January 31, 2013

Did Ted Cruz bully Chuck Hagel?

David Weigel thinks so.

My impression is that Hagel wasn't as bad as the naysayers are saying, but he should be tougher and more ready to fight if he's supposed to be the Secretary of Defense. Really: Why Hagel?

I'm inclined to think the President deserves the Cabinet he chooses, and I don't approve of destroying a guy just because there's blood in the water. But honestly, don't we need a stronger Secretary of Defense than Chuck Hagel?

66 comments:

David said...

" . . . don't we need a stronger Secretary of Defense than Chuck Hagel?"

Gee, I'm not sure. Let's let history decide.

edutcher said...

To answer the first, no, Cruz just played a medley of Hagel's greatest hits.

In answer to the second question, it's been reported Hagel and Zero were BFFs when it came to dissing the campaign in Iraq and their views on Israel mesh nicely, too.

Problem is, Hagel, and those who remember '03 will confirm, is a real dolt (like a great many in the World's Greatest Deliberative Body) and it came shining through at the hearings.

As to the third question, of course, but Choomie loves his bootlickers. We need somebody to fight for the Armed Forces, but Hagel ain't him.

(as I've said, Flournoy would probably be the best choice among those who'd have a realistic shot, but, as she's one of the few Obamatrons who actually has a clue, she hasn't got a prayer; I have a feeling strong women intimidate little Barry)

Revenant said...

Stronger? Eh. Smarter would be nice, though.

Mark said...

What difference does it make at this point?

Dave in Tucson said...

SecDef is not a post for the easily bullied.

I don't approve of destroying a guy just because there's blood in the water.

Robert Bork was unavailable for comment.

Mark said...

I would suggest Obama throw Chuck under the bus and nominate Colin Powell, but RINO though he is, I'm sure being in the same room with him would still make Barry constantly feel the need to go potty.

elkh1 said...

"don't we need a stronger Secretary of Defense than Chuck Hagel?"

Depends on whom we need to defend against, yes?

Seems the Administration's baddest enemy is the shitty little Jewish state. Hagel is the strongest SecDef.

Mark said...

And of course, Condi Rice would make Barry constantly worry about an IBM (Involuntary Bowel Movement).

traditionalguy said...

Hagel is the right man to re-distribute our Defense forces. We will from now on wait for our enemies to attack and drive inland over our borders and then defend ourselves at the Missippi and the Rockies.

The war mongers of old since 1945alwaysto fight on other people's lands...and that is just so selfish.

furious_a said...

If Hagel can't handle the junior senator from Texas, I'd hate to see what his Russian, Chinese and Iranian counterparts would do to him.

Personal aside, I voted for David Dewhurst in the primary but Mr. Cruz will do quite nicely.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill, Republic of Texas said...

"attempting to prove that Hagel agreed with callers who accused Israel of "war crimes" and the United States of "bullying," because he quickly agreed with the questions and moved on."

Wow this Weigel guy sure is convincing that Hagel was unfairly attacked.

furious_a said...

I don't approve of destroying a guy just because there's blood in the water.

John Tower was unavailable for comment.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Senator Cruz's questioning of Senator Hagel was proper. You can see that Hagel had prepared a standard defense for all questions on his record of remarks, consisting of "I can't remember, and would have to see the context....". The defense was to avoid making honest, candid answers which would reveal his true opinions.

Cruz must have known that he'd pull that dodge, and brought sufficient aids to defeat the obfuscation. They worked. Round to Cruz.

jacksonjay said...

We will not need a smarter SecDef if re-fueling others and droning is all we've got planned!

Bruce Hayden said...

The guy has been in the Senate, what, a couple weeks now? Dems should be scared of this guy. Really scared. Even if he weren't Hispanic, which he is.

Original Mike said...

Rev beat me to it.

SGT Ted said...

Kitchen, heat. Get out of. Can't stand it.

Some assembly required.

bpm4532 said...

To nominate such a weak guy says a lot about Obama and his plans for a video-game drone strategy.

SGT Ted said...

I think the term "bullying" should trigger the use of the "civility bullshit" tag, especially when it is used to describe Executive Cabinet Position confirmation hearings.

Tough questions should be expected and required. To call tough querstioning "bullying" is complete bullshit.

What sort of pansy objects to tough questions at a confirmation hearing as "bullying"?

Sam L. said...

