#1 Hagel's Senate confirmation hearing shocks supporters02-01-2013, 12:32 PM
Can't wait to hear how the "realists" spin this one:
February 1, 2013 Hagel's Senate confirmation hearing shocks supporters
The big question about former Senator Chuck Hagel's nomination as Secretary of Defense used to be the content of views. Now, it is his competence. He embarrassed himself and those who have publicly backed his nomination, in particular Senators Chuck Schumer and Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin.
There were more cringe-inducing moments than can be related here. For instance, his questioning by Lindsey Graham, as summarized by Paul Mirengoff of Powerline:
Are will still at war, Graham wants to know. After some stammering, Hagel says "Yes."It got worse. Michael Hirsh of National Journal:
Graham's next question is "name one person in Congress who has been intimidated by the Jewish lobby." Hagel can't do it (or won't).
Now Graham wants Hagel to name one dumb thing Congress has done in response to pressure from the Israeli lobby. Hagel can't do it (or, actually, won't).
Graham wants to know why Hagel was one of 12 Senators who didn't sign a letter affirming Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. Hagel says that Senators shouldn't sign these kinds of letters - it infringes on the president's prerogative. But then, why did Hagel sign a letter denouncing the treatment of Jews by the Russians? Hagel can't answer, at least not coherently.
Graham asks if Hagel would vote today against designating the IRG a terrorist organiztion. Hagel hems and haws. Then he says he would, at least, reconsider the matter, since "times change."
Now Graham is asking about a letter Hagel refused to sign denouncing the intifada. He wants to know if Graham will admit that not signing this letter was a mistake. Hagel says he will look at the letter and answer later.
It be a letter that Hagel clearly should have signed because liberal Sen. Blumenthal, who follows Graham in the questioning, tells Hagel he hopes Hagel will now say he should have signed it.
Perhaps one of the worst moments in a fairly bad day for Hagel came when even one of his apparent supporters, committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., was forced to restate his position for him after Hagel twice misspoke about a critical issue: whether the Obama administration would accept mere "containment" of Iran's nuclear program, rather than prevention of it. Hagel, handed a piece of paper, said, "I misspoke and said I supported the president's position on containment. If I said that, I meant to say we don't have a position on containment," Hagel said. That's when Levin interjected: "We do have a position on containment, and that is we do not favor containment."Hagel's failure to demonstrate a grasp of the fundamentals of the policies he will be implementing if confirmed is triply shocking. First, he is a veteran Senator, well known for asking tough questions in hearings. So he has no excuse for not preparing better. Second, he has let it be known that he had done three mock hearings in preparation for his big days yesterday. If so, he failed to learn anything from the experience. Third, the controversial statements he was grilled about have been drawing criticism for a very long time. He has had more than enough time to devise answers that would be at least slightly artful dodges.
The result is that at least some Democratic senators must be having qualms about voting to confirm a man who is visibly incompetent. CNN's Dana Bash reported on the buzz on the Senate floor about many being "shocked at how ill-prepared" Hagel was:
With 55 Democrats, even as dismal a performance as Hagel's is likely to be confirmed, unless Republicans decide to filibuster. That can't be ruled out, nor can a surge of conscience, however unlikely, among Democrats who understand that the world is too dangerous to allowthis man to be in charge of the United States military.
Perhaps the best indicator of Hagel's dismal performance is the comment offered by one of his Israel-hating supporters, M.J. Rosenberg, formerly of Media Matters. He tweeted:
I spent a couple of hours with Hagel a few years ago. Talked with him about Israel. Happily, he is lying today & knows it. He'll be a good SeDef.Jonathan Tobin of Commentary summed it up:
Chuck Hagel demonstrated today that he isn't fit for such a senior post. His incompetent testimony should have embarrassed the president and backers like Chuck Schumer, who gambled his own reputation on a man who has little credibility. That may not be enough to derail a nomination that is being rammed through on a partisan basis by the Senate's majority caucus. But today's disappointing show by Hagel shamed not just Democrats but a nation whose defense is being entrusted to an incompetent liar.
The seven Democrat senators up for re-election in red states in 2014 need to think long and hard about voting to confirm Hagel. If they do so after this performance, the steady stream of gaffes and probable disasters coming from his tenure in office can be hung around their necks.
Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/...upporters.html at February 01, 2013 - 09:20:55 AM CST
Pat Buchanan is going to be really pissed off.
02-01-2013, 12:58 PM
He will get confirmed, and we will be siding with iran and attacking Israel by years end.
I love my God, my country, my flag, and my troops ....
