Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Chuck Hagel: "I'm Surprised That Our Midwestern Republican Leaders Have Not Been More Vocal"


Hagel won 2 Purple Hearts as an infantryman while Señor T was pretending he had a boo-boo

Republican Congressman Carlos Curbelo is representing a very blue Miami area district. Obama beat McCain 50-49% and then beat Romney 53-46% there  In 2016 Hillary absolutely pulverized Trump 56.8% to 40.5%, driving the district's PVI from R+1 to its current D+6. Even the virulent incompetence from the DCCC that Republicans in blue districts have learned to count on won't save Curbelo in a cycle with the kind of anti-Trump/anti-GOP tsunami that's forming now. (And, yes, the DCCC has managed to find one of their typical lesser-of-two evils candidates to back). Curbelo recognizes he's got to go further left than the Democrats to have any chance at reelection this year. So, while Pelosi's utterly dysfunctional caucus dickers and bickers about how to deal with Trump's rotten DACA sabotage, Curbelo says he will not vote to keep the government open unless Trump agrees to the bipartisan DACA fix most members of Congress-- and most Americans-- want.

Meanwhile, this weekend everyone has been chitter-chattering about Arizona lame duck Jeff Flake making a Senate floor speech comparing Señor Trumpanzee to Stalin. I'd rather Flake use his vote to stop just one-- any one-- of Trump's legislative priorities... but we all know that's never going to happen.

Chuck Hagel isn't in Congress any more. He was a mainstream conservative from Nebraska, a senator from 1997 til 2009 and then Obama's Secretary of Defense (a nomination filibustered by his old colleagues from the GOP, the first time a Secretary of Defense nominee was ever fillibustered). Interesting sidenote that seems to have been lost to history: Hagel was CEO of American Information Systems, later known as Election Systems & Software, a computerized voting machine manufacturer, which seems to have played a pivotal role in an election that made Hagel the first Republican in twenty-four years to win a Senate seat in Nebraska. In 2008, both Obama and McCain talked about putting Hagel on their tickets.

Over the weekend, Hagel was back in the headlines, talking about the pickle Señor Trumpanzee has placed the GOP in. He wrote that Señor T "is doing great damage to our country internationally. He's an embarrassment... intentionally dividing the country and the world."
Hagel, who served two terms in the Senate, said his fellow Republicans may face a moment of truth later this year with the investigation of Russian influence and interference in the 2016 presidential election already probing inside the doors of the Republican White House.

"We take an oath of office not to a president, not to a party, not to a philosophy, but to the Constitution of the United States," he said.

"I was philosophically a Republican with a conservative voting record," Hagel said, "but that did not mean I would always go along with the party.

"In the end, you need to make a decision based on the right thing for the country," he said.

Hagel, who was wounded twice in combat in Vietnam, parted company with Republican President George W. Bush on the Iraq war and was widely criticized within the GOP for his action with Vice President Dick Cheney often acting as one of Hagel's sharpest critics.

As secretary of defense, Hagel said, he saw Russian cyber activity in all areas of the U.S. economy, with attempts to penetrate commercial and financial networks as well as the Department of Defense.

"The Russians were up to a lot of mischief," he said. "They were probing and they do have the capability of getting better and stronger. We can't discount that."

Hagel left the Pentagon in 2015, a year before the presidential election.

Now, Hagel said, the country has "a president who minimizes his own intelligence community and that is quite astounding."

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At 9:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chuck Hagel: "I'm Surprised That Our Midwestern Republican Leaders Have Not Been More Vocal"

Come off it, Chuckie! The Republican Party has had a cult element since before Eisenhower. It didn't take prominence until after the Rockefeller wing was purged and pushed toward the DINO-Whigs with whom they had a certain philosophical kinship. They never did question any "Dear Leader", and they aren't about to start now.

At 9:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1) Hagel wasn't the first R senator from NB. Ben Nelsen was a R for decades even though he claimed to be a democrat.
2) to echo 9:04, the Rs have been party first, second, third (money comes in 4th through 10th). The constitution comes in somewhere around 20. Been that way since goldwater at least.
3) #2 is why the likes of flake might criticize trump while rubber stamping everything he demands of them. Party first. then money. always.

At 6:51 PM, Blogger mozav007 said...

Ben Nelsen was a R for decades even though he claimed to be a democrat.

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