The Power of Silenceby Kyle Michaelis
|Friday night, Nebraska Republicans held their "Founders Day" Celebration at
the Omaha Hilton with featured guest Dick Armey, former Majority Leader in the
House of Representatives. According to the following Omaha
World-Herald report, Chuck Hagel's political future was the talk of the
evening...although it sounds like he personally received a rather cool
One grand question filled the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Omaha at a Friday gathering of 280 Republican activists: What will Chuck do? ...
[T]he crowd's talk centered on whether U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel would step down or run again and the political dominoes that would fall as a result. Hagel gave only the briefest hint when he told the crowd at the Nebraska Republican Party's Founders Day dinner: "There is no such thing as the status quo".....
Nebraska GOP Chairman Mark Quandahl said everyone expects him to know Hagel's plan, but he doesn't have a clue. "The fact is that the only person who knows for sure is Sen. Hagel," Quandahl said. The September timeline for an announcement is intact, Hagel said. It could be that he sees an opening to run for president or to seek re-election or to leave elective politics behind him. It all could come down to whether he wants to put in another six years in the Senate. "That's a big commitment," he said.
Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey described Hagel to the Republicans as "his own guy . . . He knows who he is." The line did not draw any applause from the Republicans, gathered to honor the party's most faithful volunteers.It's not a particularly good time to be a Republican - although, in Nebraska, they're still pretty well insulated from the worst effects of their party's many failures.
Looking for someone to blame, it's rather ironic that Nebraska Republicans would choose Hagel, the only Republican to be elected to the U.S. Senate from Nebraska in the last 30 years. Of course, he deserves some of that blame, but only because he hasn't stood up to the disastrous course set by President Bush on more issues with greater force.
If they're really looking for people to blame, though, we have three no-account Congressman as well who've enabled Bush and made mockery of their so-called "conservative values" every step along the way.
Chuck Hagel may "know who he is," but it makes a certain sense for Nebraska Republicans to resent him for that fact when they have no idea who they are or what they stand for beyond holding onto power and the privileges that go with it.