I only saw excerpts but I hereby nominate Chuck Hagel for the year's worst performance at a Senate confirmation hearing. He seemed unprepared for the predictable preening and posturing of Little Lindsey, Senator Walnuts and the new malaka on the block, Ted Cruz. Surely, Hagel didn't expect relevant questions from that pack of silly billies?
It's been said before and I'll say it again. Being the high panjandrum of the Pentagon is an administrative, not a policy job. The country tried going down that road with Rummy. Does anyone other than Wolfowitz, Senor or Bolton want a revival of Rummy-ism? The time the Dems put a policy guy over there, Les Aspin, it was a disaster for all concerned including the appointee. The man couldn't administer his way out of a foot locker...
Here's hoping that Hagel isn't the guy we saw yesterday. His previous reputation was as an eloquent straight-shooting iconoclast. Yesterday, I was hoping Sheriff Barack took the bullets out of his gun ala Barney Fife. It is also possible that the administration decided it had the votes and let Hagel go into rope a dope mode, and take a beating from Obama's enemies. I sure hope so, y'all.
Slate's Dave Weigel has been all over the Hagel story. I'll let him have the last word from his brilliantly titled piece, Fluster Chuck:
Most Republican questions scored Hagel not for his views on defense spending but on his support of Israel and foreign policy in the neighborhood. “I’ve seen a number of times,” said Sen. Roy Blunt, “you’ve said you’re pro-Israel, but you don’t have to be reflexively what Israel is for.” That was the totality of Blunt’s argument—well, that and how Hagel had been saluted by University of Chicago political scientist John Mearsheimer, one of the co-authors of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. Lindsey Graham had wanted to know who had ever been spooked by The Lobby and what stupid things they’d done out of panic. The answer was right in front of him, at the witness table.