02-01-2013, 02:57 PMGun Control: The theory that a woman found dead in an alley, raped and strangled with her panty hose, is somehow morally superior to a woman explaining to police how her attacker got that fatal bullet wound - Unknown
The problem is Empty People, Not Loaded Guns - Linda Schrock Taylor
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02-01-2013, 04:59 PM
With how things have been for the past couple of years. It will not surprise me if he gets confirmed. Some of the dems may say they won't vote for him, but when it comes time to pull the lever, they will do so in his favor.
I love my God, my country, my flag, and my troops ....
02-01-2013, 05:15 PM
And, since you've weighed in again on the subject, I'm going to bring up my previous post from the other Hagel thread so that you can finally respond to what I asked you there:
Since you seem to be obsessed with Peter Lawler, perhaps you should read the article that you linked to, specifically the following:
Now today’s “realists” sometimes object that it might have made sense to view the Cold War as an ideological or even “existential” conflict. But now that communism—and totalitarian universalism in general–have been consigned to the dustbin of history, it makes sense to think more exclusively in terms of interests again. From a realistic view, neocons exaggerated a lot when they called the war against Jihadism or “Islamic fascism” World War IV (or yet another global, ideological war), just as they exaggerated—at this point beyond belief—the existential significance of 9/11. And they embarked on a bloody mission impossible when they acted on the thought that we could save ourselves from terror by imposing “regime change”—liberal democracy—on the terrorist-supporting nations.The article that you cited repeats my arguments, and blows yours out of the water. Lawler explains, in one sentence, why Hagel is wrong, citing his indifference to the outcome of a Middle Eastern conflict between two nuclear powers. He also refers to your neo-con/Straussian conspiracy crap as "stupid" and "slanderous". You really think that this article helps your position?
I’m somewhat sympathetic to this kind of criticism of Bush’s policies, but only to a point. For one thing, the critics seem incapable of avoiding exaggeration in the other direction. It’s not true that 9/11 had no significance as a security threat, a threat that really did need to be countered aggressively and globally. And it’s not true that Bush was wrong or even naïve to characterize the motivation of those who threatened us as fundamentally evil—or not mainly our adversaries in some clash of interests. They think and act as deranged tyrants.
Imagine the blowback—in the name of universal human rights—if Israel were actually destroyed because we didn’t do what we could do. And certainly it’s in our interest—in all nations’ interest—that the radical government of Iran—one fundamentally hostile not only to Israel but to us and our understanding of who we are—not go nuclear. The “realist” idea that the self-interested calculus involved in the theory of nuclear deterrence could actually keep the peace in a militantly religious region isn’t so realistic. What we do for Israel and about Iran are matters of prudence, but they aren’t, as Hagel has suggested, matters that can we can view with realistic indifference.
From a genuinely prudent or Reaganite point of view, we have to get beyond criticisms of the Iraq war based on “Bush lied, thousands died” or some neocon/Straussian conspiracy based upon an elitist application of the Platonic “noble lie” to contemporary American circumstances. I can’t emphasize enough how stupid and slanderous those criticisms are; no one could make them who’s actually read Strauss’ interpretation of the The president did not reflect sufficiently on how risky an invasion of that magnitude was, and how little we really knew about the facts on the ground in Iraq. He did remarkably little, in fact, to solidify domestic support for the war, certainly not for the far too unexpected protracted and bloody war. Given how unstable or inevitably transient that consensus was, he should have given more thought to the consequences of its collapse. The result was devastating for America’s ability to project its interests and, yes, in some measure its principles throughout the world. It squandered the confidence in our capacities and our mission that had been restored so effectively by Reagan both at home and throughout the world. It also, of course, eroded our real military power in many ways. Finally and very significantly, the failure of the war to achieve its goals was exploited by the Democrats on the domestic front. People couldn’t help but lose confidence in Republican policies—the Republican version of what prudence is—in general. (This paragraph is indebted to my dialogue with the threader Daniel Fish at the Postmodern Conservative blog.)
You are really flailing in this thread. I don't think that I've ever seen you this desperate and incoherent. In fact, you really remind me of Gator.
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02-01-2013, 05:19 PMEducation without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.
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C. S. Lewis
Do not ever say that the desire to "do good" by force is a good motive. Neither power-lust nor stupidity are good motives. (Are you listening Barry)?:mad:
02-07-2013, 03:29 PM
WALLACE: Bill, let’s look at this from the Republican point of view. Will Republicans -- should Republicans change or modify their strong opposition to gun control, especially -- not the right to bear arms but, especially on the question of these weapons of mass destruction? You know, as I say, the handgun that could fire five bullets in a second, the magazines 100 rounds. Should Republicans consider giving on that issue?Now, does calling for an honest debate equal advocacy of a gun ban? Does looking at mental health issues (as the NRA and other pro-gun groups have proposed) constitute advocacy of a gun ban? Yes, he is further to the left on this issue than you and I, and he admits it. I will concede this, especially since you made the case without going to Pat Buchanan's loons, but he's not exactly in the same league as the Democrats who are genuinely seeking to ban guns.
