Point and receiving an active duty commission in the United States Army, Reed attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where he received a Masters of Public Policy. Reed, an Army Ranger and a paratrooper, served in the 82nd Airborne Division as an Infantry Platoon leader, a Company Commander, and a Battalion Staff Officer. He returned to West Point in 1978 as an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Sciences.
    He is not only is experienced and well informed about military issues, he cares passionately about our troops. He’s not a hawk either.
    What I’d like to know, were your comments based on a lacking in paying attention to what was said, or perhaps the same lacking of researching what you report on (like the MSM) or was it some axe you felt the need to grind perhaps?

    Reply

  9. rich says:

    MP:
    >>”BTW, Rich, there are any number of examples of the US going to war without declaring it: The Korean War, Grenada, Panama, Somalia…there’s a long precedent for the imperial presidency, unfortunately.”<<
    I’m aware of that, MP, but that doesn’t mean they were valid precedents–or wise or even ‘successful’. Or, technically speaking, legal.
    Note one thing well: EVERY time someone rationalizes departure from Article 1 Section 8, the whole thing goes. Every argument– that ‘there’s tension w/the Exec’ or ‘it was an emergency’ or whatever–defaults to never having to Declare War at all. Ever.
    If you don’t do it for an unprovoked, ‘pre-emptive’ war for which there was no evidence and dubious cause, then when DO you Declare War?
    And the closer you look, the more it becomes clear that there’s ample opportunity for Congress to act w/o impinging on the Exec in any case. Grenada wasn’t going anywhere. Operations continued in Vietnam. Even under emergency conditions, nothing prevents the Prznt from defending the country. FDR did it under the direst situation–despite having a response to Pearl Harbor under way.
    Women and blacks were once denied the vote. Indentured servitude and slavery both were fairly common at one time. Yet no one’s pointing to those circumstances and saying, ‘hey, it’d be ok, for that reason, to do it again.’ The logic is bankrupt. ‘It happened, & it must’ve been ok back then, therefore it must be ok again as long as I can get away with it.’ Real powerful Reason comin’ to the fore, standing shoulder to shoulder with Integrity.
    Where we’ve become MORE true to the clear Constitutional framework on suffrage & slavery, we’ve become LESS true to the clear Constitutional framework on the Power to unleash war.
    It’s obvious that the covert squads operating inside Iran are committing Acts of War, right now. What if this kinda policy boomerangs, and blowback comes in the form of a mushroom cloud over Boston? Miami? Houston? Ya think these wise guys who’ve been rationalizing what they’ve been doing will admit their mistake? It’s not as though El Salvadorans w/exp w/American-directed death squads don’t know how to get into the States. We’ve been depending on the essential humanity of a lot of people who’ve been hurt. Not exactly playing the percentages.
    So “Andrew Jackson got away with” does not a persuasive or valid argument make. Lincoln’s words are proof no one was confused about what had happened–and I view those who point to such violations as if it makes everything ok to be disingenuous beyond belief. And without question, it’s a clear form of treason, which is a very reasonable & conservative position: the purpose of the clause was based on the American Revolution, confirmed in Vietnam, & the pattern repeated in Iraq. To deny that is to deny the SPECIFIC reason America was founded. And to deny the very definition of America–w/o which, what’s the basis for our exceptionalism?
    These unDeclared wars result in US policies begetting the same actions that caused the colonists to revolt & the Brits to lose in 1776. That such wars are costly, unwinnable, & prompt blowback is no surprise. That clause exists to SECURE our soldiers, keep them from being misused, AND to secure the country. It’s a strength. That it prevents senseless harm from falling upon other populations makes sense too–you can be sure Paine & Adams & Washington wouldn’t wish what they’d been through on anyone.

    Reply

  10. Ajaz Haque says:

    Chuck Hagel is one of the finest politicians in Washington and one of the most upright and honest. He gets it. The U.S. will be fortunate to have a man like him as President.

    Reply

  11. Pissed Off American says:

    “Your right POA, if a radiation hot spot was registered at a mosque in New Your, it would make the MSM go bugf**k.”
    Of course. Sometimes the truth is right in front of our faces, but is so terrifying that we refuse to consider it. Its called denial.

