Sunday, January 28, 2007

GOP Petition Targets Chuck Hagel

by Kyle Michaelis
The New Nebraska Network does not endorse the following petition, but the extent to which it demonstrates that Republican activists are mobilizing online against Sen. Chuck Hagel is not only relevant to Nebraska politics but also offers a glimpse into the discontent and disunity swallowing the Republican Party whole from the maelstrom that is the no-good-options/no-positive-outcomes war in Iraq.

Driven by the right-wing blogosphere and called "the NRSC Pledge," the petition reads:
"If the United States Senate passes a resolution, non-binding or otherwise, that criticizes the commitment of additional troops to Iraq that General Petraeus has asked for and that the president has pledged, and if the Senate does so after the testimony of General Petraeus on January 23 that such a resolution will be an encouragement to the enemy, I will not contribute to any Republican senator who voted for the resolution. Further, if any Republican senator who votes for such a resolution is a candidate for re-election in 2008, I will not contribute to the National Republican Senatorial Committee unless the Chairman of that Committee, Senator Ensign, commits in writing that none of the funds of the NRSC will go to support the re-election of any senator supporting the non-binding resolution."

This pledge - which currently claims more than 27,000 signatures - does not target Hagel by name, but its orchestrators at most certainly have. One such commentator, Dean Barnett, states:
FOR SIX YEARS, SERIOUS CONSERVATIVES have responded to every betrayal from a Lincoln Chafee or a Chuck Hagel with continued support for the organizations that enable them like the NRSC. This support in the wake of each and every disappointment said in effect, “Thank you, Senator. May I have another?”....

The time has long since come when Republican voters should demand that their office-holders be serious about the war. The anti-surge resolution is a frivolous thing, a pathetic exercise in rear-end covering. While differences regarding the war tactics urged by the White House are fair game, nakedly playing politics with matters of life and death is not.

The sooner the Republican Party gets serious about the war, the better it will be for both the country and the party.

Obviously the Republican Senate caucus isn’t capable of taking the lead in showing such resolve. But perhaps Congressional Republicans will be able to follow the lead of their supporters, supporters who are very serious about becoming “former supporters” if the party continues on its current trajectory.
Certainly an intriguing development - I don't have the heart or the stomach to gloat at the mess in which the Republican Party now finds itself - mainly because it's a mess from which none of us can wash our hands as Americans or as citizens of the world.

I am not so lost to partisanship that I can take pleasure in Hagel's predicament. Although against my better judgment, I must even admit to pitying President Bush for this evil situation he has done so much to create.

And, while I have vehemently opposed the Iraq War since well before it began, I can't help but relate with and respect the signers of the above pledge as they vow to put their money where their mouth is in standing for what they believe is right.

This is not a time for easy answers. There are none to be had. Our only hopes rest in introspection and investigation; honest debate and open questions. We have paid the price for our failure in both regards, as have so many others. We will continue to pay that price for years to come - it remaining largely a matter of form and substance measured by the untold, unknown blood and sacrifice to be exacted.

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Blogger mw said...

Chuck Hagel is a conservative in the Goldwater tradition, almost - but not quite libertarian. In that regard, he is more conservative than McCain, Giuliani, Romney, and certainly more conservative than Bush. Republicans better hope that Chuck Hagel runs for president and gets some traction in the party. He has been on the right side of this war since 2002 and that makes him the only electable Republican in the field. It is going to be a tough road. The President has now put us on a path that insures that the War in Iraq will be the only issue that matters in 2008. The Republican right is now so out of step with the majority of Americans over the War in Iraq, that I cannot see how Republicans can nominate an electable candidate. It'll be too bad if he can't make it through the gauntlet of Republicans who have redefined being a Republican with the single litmus test being of blind support of the President's policies on Iraq. You don't have to be a fiscal conservative to get their support. You don't have to be a social conservative to get their support. You just have to put on your blinders and march lockstep on a flawed war strategy. If Republicans like these carry the day, it will be the end of the Republican Party as a relevant political force for a generation.

Chuck is prominently featured in my most recent YouTube effort "It's the war, stupid." and recent blog post of the same name.

Anonymous Anonymous said...


i don't understand in your video...hagel right on iraq? he voted FOR the AUMF: "The Senate adopted the resolution on October 11, 2002, by a vote of 77-23"
senate votes

-- peg --


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