I know Chuck Hagel can seem to be a dirty word around the conservative blogosphere. Indeed, he has done much to burn just about every bridge he could along the way to now being nominated by all conservatives' public enemy number one. However, I am less angry about this nomination than a lot of people. What I don't get is Hagel's fit into the continuum of the Democratic Party. What does this say about the Democrats? That they cannot find one decent defense person in their entire party. They are moribund on defense issues. Just look, they had to keep Robert Gate, although an non-partisan guy, an appointment from the W. years, and now they are going to someone who has a lifetime 83.7 rating from the American Conservative Union.
He voted against changing Don't Ask Don't Tell. He voted against the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. He sat silent and supported Jesse Helms' killing of the William Weld nomination. He was leery of the Bush Administration later on Iraq and Afghanistan, but a lot of people were. He voted conservative on the Medicare Prescription Drug Act, and voted for all of George W. Bush's judicial nominees. I think Hagel is the best we can do from this Administration.
I supported Deb Fischer, and Hagel did burn that bridge quite effectively, by endorsing good 'ol Bob Kerrey, but in reality, that should not stop us from recognizing that Hagel is probably the best we are ever going to get from Obama and this White House.
His views on Israel are troubling to some, but even AIPAC has stated they have no objection to him. So I think we just take Hagel and know that this spells death to the Democrats and national defense. I almost bet that more Democrats will vote against him than Republicans in his confirmation vote.