Thursday, July 05, 2007

Chuck Hagel vs. George W. Bush

by Kyle Michaelis
With President George W. Bush's approval rating below 30%, you'd expect the Republican Presidential candidates to be putting a little more separation between themselves and Bush's record of incompetence and corruption. But, they are so fearful of offending the Republican base that stands by Bush in defiance of reason and reality that they are hopefully dooming themselves in the general election.

Sen. Chuck Hagel, on the other hand, is speaking as one freed, position himself as Bush's harshest Republican critic even though his votes reveal him as the U.S. Senate's most consistent supporter of Bush's agenda. It's an interesting, perhaps unprecedented niche - that of a man uniquely aligned with the principles for which Bush has stood who's watched in horror as Bush's arrogance and incompetence have done untold, inestimable damage to their shared agenda.

Hagel undoubtedly sees himself as the Defender of the Republican Faith from destruction at Bush's hands. This role requires no small degree of arrogance itself, but he's a politician so - seriously - what did we expect? What's ironic, though, is that Hagel's putting first what he considers the long-term interests of his party has invited such outrage and scorn at the hands of his party's activists, who would prefer to see loyalty to their president, marching lock-step with him into political oblivion.

Loyalty? Marching lock-step? Well, that's just not Chuck Hagel. And, as far as the Bush Administration is concerned, I say thank God for that.

Let's take a look at some choice quotes by Hagel from his Tuesday townhall forum at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (which can be viewed courtesy of the Lincoln Journal-Star):
On Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez – “I’ve called for his resignation. I think he’s a disgrace to this country.”

On the Bush record - ”History will not be kind to this Administration.”
While the frontrunning Republican Presidential candidates also rallied around Bush's outrageous and insulting commutation of White House aide "Scooter" Libby's felony conviction for leaking classified information in an act of political retaliation, the LJS reported:
Sen. Chuck Hagel said...he disagrees with President Bush's commutation of Libby's sentence. Hagel described the president's action as "unfortunate"....
I'll admit that I think Democrats are very lucky that Republicans haven't heeded Hagel's warnings, embracing him and rejecting Bush. The easy appeal of their claimed "conservativism" backed by a voice that actually projects some measure of accountability, strength, and competence would be a formidable challenge in 2008 despite the American public's low opinion of its standard-bearer for these last seven years.

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Blogger Don Kuhns said...

There's been some criticism on this blog recently about the behavior of the World Herald's "Pulic Pulse" editor. One frequent complaint is that the editor seems to scrutinize and/or distort claims made by liberal or Democratic letter writers, while letting some outrageous right wing baloney slip by.

This really takes the cake, though:

In back to back July 7th letters criticizing Democrats for making a fuss about the commutation of Scooter Libby's jail sentence for perjury and obstruction, we read this...

"Clinton himself was convicted of perjury and received only a slap on the wrist."

...and this...

"The truth is that Clinton was aquitted because of who he was and Libby was convicted because of who he is."

Apparently, for the World Herald's editors, facts are irrelevant as long as you are criticizing Democrats.


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