There's nothing better than giving him the opportunity to explain and defend statements he's made. This is, of course, "extreme" and "vicious" and "completely unwarranted".

Jack Rhoades said...

"My impression is that Hagel wasn't as bad as the naysayers are saying..."

ehhhh...permit me to differ. He was pathetic.

Hagel makes Robert Strange* McNamara look like Dick Cheney. The former is notorious in the military for his near-destruction of our professional soldier force in the 1960s--see H. R. McMaster's Dereliction of Duty) and say what you will about the latter but he was wicked smart and breathtakingly competent by comparison.

That said, this is a perfect choice for Obama. Both detest the very thought of a strong America and are viscerally hostile to any appearance of significant, unilateral martial capability by the United States, at least when it comes to actual combat against an enemy force. Like most on the totalitarian Left (I refuse to sully the word "liberal"), they are ashamed of the country's powerful and justifiably proud past and are actively and consciously working to undo it.

It won't affect me (much) but it will have an impact (at times kinetic) on my daughter's generation and beyond. They will relearn the lessons the US learned in 1917 and 1941-42.

Let's hope we survive when the challenge comes.

*Yes, that really IS what the "S" stands for in "Robert S. McNamara."

edutcher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
edutcher said...

Sam L. said...

There's nothing better than giving him the opportunity to explain and defend statements he's made. This is, of course, "extreme" and "vicious" and "completely unwarranted".

garage would agree

SGT Ted said...

What sort of pansy objects to tough questions at a confirmation hearing as "bullying"?

The Hildabeast, Lurch?

Julius Reincarnate said...

Why Hagel?

Because he has an independent streak and a willingness to look at things from varying points of view.

That is prime asset that America needs in its War Department right now.

Or do you think that things have been a success? If so, could that be because your criteria for assessing American imperialism has slid down the slippery slope... and now an unwavering projection of strength is all that matters for you, Frau Professor???

This...

But honestly, don't we need a stronger Secretary of Defense than Chuck Hagel?

...reveals your criteria and the fact that your brain has been washed so much that it is OH SO SQUEAKY CLEAN!!!

We've had twelve years of military debacle, twelve years of failure, twelve years of building up the military-surveillance-industrial complex. Twelve years of increasing secrecy, to the point that now Congress doesn't even discuss any significant foreign policy issues in a way that can publicly observed. Twelve years of shredding constitutional protections for individuals.

Twelve years is a long time. Everything and then some has changed from 2001 to now, just as everything changed in the twelve years after 1933.

Ted Crux certainly did bully Hagel. The way he took the quote so completely out-of-context is wrong and un-American and wrong and shameful and wrong.

Obama clearly nominated an outside-the-box guy because he wants the military to do other than it has been doing. Sensible, since it has been doing nothing but failing during the Bush days, leaving Obama to extricate America from the failures.

I hope Obama will stand behind his wise nomination, because those who haven't yet drank their fill of the Kool-Aid support him. The rest of the people of America-- and maybe you, too, you constitution-bashing ConLawProf-- is a lost cause.

great Unknown said...

Excuse me, Professor, but could you elaborate on how "the President deserves the Cabinet he chooses" comports with the Constitutional requirement of Advice and Consent?

narciso said...

Seriously, to use his own rather prolix statements against him, is Bullying. but he is a Journolist, so why the surprise, except that being Tehran's favorite doesn't really win you support.

Remsen said...

Who cares about what the President deserves...I care about what the country deserves. And we deserve a lot better than the hacks being put up.

Penny said...

Just a week ago, Chuck Schumer asked Chuck Hagel the REALLY tough questions.

So Chuck. How do you feel about Israel?

Well Chuck, Israel is our special friend.

So Chuck. How do you feel about Iran?

Well Chuck, a nuclear Iran is not acceptable.

KISS! Keepin' it simple, stupid, with the two buck Chucks.

narciso said...

Seriously, to use his own rather prolix statements against him, is Bullying. but he is a Journolist, so why the surprise, except that being Tehran's favorite doesn't really win you support.

wyo sis said...

"Obama clearly nominated an outside-the-box guy because he wants the military to do other than it has been doing."

Hard to argue with this. It's pretty much Obama's signature move. He wants everything that has worked to make the United States a strong, wealthy and free country to be other than that.
We're only four years in and we can already see how far that kind of outside-the-box thinking has got us.