    Reply

  12. Frank says:

    Your right POA, if a radiation hot spot was registered at a mosque in New Your, it would make the MSM go bugf**k.
    Lets see now…five dancing Israelis caught on 9/11, the USS Liberty,and now a radiation hot spot at the Israeli embassy in New York? Why am I so paranoid..??

    Reply

  13. bruin606 says:

    Questioon for steve: Why do you and others i nthe media take seriously a guy who has no national political network, has $120,000 in his campaign account despite being in cycle, has no recognizeable staff, and has taken no less than four seperate positions on the war in the past two weeks? He has nothing but the media on his side. Someone shouldask John McCain and Howard Dean how that turns out.

    Reply

  14. Pissed Off American says:

    Funny, the radiation spike at the Israeli Embassy never gets any comments. I can just imagine all these minds out there in Cyber land dismissing the implications, and moving on to more pleasant thoughts. It can’t happen here, right? Gee, they’d never….
    I used to say “Gee, they’d never…”. Then my country invaded a sovereign nation using blatant lies as the rationale. Then my government started torturing people. Then my Congress stood idly by as our nation murdered 600,000 civilian non-combatants.
    But gee, they’d never….
    Would they?

    Reply

  15. Pissed Off American says:

    And, speaking about false flag terrorist attacks, this is surely an intriguing item. I will repost it periodically, in the interest that it doesn’t dissappear from the backs of your minds. Can you imagine the press furor if this radiation “spike” was detected emanating from a mosque or the from the embassy of a Muslim country?
    http://cleveland.indymedia.org/news/2006/10/22798.php
    An excerpt….
    “One alleged radiation hot spot on Manhattan’s east side has the
    potential for becoming a political hot spot: A strong radiation spike
    from the area of the Israeli Embassy. Officials would not comment on why
    they thought that particular area allegedly showed such a stunning peak
    in radiation.”

    Reply

  16. bAkho says:

    We only need a larger military if we intend to build an empire and occupy other people’s countries.
    If we were doing something the world supported, they would add troops to the effort. The world does not support us in Iraq so we don’t have enough troops.
    I say keep the army the same size or smaller and make better policy decisions. The electorate needs to quit electing idiot Republicans and anyone associated with the disgraced Bush family.

    Reply

  17. Pissed Off American says:

    ALL of the future scenarios discussed here ignore the possibilities for the GOP and Bush if they are “handed” another “trifecta”. Even Brzezinski hints at the possibility of a false flag event implicating Iran as a distinct future possibility. Whether or not you believe as I do, that this Administration is evil to its core, and will not stop at ANY strategy to remain in power PAST 2008, or you simply are willing to accept that America could experience another 9/11 type of event prior to 2008, you must be willing to accept that much can occur in two years, and another terrorist attack would definitely change the dynamics of the presidential race. Particularly if such an event could be attributed to the “weakness” of the Democrats. In my mind, such a false flag event is not only a possibility, it is a probability. And if you doubt this administration’s capacity for such horrendous evil, than you have not been paying attention these lasst six years.

    Reply

  18. MP says:

    Zathras writes: “A Republican campaign based on repudiation of the President would be nasty. even vicious, and Chuck Hagel isn’t the man for a campaign of that kind. ”
    I don’t think ANY Republicans are up for this kind of campaign. Look at what’s happening to the resolutions about the war now? I know I shouldn’t be astonished by the fight the Republicans are putting up, but I am. Via the Gregg proposal, they are actually pushing the entirely bogus idea–which should have LONG AGO been thoroughly discredited–that debating the war is all about “supporting the troops.” Dems don’t; Republicans do.
    And they are getting a LOT of traction on this point. Not nearly as many Republicans supported the first resolution as was predicted. About 17 as I recall.
    The Republican party is lockstep behind Bush, even after 6 years of failure and abuse of power. Maybe, in a year, more will peel off, but I have my doubts. Did you listen to George Will talking about the cudgel and the scapel this morning? The Republicans are VERY, VERY skillful debaters and politicians. They are using the Constitution to steer the politics of the war in their direction DESPITE a country that has largely abandoned their position.
    Maybe they will pay for it at the polls, but not if they frame, or re-frame, the debate their way.
    BTW, Rich, there are any number of examples of the US going to war without declaring it: The Korean War, Grenada, Panama, Somalia…there’s a long precedent for the imperial presidency, unfortunately.