KRISTOL: I think Republicans and everyone else should take a serious look at what might work. And I think the speaker could well ask the Republican chairman of the Judiciary Committee to hold hearings, but hold serious hearings, about what would work. Don’t do something symbolic like the assault weapons ban, which did no good and made everyone feel good and ended up evaporating and couldn’t be sustained even in a Democratic -- wasn’t restored when the Democrats controlled everything in 2009, 2010.
So I’m totally open to having serious -- and there’s a lot of social science research on gun control. I don’t think it’s very favorable to most efforts of gun control, and I think -- but everything has to be on the table, too. Is it sensible to have gun- free zones? Maybe elementary -- maybe the money would be better spent having security guards than having, you know, new background checks in a case where this -- the purchase of the guns in this case passed background checks.
Connecticut’s a pretty liberal state. I believe the Democratic Party controls all the branches of government in Connecticut. They chose not to ban the things we’re talking about, I guess, right? They could have, couldn’t they?
EASTON: State laws are useless. I mean, you can order things online now. I mean, it’s, sort of...
WALLACE: He did buy them in the state...
KRISTOL: I’m just saying, let’s have an honest debate. Let’s have a debate about privacy laws and mental health. But I do think the Republican Party shouldn’t be in the position of saying you can’t even discuss this, and I think the speaker could easily ask, since they control one house of Congress -- Senator Reid could do this on the other side, and so they’d have serious hearings about the legal issues and the public policy issues.
Is it then perhaps my radical past, now so firmly disowned, that bothers me and makes CCNY unhallowed ground? I think not. I have no regret about that episode in my life. Joining a radical movement when one is young is very much like falling in love when one is young. The girl may turn out to be rotten, but the experience of love is so valuable it can never be entirely undone by the ultimate disenchantment.That doesn't sound like he's still a radical, only that he doesn't entirely regret having been one in college. Lots of conservatives started out liberal and grew out of it (Ronald Reagan, Winston Churchill, etc.). My parents were Democrats (my mom's death ended her party activities, although I'm sure that she still votes for them), but that doesn't make me one. Since then, Irving Kristol has renounced his leftist roots, and not just recently. Claiming that Bill Kristol is a Trotskyite now because his father was one when he was a teenager amounts to slander.
This approach begins from certain neoconservative premises: first, that U.S. policy and the international community more broadly need to concern themselves with what goes on inside other countries, not just their external behavior, as realists would have it; and second, that power — specifically American power — is often necessary to bring about moral purposes. It also draws on a neoconservative principle that neoconservatives seemed to have forgotten in the lead-up to the Iraq war: namely, that ambitious social engineering is very difficult and ought always to be approached with care and humility. What we need, in other words, is a more realistic Wilsonianism that better matches means to ends in dealing with other societies.
Realistic Wilsonianism differs from classical realism by taking seriously as an object of U.S. foreign policy what goes on inside states. To say that nation-building or democracy promotion is hard is not to say that it is impossible or that is should be scrupulously avoided. Indeed, weak or failed states are one of the biggest sources of global disorder today, and it is simply impossible, for reasons relating both to security and to morality, for the world's sole superpower to walk away from them. Neither realists nor neoconservatives have paid sufficient attention to the problem of development over the years, nor have they focused on parts of the world like Africa or Latin America where development is most problematic (except, of course, when countries in these regions become security threats).
Realistic Wilsonianism differs from neoconservatism (and Jacksonian nationalism) insofar as it takes international institutions seriously. We do not want to replace national sovereignty with unaccountable international organizations; the United Nations is not now nor will it ever become an effective, legitimate seat of global governance. On the other hand, we do not now have an adequate set of horizontal mechanisms of accountability between the vertical stovepipes we label states—adequate, that is, to match the intense economic and social interpenetration that we characterize today as globalization….
Now, I happen to disagree with a number of his premises, but nowhere does he say that we should casually overturn regimes because they might someday be a threat. That is a self-serving misinterpretation of his position, as demonstrated by Peter Lawler, whose article (which you cited) directly contradicted your summaries of his arguments and as well. Preemption is necessary when another nation is an imminent threat. Lawler correctly identifies the Iranian leadership as "deranged tyrants", and rejects treating them as rational actors. He also refers to your arguments regarding Straussian plots as a slander. I don't find your reasoning compelling on this, and your links either undermine your case or are not credible.
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