EMD said...

So many pussies in the whorehouse that is D.C.

Broomhandle said...

Right Julius. We've had twelve years of it. So four years of it under Obama? Really, the impregnable stupidity of statists makes my dzong look positively porous.

Kelly said...

Hagel will be a disaster. He had one of the largest turnovers of staff in the senate, no one could work with the guy.

mccullough said...

Whether its Hillary, Kerry, or Hagel, all three deserve the grandstanding treatment they've received since they all pulled similar antics when they were senators.

I was a bit surprised as to how stumbling Hagel came across. Is he on some medication?

Edward said...

Installing a sock puppet in a
position which may call for a
steel fist in a velvet glove:
What could go wrong ?
Does anybody else remember how
Nurse Ratched got rid of an
unruly patient ?

Revenant said...

Obama clearly nominated an outside-the-box guy

He supported the invasion of Afghanistan, the Patriot act, and the invasion of Iraq.

That's some real outside-the-box thinkin', there.

McTriumph said...

Any one watch the actual hearings? When Hagel answered questions he reminded me of Porky Pig at the end of cartoons.

Brew Master said...

Obama has legendary bad judgement when it comes to personnel choices.

This is just another prime example. Failure starts at the top.

jacksonjay said...

Maybe he wasn't yet aclimated to DC altitude.

David said...

Hagel would make the perfect Defense Secretary — for China.

Brew Master said...

Obama clearly nominated an outside-the-box guy because he wants the military to do other than it has been doing. Sensible, since it has been doing nothing but failing

I'm guessing that you are forgetting who has been in charge for the last 4 years. So, now Obama wants the military to do something other than what he wanted the military to do since 2008?

Is he attempting to recover from Bush failures, as you say, or his own?

TmjUtah said...

I think the President is having to scrape the bottom of the next barrel down to find any breathing politico that doesn't make him look like the empty suit that he is.

Just an opinion, mind you.

This administration's personnel roster?

Didn't anybody watch Major League?

Bottom of the standings, full speed ahead!

TmjUtah said...

You have to understand the goals before any of the policies or personnel make sense.

Crash the system.

There, now you know.

Peter said...

It would be kind of nice to see my grandchildren grow up the kind of strong America in which I grew up. This guy and the collection of thieves and drones in the other cabinet positions won't do it.

Mind you I'm not too impressed with Washington Republican, either. My Senator, Cruz, has not been up there long enough to be infected.

Abu Yossi said...

in light if this hearing disaster, how can you not think that it is hagel who is actually destroying hagel?

the president is entitled to his own cabinet, but the hearings and vote are accountability ... for what?

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that Obama is getting just the sort of SecDef that he wants. He wants to significantly downsize our military so that all that money can be spent on social causes. He wants to downgrade our position as a superpower because that is what his father would have wanted of the Great Imperialist. And, he wants to greatly cut our nuclear arsenal. Hagel has long backed all of these.

I think that we saw a lot of this over the last couple of years, esp. in some less guarded moments by Obama. Remember the famous aside to the Russians that he would have more flexibility his second term? That was, I would suggest, a strong hint that he would be a lot more aggressive in disarming America when he no longer needed to worry about reelection. And, yes, he has repeatedly said that he wanted to greatly reduce our nuclear arsenal.

In other words, I am suggesting that Obama picked Hagel because he has long espoused what Obama really wants done at DoD during his second term.

HA said...

Hagel was chosen so Obama can gut the military and leave GOP fingerprints.

AllenS said...

It's only bullying when Republicans do it.

The Drill SGT said...

Face it, Obama doesn't want DoD to be an effective Defense for America.

Of the possible folks that Obama could chose? Flournoy, Powell, Shinseki. (e.g. send Hagel to DVA to ditter there)



grackle said...

Dems should be scared of this guy. Really scared. Even if he weren't Hispanic, which he is.

They are frightened for sure – the obligatory and inevitable destruction campaign commenced on Morning Joe apace this AM. Joe Scarborough and Mika was VERY upset at the "disrespect" shown Hagel by Cruz. Others on the panel/echo chamber followed suit.

Ted Crux certainly did bully Hagel. The way he took the quote so completely out-of-context is wrong and un-American and wrong and shameful and wrong.

One wonders if the commentor watched the hearings. I did and Cruz took great pains to provide the context of each quote. Hagel has the same outdated habit of many political figures - of modifying their utterances to fit the audience. They used to be able to get away with it but these days modern technology trips them up.