    Reply

  19. km4 says:

    > (See also, Barry Goldwater.)
    As a former Republican you should see the fabulous documentary by CC Goldwater ( granddaughter )
    Mr Conservative
    http://www.hbo.com/docs/programs/mrconservative/
    In an era when JFK became the first Catholic ever to be elected President, Goldwater was in fact half Jewish. Remembers Robert MacNeil, “He often told the story about being born of a Jewish father and an Episcopalian mother. He would say things like, ‘I went to a golf club where they wouldn’t let Jews play, and I said, “I’m only half Jewish. Can I play nine holes?’”
    Barry Goldwater vs the Religious Right
    “I don’t have any respect for the Religious Right.”
    “Every good Christian should line up and kick Jerry Falwell’s ass.”
    “The religious factions will go on imposing their will on others,”
    “A woman has a right to an abortion.”
    “I am a conservative Republican,” Barry Goldwater wrote in a 1994 Washington Post essay, “but I believe in democracy and the separation of church and state.”
    When Sandra Day O’Connor was nominated to the Supreme Court in 1981, some Religious Right leaders suspected she might be too moderate on abortion and other social concerns. Moral Majority founder Jerry Falwell told the news media that “every good Christian should be concerned.” Replied Goldwater, “Every good Christian should line up and kick Jerry Falwell’s ass.”
    The five-term U.S. senator from Arizona was equally unimpressed with TV preacher Pat Robertson. When Robertson sought the GOP nomination for president in 1988, Goldwater wasn’t about to say amen. “I believe in separation of church and state,” observed Goldwater. “Now, he doesn’t believe that . . . I just don’t think he should be running.”
    A few years later he told The Advocate, “I don’t have any respect for the Religious Right. There is no place in this country for practicing religion in politics. That goes for Falwell, Robertson and all the rest of these political preachers. They are a detriment to the country.”
    While some Americans might find Goldwater’s stand against all interaction between religion and politics too sweeping, many would agree with his strong commitment to individual freedom of conscience on issues as diverse as religion in schools, gay rights or abortion. In 1994 he told The Los Angeles Times, “A lot of so-called conservatives don’t know what the word means. They think I’ve turned liberal because I believe a woman has a right to an abortion. That’s a decision that’s up to the pregnant woman, not up to the pope or some do-gooders or the Religious Right.”
    Goldwater, an Episcopalian, had theological differences with greedy TV preachers. “I look at these religious television shows,” he said, “and they are raising big money on God. One million, three million, five million – they brag about it. I don’t believe in that. It’s not a very religious thing to do.”
    But Goldwater was also deeply worried about the Religious Right’s long-term impact on his beloved GOP. “If they succeed in establishing religion as a basic Republican Party tenet,” he told U.S. News & World Report in 1994, “they could do us in.” In an interview with The Post that same year, Goldwater observed, “When you say ‘radical right’ today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others who are trying to take the Republican Party and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye.”
    But most importantly, Goldwater was deeply concerned about the Religious Right’s relentless war on the Constitution and basic American freedoms. In a Sept. 15, 1981 senate speech, Goldwater noted that Falwell’s Moral Majority, anti-abortion groups and other Religious Right outfits were sometimes referred to in the press as the “New Right” and the “New Conservatism.” Responded Goldwater, “Well, I’ve spent quite a number of years carrying the flag of the ‘Old Conservatism.’ And I can say with conviction that the religious issues of these groups have little or nothing to do with conservative or liberal politics. The uncompromising position of these groups is a divisive element that could tear apart the very spirit of our representative system, if they gain sufficient strength.” Insisted Goldwater, “Being a conservative in America traditionally has meant that one holds a deep, abiding respect for the Constitution. We conservatives believe sincerely in the integrity of the Constitution. We treasure the freedoms that document protects. . . “By maintaining the separation of church and state,” he explained, “the United States has avoided the intolerance which has so divided the rest of the world with religious wars . . . Can any of us refute the wisdom of Madison and the other framers? Can anyone look at the carnage in Iran, the bloodshed in Northem Ireland, or the bombs bursting in Lebanon and yet question the dangers of injecting religious issues into the affairs of state?”
    Goldwater concluded with a waming to the American people. “The religious factions will go on imposing their will on others,” { he said,} “unless the decent people connected to them recognize that religion has no place in public policy. They must learn to make their views known without trying to make their views the only alternatives. . . We have succeeded for 205 years in keeping the affairs of state separate from the uncompromising idealism of religious groups and we mustn’t stop now” { he insisted}. “To retreat from that separation would violate the principles of conservatism and the values upon which the framers built this democratic republic.”

