"NoHagel.com" Places Republican Senator In Own Party's Crosshairsby Kyle Michaelis
An open letter to Senator HagelFor the sake of Mr. Shown's credibility, I cut his sad attempts at fabricating some sort of victory from our four year occupation of Iraq. I won't ridicule him further because I feel far more pity than contempt for those who adhere to this "America can do no wrong" (and make no mistakes) fantasy.
In February of 1994 a member of your campaign staff contacted me and inquired if I would meet with you for lunch in Stapleton, Nebraska. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss your need for a campaign representative in Logan County and determine if I should serve in that capacity. During our lunch you offered a synopsis of your conservative political philosophy and your desires to bring that philosophy to the United States Senate. You stressed that, if elected, you would serve no more than two terms. You added that your central campaign strategy would be to emphasize Governor Nelson’s failure to honor his public commitment not to seek the 1994 Democrat Party nomination. Impressed with your statements I eagerly got on board. Your plan worked and you are now a United States Senator, twice over.
I have wondered for some months what your decision would be concerning another senate bid. Somehow, I must have missed your announcement that you would not seek a third senate term. Regrettably, I have determined that your credibility is no better than that which you ascribed to Ben Nelson.
My disappointment in your decision not to keep your word is dwarfed by my disgust for your public comments concerning the conduct of the war in Iraq. You know the history of the conduct of the Viet Nam war; you experienced it first hand and bear the scars of a wounded warrior. Do you not know that the fundamental tenant of the North Vietnamese was to defeat the United States at home? To demoralize the American people to a point where we would simply leave the fight? To encourage campus leftists to create the illusion that we were being defeated on the field of battle? Of course you know, and that is what makes your utterances so egregious....
I learned several weeks ago that you broached the possibility of impeachment of President Bush and that you cautioned him that he was not a monarch. I can’t describe to you the level of my rage at your statement. In discussions with other Nebraska Republicans I have learned that many agree with my assessment of your conduct. So many, that I believe you will not be re-elected to a third term, a third term that you told me you would never seek.
I am under no illusions that you will be honorable, or that your conduct in the US Senate is helpful to this country, this state, or the Republican Party that you claim to be a member of in mind.
I have, at my own expense, established a website that Nebraskans can visit to add their names to the legion of voters who will not support you for any future elective office. It is my most fervent hope that potential conservative senatorial candidates will be encouraged to challenge you in the 2008 primary. Like-minded Nebraska Republicans can logon to www.nohagel.com to express their lack of support.
Besides, I'm just highlighting the grassroots resistance to Hagel in his own party - I'll leave it to Republican primary voters to decide whether that resistance is warranted by the facts. Not my fight, but it's definitely one we'll all be watching with a keen eye in the months ahead.
More than 50 Nebraska Republicans from Central and Western Nebraska have already joined the "NoHagel.com" chorus - declaring "We Do Not Support Hagel in 2008!" Who knows - if the word got out in Republican circles, maybe the site would catch like wildfire? Regardles, this is a rare opportunity, indeed, to see just what sort of appeal this sort of insurrectionist action will ultimtely hold in a party that is defined by its deference to power.
Where do Nebraska Republicans' true loyalties lie - with King George or with Lord Hagel? That is the question, and it's one to which I do not have a ready answer. I suspect, though, the Republican Party's limitless capacity for self-delusion and hypocrisy will ultimately protect both men from facing any true inner-party resistance.