This Tuesday is scheduled to be the Senate vote for defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel, finally one step closer to the ending of this incredible storyline and letting Hagel take the nap that his face has been screaming for since it started.
You are probably familiar with the accusations that have been trotted out against Hagel, everything from the Dan Friedman “Friends of Hamas” joke that went viral in the Senate halls to the idea that Hagel hates Jews (the monster probably didn’t even cry during Schindler’s List). Tactics that don’t even involve Hagel have been used to block Hagel, such as Sen. Lindsey Graham vowing to block the nomination until he receives more information about Benghazi. Don’t worry though, every other embassy attack during 2012 is ok in Graham’s book.
Most of the holdups on Hagel’s nomination have been purely cosmetic, an effort by a handful of Republicans to make sure we know they still exist after the election. But then you get to the real criticism against Hagel, and it seems that he is being punished for being ahead of the curve when it comes to disowning George W. Bush.
The Tea Party movement and new Republican ideology was (supposedly) spawned in part by a party upset with the direction that had been taken under Bush’s lead. And don’t forget that the 2012 Republican National Convention hid Bush in a closet like was a young Harry Potter. And yet, Hagel is being put to task for his tendency to go against the Bush Administration, primarily when it came to the Iraq War.
Fast forward 2009, and the whole Republican party had turned their negative opinions of everything that happened during the Bush Administration into the Tea Party movement. Anti-immigration, anti-government, and anti-spending. Logic would tell you that Hagel would be the “not in the mainstream” wet dream that Republicans are always trying to brew up in their dusty cauldrons.
Unfortunatley for Hagel it seems that he was ahead of the trend. And as with fashion, no one gets credit for predicting a trend, it’s not cool until it’s accepted by groups in the know. Hating Bush 10 years ago only made Hagel the guy in a coffee shop with a handle bar mustache trying too hard.