    Reply

  20. urbino says:

    Perhaps the hope among some is that a Hagel candidacy would be the seed for transforming the GOP, even though the candidacy itself failed. (See also, Barry Goldwater.)

    Reply

  21. Zathras says:

    Tactically it makes sense for a candidate like Hagel to announce later rather than earlier if, and only if, he expects the early entrants to bog down and the decisive GOP primaries to be relatively high-turnout affairs.
    The reasons for beginning the race early boil down to securing fundraising muscle and campaign organization. These are, somewhat paradoxically, more important in low-turnout elections, because they signal to likely primary voters that a candidate is in the GOP mainstream (the still-large amount of free media available to Presidential candidates in higher-turnout elections is not dependent on having a large bankroll or well-known campaign staff).
    There is a sense in which the GOP mainstream is the problem. Among likely Republican primary voters a majority still admires President Bush (even though many would not oppose a change in major administration policies), but a strong majority of the general public no longer shares this view, and is likely to view with disfavor a candidate who does. The longer Bush stays unpopular, the harder this puzzle will be to put together — how do you reassure Republican loyalists who still support President Bush that you share their views without running afoul of the majority of general election voters who dislike him and his administration and who (by 2008) will have disliked them for a long time?
    In the short run — that is, in this election cycle, while Bush is still President — I don’t think this can be done. Typically, two term Presidents tend to be popular enough by the end of their tenures that potential successors from their own party are most likely to err through not being close enough to them, a mistake made by Nixon in 1960 and by Gore forty years later. A President elected to two full terms and widely disliked at the end of his tenure is a much more difficult problem. Hagel, if he runs, would in fact be seeking to occupy the same space as McCain — the loyal Republican who has over the years made enough specific criticisms of the administration to appear independent. This is hard enough for McCain. Hagel, who is far less well-known, would be starting almost from scratch, and the first impression he would make with most GOP voters would be that of a Republican opposed to the President.
    There would not be anything preventing a Republican Presidential candidate with adequate financial resources, substantial intestinal fortitude, and great self-confidence from taking a chance now on the means Republicans are likely to employ after this election cycle to deal with the Bush legacy: repudiation, political and — especially — personal. The nearest precedent Republicans have to their current situation is what they faced in the aftermath of Watergate; much of the rightward shift in the Party during the late 1970s (including, somewhat ironically, the rise of the neoconservatives) is explainable by the urgent political imperative to put distance between the Party and the politically toxic legacy left by Richard Nixon. Nixon, though, was gone from national politics with his resignation, and Bush is still here.
    A Republican campaign based on repudiation of the President would be nasty. even vicious, and Chuck Hagel isn’t the man for a campaign of that kind. It would also, most likely, be unsuccessful. As I doubt very much that any other kind of campaign will result in a Republican President after January 20, 2009 this is less of a drawback to me than it must seem to the GOP candidates now in the field, all of whom obviously think they have a chance to win.

    Reply

  22. urbino says:

    rich: “isn’t Hagel the only one putting REAL daylight between him and Bush?”
    Yes, but only on Iraq. That’s far from nothing, but neither is it enough. As huge and long-term a problem as Iraq could become, it’s still small and short-term compared to what the Bush admin. has done and claimed on executive power. Your own personal experience with Hagel’s office is a good sign, but a small one. Much too small compared with his voting record.
    Answering my own previous question, a quick google tells me Nebraska’s current governor is a Republican. In that case, Hagel needs to stay put in the Senate where he can do some good, rather than throw his seat away on an unwinnable run for the GOP nomination.

