Pete Ricketts Says Chuck Hagel Should Shut-Upby Kyle Michaelis
The Chadron Record reports:
United States Senate candidate Pete Ricketts was in Chadron Monday for a meet and greet at Angela’s Eatery....
A comment was made about Neb. Senator Chuck Hagel, a Republican, and how he has spoken out against President Bush and the war in Iraq. Ricketts defended Hagel as a Republican stating that he had voted with the party 95 percent of the time...However he admonished Hagel’s actions on speaking against the president.
Stating you don’t argue “on the shop floor,” Ricketts quoted his mother’s advice, “I don’t want you fighting in the house. But if you’re going to fight, do it in the house. Because when you leave the house we’re a family.”
Ricketts said that he would not speak against President Bush, “especially during a time of war.”
Since when does “courage” entail holding your tongue and keeping your damn mouth shut? Got to give Ricketts credit, though, for mastering the art of political back-stabbing without even being elected to an office.
When Hagel is the only Senate Republican who’s shown any faith in Ricketts whatsoever, he’d probably expect a little more gratitude – maybe even some respect. Instead, Ricketts – despite mounting evidence of our failed strategy in Iraq (and a mounting death toll) - has decided to put protecting the bubble Bush inhabits ahead of asking questions and demanding accountability.
Not that Hagel probably minds. He knows how the game is played and doesn’t care what Ricketts says so long as he continues to spend millions of dollars attacking Ben Nelson.
It’s worth noting that when I personally asked Sen. Nelson at a forum earlier this year what he thought of Hagel’s criticism of the Iraq war, Nelson did not endorse but said that he respected Hagel’s comments and trusted they were made as a former soldier speaking out of conscience. Nelson's own style of doing what’s best for America's troops was different (showing less hunger for the spotlight), but he refrained from attacking Hagel’s motives or his integrity.
Meanwhile, this week, we have Hagel telling the Grand Island Independent:
Despite the rough environment for Republicans, Hagel said, Pete Ricketts can unseat incumbent Democrat Ben Nelson from his U.S. Senate seat....
He said Nelson, as an incumbent, "is part of the problem."
Hagel said that Nelson does not really stand for anything and is known as a person "who flip flops all over the place no matter what the issue is."
Nevermind that, by his own standard, Hagel would have to consider himself part of the problem as well.
It's just a pity to see that public service with honor and class are so one-sided in Nebraska’s Senate delegation. Hagel deserves what he gets from the desperate Ricketts’ attacks, but Nebraska deserves at least one Senator, like Ben Nelson, who respects his office and who cares about more than scoring political points.