The GOP has decided that the top nominee on the Presidents list for Secretary of Defense isn't good enough, unqualified and worse of all in their opinion a hater of Israel. Here's the problem with this idea, the Secretary of Defense is in charge of our Military, not of foriegn affairs, that is the Secretary of States job, also, the Secretary of defense doesn't set policy, that's the Presidents job. What the Secretary of Defense does is set up a budget for the Military, and deliver it to Congress for approval, impliment actions as decided by the President, and as allowed by Congress, it is these folks who set up policy. Now, here's the interesting part of this whole thing, the supposed candidate for the Secretary of Defense is a Republican, that's right a Republican. His name is Chuck Hagel. I'm going to give some information on Senator Hagel that some of you may have forgotten, I collected it from Wikipedia if your wondering about the source.
Senate voting record
According to David Boaz, during the Bush administration, Hagel maintained a "traditionally Republican" voting record, receiving "a lifetime rating of 84 percent from the American Conservative Union and consistent A and B grades from the National Taxpayers Union."On the Issues describes Hagel as a "libertarian-leaning conservative". According to Boaz, among his most notable votes, Hagel:
- Voted for the Iraq war
- Voted for the Patriot Act
- Voted for the 2001 and 2003tax cuts
- Voted for No Child Left Behind
- Voted against Bush’s Medicare prescription drug bill
- Voted against McCain-Feingold
Hagel co-sponsored the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006. He supported the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 and, with Senator Bob Menendez proposed an amendment to allow immigration authorities to consider family-unification petitions submitted by people for an additional two years, which would have allowed approximately estimated 833,000 additional individuals to seek permanent residency. The proposal received 51 votes but was defeated by a procedural maneuver. The bill failed to pass.
In July 2007, Hagel was one of three Republican Senators who supported Democratic-proposed legislation requiring a troop withdrawal from Iraq to begin within 120 days. He told Robert D. Novak "This thing is really coming undone quickly, and [Prime Minister] Maliki's government is weaker by the day. The police are corrupt, top to bottom. The oil problem is a huge problem. They still can't get anything through the parliament—no hydrocarbon law, no de-Baathification law, no provincial elections".
In 2008 Hagel was a principal co-sponsor with two other military veterans in the Senate of Senator Jim Webb's "21st Century GI Bill" which passed congress as the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 which expanded education assistance to veterans who served after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Hagel voted 78.1% of the time with the Republican party. As reported in The New Yorker Senator Hagel's differences with his party's platform on Iraq are reflected in a change to his voting record: "...[A]ccording to Congressional Quarterly, in 2006 he voted with the President ninety-six per cent of the time... Hagel's support for Bush's policies declined—in 2007, he voted with the President just seventy-two per cent of the time."
- Committee on Foreign Relations
- Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
- Select Committee on Intelligence
- Committee on Rules and Administration
Criticism of Bush administration
On August 18, 2005, Hagel compared the Iraq War to Vietnam and openly mocked Vice President Dick Cheney's assertion that the Iraqi insurgency was in its "last throes". In November 2005, Hagel defended his criticism of the Iraq war stating "To question your government is not unpatriotic — to not question your government is unpatriotic." In December 2005, in reference to Bush, the Republican Party, and the PATRIOT Act, Hagel stated "I took an oath of office to the Constitution, I didn't take an oath of office to my party or my president."
In January 2006, Hagel took issue with Karl Rove saying "I didn't like what Mr. Rove said, because it frames terrorism and the issue of terrorism and everything that goes with it, whether it's the renewal of the Patriot Act or the NSAwiretapping, in a political context." In July 2006, Hagel criticized the Bush administration on its handling of the Israel-Lebanon issue saying "The sickening slaughter on both sides must end and it must end now. President Bush must call for an immediate cease-fire. This madness must stop." He also said "Our relationship with Israel is special and historic,... But it need not and cannot be at the expense of our Arab and Muslim relationships." Following heavy Republican losses in the 2006 midterm election, Hagel penned an editorial in the Washington Post highly critical of military strategies both employed and proposed for Iraq. He wrote that "There will be no victory or defeat for the United States in Iraq," and called for a "phased troop withdrawal". According to a SurveyUSA poll, in August 2006 Hagel has a 10% higher approval rating among Nebraska Democrats than Republicans.
In January 2007, Hagel openly criticized President Bush's plan to send an additional 20,000 troops to Iraq. He called it "the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam, if it's carried out." Together with Democrats Joseph Biden and Carl Levin he proposed a non-binding resolution to the Democratic-controlled Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which rejected Bush's policy as "not in the national interest" in a 12-9 vote. After an April 2007 visit to Iraq with U.S. Congressman Joe Sestak (D-PA), Hagel stated his belief that the occupation of Iraq should not continue indefinitely and expressed his intention to cooperate with Senate Democrats in voting for a bill that would set a timeline to get out of Iraq.
In November 2007, he rated the Bush administration "the lowest in capacity, in capability, in policy, in consensus—almost every area" of any presidency in the last forty years.
It seems to me that the problem with Hagel isn't about Israel it's about his political stand on Defense and on the most unpopular war since Vietnam, it also has to do with Hagel being a centrist Republican, something that the Tea Party simply cannot stand in todays GOP.