    Reply

  23. rich says:

    urbino: having gone along up to a point, isn’t Hagel the only one putting REAL daylight between him and Bush? Which is about as close to ‘renouncing’ Republican solidarity as you’re likely to get.
    What I found is this: Furious with Bush, and Hagel’s silence in 2003, I called his offices to point out the purpose of Article 1, Section 8 (see Lincoln quote above). Some very nice ladies listened, but were clearly tight-lipped and none too happy at the Constitutional point I made (let along the sharp contrast I drew with Congress’ approach to Clinton). NOW, though, they were quite pleased/ receptive/ relieved to hear me encourage Hagel and offer support for taking a stand in breaking ranks and getting vocal over this issue. Don’t forget, there are penalties for Republicans who break ranks.
    That said, my litmus test is the same as yours. If Hillary reeeaally believes she can “Sistah Souljah” her Dem base and survive, she’s mistaken. Will Repubs reverse course to support her? No way.

    Reply

  24. Frank says:

    Steve is off the track again. Hegel is, and was, one of the quintessential enabler’s of Bush’s war criminal behavior, as well as extraordinarily aupporting the bigoted and greedy social agenda Bush espoused.
    Steve’s gushing applause for Hegelis, in my opinion, over the top, but as I once before inputed to this blog, I attribute this kind of commentary to “network” maintenance, and to get the juices of POA boiling, as mine is now.

    Reply

  25. urbino says:

    Although I often find Chuck Hagel a refreshing voice in the GOP (particularly in his frankness on the subject of a military draft), I have to say I agree with others that his voting record during the Bush administration identifies him in my mind as not presidential timber.
    I have a personal litmus test for all ’08 presidential candidates. Anyone who doesn’t clearly, publicly, and completely renounce the Bush administration’s dangerous and sophomoric claims regarding executive power is unfit to hold any office in the executive branch.
    Hagel’s voting record for the past 6 years demonstrates he does not renounce Bush’s views of executive power, but rather went along with and enabled them. I can’t support that in a potential president. I can’t even support it in a member of Congress. I’d hate to see Chuck Hagel completely lose his voice within the GOP, but I can’t think of an office his record would allow me to support him for.
    Continuing along that line of thought, if Hagel resigns his senate seat to run for president, who is likely to inherit that seat? Would it add to the Democratic majority (thereby diminishing Joe Lieberman)? I know bupkis about Nebraska politics.

    Reply

  26. rich says:

    km4, POA, Jim:
    I think there’s a learning curve for pols “who should know better.” I get the strong sense that they’re too trusting, & assume everybody knows what they do, and are so immersed in daily bizness they can’t track or suss out King George’s game as it unfolded.
    So Gore thought Lieberman & advisors were likeminded, and tho he caught a glimmer at the end of the campaign, it was only after Florida & the Bush reality that the scales fell from his eyes.
    Hagel, too, is on a learning curve. I’m sure he assumed Bush was on the same page and wouldn’t put soldiers in the middle of an alien culture, breaking down doors & violating taboo after taboo until a civil war blossomed. Step on toes, earn the wrath of the locals. King George did that in 1776, and we got the 4th Amendment. King George did that in 2006 in Iraq–and we repeat the mistakes of Vietnam.
    I’ve called Senate offices w/bits of info on Bush’s activities, only to find suddenly shocked staffers eager to take down data & cites. They’ve got tons to do and need all the ammo they can get. If it’s not on TV or on the radar of their immediate news sources & social circles, they’re unlikely to see every key article.

    Reply

  27. Charlie says:

    Thanks for the comment on my blog. I enjoyed the article and particularly enjoyed the “informed gossip.”

    Reply

  28. rich says:

