It’s as if Barack Obama just got done reading Moneyball by Michael Lewis and has now dedicated his remaining time in office to doing the exact opposite of what Billy Bean would do. It’s a shame the one of the two with actual talent is running a baseball club. You see, Moneyball was really a book about how Billy Bean figured out how to hire the right people and thereby greatly improved his organization. President Obama, on the other hand, has just nominated Chuck Hagel as his next Secretary of Defense.
Maybe this is just me, but if I were Colonel Jessup, Chuck Hagel is not the man I’d want up there on the wall*. Instead, Chuck Hagel reminds me of philosophical predictions of the failed final men that would inhabit a flaccid, deadbeat West. Nietzsche’s portrayal of “The Last Man” springs to the forefront. Wikipedia gives a concise description of what a mediocrity the Last Man would truly be.
The last man is tired of life, takes no risks, and seeks only comfort and security. Nietzsche said that the society of the last man would be too barren to support the growth of great individuals. The last man is possible only by mankind's having bred an apathetic creature who has no great passion or commitment, who is unable to dream, who merely earns his living and keeps warm.
Yesterday marked the beginning of Chuck Hagel’s confirmation hearing before the United States Senate. All corners of the commentariat had a field day with just how awful Chuck Hagel truly was. He was dismally unprepared. Hagel was so pathetically lowbrow that Giraldo Rivera took one look at that fact that Hagel was an Ex-Senator and decided “Heck, even *I* could do that job.”
CNN’s Dana Bash described the mood in The US Senate as perplexed.
They were very surprised that Senator Hagel is simply not doing as well as many people thought he would. …I mean, all the talk that the Senators are shocked about how ill prepared he is on some of the most basic controversial comments that he made that he and everyone knew would be asked about ... So simply put, there is, as I said, disbelief ... There's a lot of people who were perplexed here.
That may well be because Hagel has said in the past that US Senators were intimidated by the Jewish Lobby. Senator Graham of SC thought it might be helpful if Chuck Hagel could name one. Perhaps Senator Gillibrand of NY was scratching her head after she asked him if the US should recognize Iran’s government. Hagel offered up the following pabulum.
"What I meant to say, should have said is - it is recognizable**," Hagel said. "It has been recognized, is recognized at the United Nations. Most of our allies have embassies there. That is what I should have said and thank you."
Hagel also raised questions about his fitness for the job by announcing that he wasn’t in a policy-making position. If The Pentagon doesn’t help shape US defense policy, smart minds could envision far more lucrative uses for the real estate. He suggested Israel’s anti-terror policies were morally equivalent with the behavior of Hezballah’s terrorism***. He further announced that if confirmed, he intended to know a lot more than he currently does. That apparently isn’t a very high bar for personal improvement. As one anonymous Democrat remarked.
“It is very clear from the testimony that Sen. Hagel will not be bringing the potato salad to the next Mensa picnic.”
Hagel did score a few points by stating he favored a strong military and wouldn’t be crazy about Iran getting nukes. The Obama Administration still officially supports him in a tepid fashion. Nobody actually put a hold on his nomination so it will come to a vote. This is a vote that President Obama will probably win. President Obama will get his man, regardless of how unqualified this man happens to be to hold any significant position of leadership.
Never you peons mind the fact that if evolution ran any further backwards, Chuck Hagel would climb up a tree and start peeling a banana. As outgoing Sec. State Hillary Clinton famously asked: “What difference does it make?” If we’ve really reached the part of Thus Spoke Zarathustra where we’re down to The Last Man; not too much. Just relax and have another one. The inevitable ascendancy of the execrable Chuck Hagel is probably just a sign that it’s bedtime for Democracy.
*-It’s not out of the question that Hagel would earn an Article 15 for urinating off of said metaphorical wall. He’s that much of a yutz.
**-Pol Pot and Idi Amin were recognizable. The newspapers had pictures and everything.
***-I strongly advise not saying that to a USMC veteran of a certain age cohort.