Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Chuck Hagel Unplugged

by Kyle Michaelis
Sad little political dork that I am, I found myself listening to Sen. Chuck Hagel's most recent conference call with the Nebraska press this weekend (courtesy of the good people at Southwest Nebraska News).

Since the call lasts about 40 minutes, with 20 minutes of deadtime before and at least that much afterwards, I thought I'd share some of Hagel's more interesting statements:
On the November Elections
“When the American people are unhappy with their leaders, there’s a reaction....There will likely be some correction to the direction of this country....If you’re a Republican in Congress right now you’re probably a little bit concerned about your future in public office.

On Bush's Off-budget "Emergency Spending"
“This war, in particular, is costing us more money than the Administration ever told us it would.....The new numbers monthly costs now are at about 10 billion a month in Iraq versus where we were a few months ago at 6 billion a month....This administration has abused this process.

On Spending By the Republican Congress
"At some point, we have got to stop this madness here in Washington D.C....The American people are as mad at us about driving this country economically off the edge as any one thing....What we’re doing to this country is almost criminal.

In Defense of "Earmarking"
“Earmarks aren’t necessarily additional spending...Earmarks are almost in all cases……focused on prioritizing....The debate about earmarks is really one that has gotten off track....Should Congressmen and Senators not have anything to say about where money goes for projects?...Should bureaucrats at the Dept. of Transportation make that decision?

Damn. I should just shut up and let Hagel do the talking more often.

Hagel's comments about "earmarks" were especially note-worthy: a)because they undermine Nebraska GOP efforts to attack Sen. Ben Nelson; and b)because they were spoken with annoyance - maybe even a hint of outrage - at one Omaha World-Herald reporter's obvious attempt to spin the issue.

Too bad the Nebraska media doesn't do a better job of getting Hagel's voice out there on a lot of these issues. All in all, the call makes for a pretty good listen - one that certainly inspires some degree of respect and confidence in Hagel the man. Now, if only his voting record would do the same for Hagel the politician.


Anonymous Steve in Portland said...

I think this is good for Nebraska - I left after college in '93 and have been more and more embarassed by the political myopia among my family and friends. BUT, Chuck Hagel, is the real deal. He is a Republican - maybe one of the last REAL Republicans. Not a neo-con that uses wedge issues to rally the base, and basically vote against their own best interests. NOW we know that we were misled, and keep being misled. Keep paying attention to Hagel Nebraska - I don't agree with everything he does, but as a Democrat, I certainly respect him as a Republican, and more importantly, as a Nebraskan.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hagel, the real deal? You have got to be kidding me. His amnesty immigration bill is a disaster. The recent Heritage Foundation study of the Hagel/Martinez Senate immigration bill said that it is going to lead to 103 million immigrants over the next 20 years. Do you think we can assimilate that kind of third world poverty? What purpose can this serve except to undercut wages and destroy middle class America? Please Nebraska, do us all a favor and vote Hagel out of office next time around......

Blogger AS said...

Hagel is awesome - and what he said today about the mideast was dead on. He seems to be the only person who realizes that Israel is only hurting itself, long-term; hopefully someone listens.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

someone quoted from a heritage foundation study. LOL.


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