    Steve:
    >>”Hagel’s domestic policy views are not consistent with my own — and would no doubt conflict with Feingold — but when it comes to getting America’s international course reset — I could see Hagel and Feingold as partners.”<<
    Agreed that Hagel’s domestic policy positions seem to conflict with Feingold’s (& yours & mine).
    But on a cluster of foreign policy positions and Constitutional principles, and on how to use US forces in judicious, politically sound, and militarily effective ways–I see shared ground around which could coalesce a new ‘center.’
    Where supposedly ‘extreme’ left & right come full circle is in a conservative adherence to applied Constitutional values: it’s where the ACLU & the NRA-Goldwater both agree that limited government means all 10 Amendments can’t be airily explained or ‘interpreted’ away. And a pro-soldier, pro-national security platform would first, necessarily, activate Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution–because that stabilizes the commitment by guaranteeing soldiers aren’t sent into a militarily untenable (by virtue of being politically untenable) situation/war. That principle is a conservative one, held by many Democrats–and Hagel has come to recognize that unfettered Executive power to embark on a form of unconstrained hypermilitaristic adventurism is wholly contradicted by Article 1 Section 8. The original purpose of seating the Power to declare War in the leg branch is historically rooted in the American experience with King George III’s absolute power–a tyranny vested in one man.
    Domestically, Feingold & Hagel are closer together than most realize. Both hold values-based, even faith-based positions on abortion, etc. Many old-line Liberals are pro-choice because they prefer limited government interference in the private lives of a free people. Most of them are against HAVing an abortion–but know BigGovt can’t make those kinds of decisions. Hagel’s strong rightward values aren’t incompatible with the morals-driven politics of liberals–question is, can they leave disagreements at the door for the sake of effective policy? In short, I’m sure Hagel’s not in favor of back-alley abortions, but how could he & ~Feingold fuse a set of policies that would provide resources to prevent abortions? (for ex.)
    I say:
    1. There’s room for Hagel & Feingold to work on foreign policy & Constitutional issues–without strife on the domestic side.
    2. There’s room for both to address policy solutions domestically, without allowing points of disagreement to override what works in practice. What do our children (etc.) need to ensure they don’t have to make terrible choices?
    3. Both Hagel and Feingold are badly needed in the Senate. They’ll form a strong nucleus, which isn’t easily replaced, and will do some key work in pivotal areas that won’t get done if they run for Preznt or leave office. The country needs them both as a counterweight to those who find it expedient to compromise core American legal principles. Doesn’t matter if the next Preznt is Dem or Repub, right or left, the Inside-Center/Establishment needs to be brought back to the shared values that guide us in practice.
    That’ll take determined Senators who learned the lessons Vietnam held on Article 1 Section 8′s ability to to protect the country. And ensure US soldiers are fight armies, not populations; and do so in politically tenable foreign arenas. King George III lost to Washington because the Brits had lost those two key conditions.

    Reply

  29. Kathleen says:

    DRAFT RUSS FEINGOLD!!!!

    Reply

  30. Pissed Off American says:

    Watch this resolution die. And watch Hillary, Edwards, and Obama avoid it like the plague. I betcha Hagel won’t get near it either.
    Support Pro-Peace House Resolution
    On February 8th, 2007, Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA) introduced H. Res. 143, urging President Bush to appoint a Special Envoy for Middle East Peace. Take Action NOW!
    In calling for this appointment, the resolution articulates important principles about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:
    “peace and stability inside the Middle East have a direct and immediate impact on the national security of the United States and our allies around the world.”
    “diplomacy must be made a central component of United States policy in the Middle East.”
    “it is directly in the national interest of the United States to reengage both sides of this dispute in an urgent manner.”
    “the creation of a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians will reduce tension in the region and help repair America’s image in the international community.”
    “a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute will have a positive influence on the overall Arab-Israeli conflict and help reduce Iranian influence in the region.”
    “if the United States is unwilling to take a lead in facilitating real sustained negotiations, powers hostile to the United States and our interests may seek to fill the leadership vacuum.”
    “the United States must be proactive in this endeavor.”
    The ten original cosponsors on the resolution are: Blumenauer (D-OR), Ellison (D-MN), Klein (D-FL), McCollum (D-MN), Moore (D-WI), Murphy (D-PA), Price (D-NC), Schiff (D-CA), Schwartz (D-PA), and Snyder (D-AR).
    Congressional support for peace and these basic principles sends a strong signal to the U.S. Administration, and to Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
    Please contact your Representative. If he/she has already cosponsored this resolution, please thank them. If he/she has not, please ask them to cosponsor this important resolution.
    Take Action NOW!
    Click here to visit APN’s online Action Center where you can edit and send your letter with just a few easy clicks.
    Once the webpage loads, enter your Zip code in the boxes at the top or bottom of the page. The sample letter to your Member of Congress will automatically indicate whether your Representative has cosponsored this resolution.
    http://www.peacenow.org/updates.asp?rid=0&cid=3437

    Reply

  31. Kathleen says:

    Steve, I beleive Jack Reed is D-RI not D-NH.

