Why are the Republicans in such a tizzy over Hagel? There is no serious question about his desire to defend US national security. What exactly is the problem? None other than Senator John McCain, part of the neo-con in-crowd but with a disturbing tendency to blurt out the truth when you least expect it, has revealed the answer.
there’s a lot of ill will towards Senator Hagel because when he was a Republican, he attacked President Bush mercilessly and say he was the worst President since Herbert Hoover and said the surge was the worst blunder since the Vietnam War, which was nonsense. [Think Progress.]
Hagel understated it; Bush was the worst president since that utterly forgotten one in the 1840s who invaded Mexico. More to the point, McCain is alluding to the real issue here – not a decade old policy decision that everyone knows was a disaster and that no one in Washington is willing to think about any more, since they were all complicit (with the exception of a tiny handful including Hagel). To imagine that all the Republicans in the Senate are pouting ten years later over a dead issue is ridiculous. The real issue is not the old war in Iraq but the new wars that some are lusting for.
It has seemed pretty obvious all along that Republicans were opposing Hagel because of Hagel’s refusal to bow down before the Neo-Con bandwagon back when most of the US population was frankly going nuts and looking for someone to punch in the face and the Bush administration took advantage of that emotion. More briefly, the war party still wants war and they fear that Hagel will stand in their way. Now you may think that the slaughter of 100,000 Iraqis just so that Iran could become the most influential outside power in Iraq seems like questionable policy. You may also think that a war on false pretenses that wrecked the US economy, or at least distracted everyone enough to let Wall St. steal us blind, seems like questionable policy. But a lot of CEOs and politicians have a different point of view. To them, the decade of war was just fine – good for business, good for political careers, good for lining their pockets. They did not fight; their kids did not fight; and they did not lose money in the recession: you refunded all the money they lost, remember? $19 trillion. That’s a big refund; you ought to remember.
War is good business, and they’d like another one. I thank John McCain for confirming what is at the core of Republican opposition to Hagel. It is just amazing the things McCain sometimes says, isn’t it?