I was a bit surprised as to how stumbling Hagel came across. Is he on some medication?

I think what we saw in Hagel was a valiant and largely successful attempt to curb his temper. The sputtering and halting response to the embarrassing questions was the outward manifestation of barely controlled rage. He is rich, connected, surrounded by fawning yea-sayers and he is definitely NOT one of the little people. Hagel is not used to his rather stupid public record being displayed for public scrutiny.

Hagel was chosen so Obama can gut the military and leave GOP fingerprints.

Yep.

McGehee said...

"I'm inclined to think the President deserves the Cabinet he chooses..."

Maybe it's not about what he deserves.

Henry said...

This looks to be the least memorable cabinet ever. It's the amateur hour that never ends.

Look at this list:

Cheney
Aspin
Perry
Cohen
Rumsfeld
Gates
Panetta
Hagel?

Sure, some of these guys are forgettable (Cohen), but nobody ever knocked the smarts of Cheney, Rumsfeld, or Gates. But Hagel?

The story gets worse. Look at this list:

Baker
Eagleburger
Christopher
Albright
Powell
Rice
Clinton
Kerry

Start with Baker whose brilliance and administrative capacity is inarguable. Follow him up with five career foreign-affairs professionals.

Then you get Clinton.

Then, as if to make Clinton look good, you get Kerry.

Hagar said...

Professor, it isn't about what "we" need; it's about what Obama needs for what he has in mind.

roesch/voltaire said...

Cruz is bright and he knows he is lying about Hagel but he wants to keep the Christian Zionism trop that any criticism of Israeli is wrong-- ironically the UN on this day stated, what many others believe: the settlements in the West Bank violates international law.

Andrew said...

Ah, yes. International Law, as promulgated by a world assembly. Which has always been such a comfort to the Jews.

Saint Croix said...

Cruz is bright and he knows he is lying about Hagel but he wants to keep the Christian Zionism trop

Oh no! It's the Jewish-Christian cabal!

And thsy've taken over Texas!

X said...

of course Weigel is the guy who pretended to be a libertarian while calling the Tea Party ratfucking teabaggers on Journolist, so who are you gonna believe, your lying eyes or the pimply faced Weigel?

Alec Plumb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
roesch/voltaire said...

Cruz also took the “sickening slaughter” quote out of context – he actually attacked “sickening slaughter on both sides,” acknowledging the role of Hezbollah rockets in triggering and then escalating the ugly conflict. (I believe it was the League of Nations confirmed the British Mandate, and the UN in 1947 helped to create a Jewish State and an independent Arab State--Andrew so your statement needs a bit of historical content)

Calypso Facto said...

he actually attacked “sickening slaughter on both sides,”

Your (and Hagel's) false equivalency doesn't help, RV. To paint Israel's conspicuous restraint in the conflict with Hezbollah's intentional terrorist targeting of civilians was despicable.

Amartel said...

Did Ted Cruz bully Chuck Hagel?

No, but effective questioning of a witness by a Senator is so incredibly rare that people don't know what to call it. People who find it illuminating call it "effective questioning" and people who find it unhelpful to their dear leader's goals call it "bullying."

Baron Zemo said...

I did not know that Mr. roesch/voltaire was a Jew baiter.

Typical liberal.

roadgeek said...

The one vote I cast November 6th that ended well was for Senator Cruz, and thus far it looks like it's working out. Thank you, Senator Cruz.

grackle said...

Cruz also took the “sickening slaughter” quote out of context – he actually attacked “sickening slaughter on both sides,” acknowledging the role of Hezbollah rockets in triggering and then escalating the ugly conflict.

Actually, no. Another law professor destroys the above opinion:

Cruz’s line of inquiry was not “bogus.” Israel went far out of its way to avoid civilian casualties and probably cost itself a military victory because of that, while Hezbollah fired rockets into civilian area for the purpose of hurting civilians. That’s not a “bogus” distinction, it’s the core of Hagel’s misaligned view of the Middle East.

Read the entire post at:

http://tinyurl.com/b9fty37

Robin said...

Obama's first term administration was full of second-raters.

Now its the third-raters turn, evidently.

I think an executive is judged best on the talent he recruits. And at that, Obama confirms my opinion that he's an incompetent.