    Reply

  32. Ben Rosengart says:

    Sr. Republican’s gotta be Brent Scowcroft.

    Reply

  33. Lady of the Lake says:

    Please correct: Jack Reed in from RI

    Reply

  34. Minnesotachuck says:

    ” . . the first step in solving the “military over-reach” problem is getting better management and figuring out why despite more dollars and resources being thrown at the Pentagon that perceived “security deliverables” are declining.”
    Start listening to the likes of the proteges of the late USAF Col. John Boyd, as well as those officers from all services (but especially the Army and the Marines) who speak and write truth, and thus never get past grades O-5 or O-6. Thomas Hammes, Col. USMC Ret., and Don Vandergriff, Maj. USA Ret. are the first in the latter group that come to mind, but there are others. Hammes book The Sling and the Stone is especially insightful. Vandergriff’s recently publishe Raising The Bar also sounds interesting from the reviews.

    Reply

  35. Jim says:

    . . .Give my best to Chuck — I hope he runs. . . You can tell him that.
    Still, nice to know Biden is still trying to win friends an influence people.

    Reply

  36. gq says:

    km4,
    Exactly. Clark was espousing the emerging middle east consensus while everyone else was saber rattling and clueless. Clark is the one with the foresight. Plus, Hagel seems to be telling GOP primary voters: “I’ll talk a lot about challenging Bush, but I’ll end up doing everything Bush wants when it comes time to vote (wink wink).” That doesn’t seem like the leadership Steve is always talking about in reference to Hagel.

    Reply

  37. km4 says:

    > I really don’t get it.
    I agree…where was Chuck Hagel 5 yrs ago ? We need a Pres. that leads by example so that pretty much eliminates ALL ( Dem and GOP ) except for but one…
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/2/3/125853/0813

    Reply

  38. Pissed Off American says:

    Oops…”Kucinbich”. Gads, what a typo. Sorry Dennis, I hope I didn’t just give the swiftboating slime on the right some ammo.

    Reply

  39. Pissed Off American says:

    “Congressionaly Quarterly found in a recent survey of 30 key votes that Hagel votes with the Bush administration more than any other U.S. Senator.”
    That says it all right there. The fact that Hagel has supported, condoned, and participated in the crimes of the Bush Administration earns him a place on the dock right next to Bush and Cheney.
    Again, Steve pays tribute to one of the enablers of this Administration. A man that has stood idly by as his nation murdered over 600,000 Iraqis. A man that has not only refused to employ the checks and balances that he was oath bound to employ, but who has been complicit in bringing this nation to the point it now finds itself.
    Meanwhile, Steve conmtinues to IGNORE the true patriots in Washington that have opposed this Administration’s criminal agression in Iraq from its beginning, such as Dennis Kucinbich, or John Conyers.
    Hagel, like Hillary, and politicians like them, are part of the PROBLEM, not part of the solution.

    Reply

  40. Jim says:

    After five years of rubber-stamping Bush’s Iraq Policy, Hagel speaks up in support of a half-measure to end the war, and is suddenly a hero.
    I really don’t get it.

    Reply

  41. Carroll says:

    Run Hagel, run!
    I hope Hagel is planning on running and I hope he hangs back a bit to give the others time to make us all sick of them.
    I would also like Hagele to hint that he might cross over and select a dem VP…we need this kind of twist to shake things up.
    I also think Hagle would get a lot of moderate dem voters like me..we don’t agree with his domestic vision but that is something we can fight out internally….right now our international problems are more important and Hagel, and Clark, are the only ones I have heard that I agree with on that issue.

    Reply

  42. Jay C says:

    “Sensible, enlightened realism in foreign policy”?
    From your blog to God’s ears, Steve: but just HOW far do you think that sort of approach is going to get with today’s Republican Party Establishment? A group which still appears to be firmly under the thumb of the “neocon” approach to the country’s external relations: unilateral, hegemonic, warmongering and neo-imperialistic: and still wedded to the notion of military force as the solution to all our foreign and domestic problems.
    Of course, the US’ foreign-policy prospects can only be improved by the departure of George W. Bush and his criminal gang in 2009: but Sen. Hagel, or anyone else who wants to restore international respect (note: that’s real respect, not toleration in fear of force) for American policy goals, is going to have, IMO, a tough hurdle to get over. Especially as today’s right wing seems to able to deal with any failure of policy with a “do it again, only harder” attitude.

