Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Thursday, January 31, 2013

BooMan on Hagel

It's a short piece, so I'll repost it in full.

I'm sitting out the fight over Chuck Hagel's nomination. His chief opponents are despicable, but I have never thought very highly of Hagel, either. He didn't impress me at all in today's hearing. I don't really want him to run the Pentagon. And I think the president would get almost as much out of Hagel being blocked as he would from him winning confirmation. It just doesn't make much difference to me.

If he is confirmed, it will be a real poke in the eye of the neo-conservatives and they'll have to live with a Secretary of Defense who wants nothing more than to screw them. I can see the entertainment value in that, even if it isn't a very healthy situation for our foreign policy establishment. If Obama was hoping for a lot of Republican cover for downsizing the Pentagon, I think that pipe dream just blew up like a pipe bomb, but I could still enjoy the drama and schadenfreude.

If he is not confirmed, it will be because the Republicans filibuster him. And that will give me the chance to laugh in Harry Reid's face. But it will also highlight for every reasonable Republican in the country, including people like Brent Scowcroft and former Sen. John Warner, that the GOP cannot be entrusted with power. It will really isolate the neo-conservatives and bolster the institutional bias of Washington in the Democrats' favor in a way not seen since Roosevelt.

It's kind of a no-lose situation, as far as I am concerned. You'd have to work hard to convince me that there is more upside with the former scenario than the latter.

So, I'll just be over here in the corner munching my popcorn. I could really care less what happens.

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