    Reply

  43. km4 says:

    > Another top tier national security voice — of Democratic ilk — wrote this to me recently regarding a meeting with Senator Hagel that he knew I would be attending:
    …Give my best to Chuck — I hope he runs. . . You can tell him that.
    Sounds like Hagel is following the strategy of Wes Clark.
    http://securingamerica.com/
    Clark in ’08

    Reply

  44. ET says:

    What Would Lincoln Do?
    Abraham Lincoln was a member of Congress. He penned the following words while the United States was at war with Mexico, under the presidency of James Polk:
    “Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so, whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose – and you allow him to make war at pleasure. Study to see if you can fix any limit to his power in this respect, after you have given him so much as you propose. If, today, he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada, to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, ‘I see no probability of the British invading us’ but he will say to you ‘be silent; I see it, if you don’t.’ The provision of the Constitution giving the war-making power to Congress, was dictated, as I understand it, by the following reasons: Kings had always been involving and impoverishing their people in wars, pretending generally, if not always, that the good of the people was the object. This, our Convention understood to be the most oppressive of all Kingly oppressions; and they resolved to so frame the Constitution that no one man should hold the power of bringing this oppression upon us.”
    But Lincoln did more than talk. He talked pointedly, in minute particulars, about the fraud that had been used to launch that illegal and imperialistic war. Congressman Lincoln introduced a resolution demanding that the President provide proof. Polk claimed to have launched that war only after American blood had been shed on American soil. Lincoln’s resolution required Polk to identify the spot where that blood had been shed.
    “Let him answer fully, fairly, and candidly,” Lincoln said of the wartime President. “Let him answer with facts and not with arguments. Let him attempt no evasion, no equivocation.”
    When the President did not answer, Lincoln and John Quincy Adams sought a formal investigation of the president’s pre-war intelligence claims, and of his use of secret funds to launch his fraudulent and illegal war.
    Under this pressure, President Polk announced that he would not seek reelection. Lincoln, Adams, and their allies in Congress then passed a resolution honoring the service of Major General Zachary Taylor “in a war unnecessarily and unconstitutionally begun by the President of the United States.”
    A complete account of the above series of events can be found in John Nichols’ “The Genius of Impeachment: The Founders Cure for Royalism.”
    More highlights:
    http://www.tpmcafe.com/blog/ticia/2007/feb/18/what_would_lincoln_do

    Reply

  45. David N says:

    While I agree with the comments that the military is not the solution to our security problem, I would like to hear from Hegel and others what they think the alternative solution is.
    Were the U.S. military forces to have been used effectively to do what they do best, and they had not been broken in an unnecessary invasion of a country that did not attack us and did not threaten us, then it would not be necessary to increase the size of the armed forces.
    Were there to be a refocusing of U.S. resources into the real conflict with fundamentalist Islam, it would still not be necessary to increase the size of the U.S. armed forces. It will be expensive enough to repair the damage Bush/Cheney has done to our military — and to take care of the lives they have broken — as it is.
    What is really needed is programs to expose more people to the real ideas of a democratic society, as you, Ikenberry, and Slaughter delineated them in the Princeton Project. What is needed for that to happen, however, is a government leadership that believes in at least some of those ideas to begin with.
    As long as the Christo-fascist, corporatist cabal that occupied the White House by undemocratic means, and does not believe in the principles and practice of democracy, is running our country, that cannot happen.
    Not to put it in too subtle terms . . .

    Reply

  46. JohnH says:

    “Hagel votes with the Bush administration more than any other U.S. Senator.” DISQUALIFIED!!! Why would ordinary Americans vote for someone who is lock step with Bush’s despicable domestic record?
    A better fit for Hagel: Secretary of State

    Reply

  47. Steve Clemons says:

    That would be a cool partnership Rich. Hagel’s domestic policy views are not consistent with my own — and would no doubt conflict with Feingold — but when it comes to getting America’s international course reset — I could see Hagel and Feingold as partners.
    steve

    Reply

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *