Wonky Muse
Wonky Muse

September 7, 2007

Breaking News: Hagel Won't Seek Re-Election

The Journal Star is first out of the gate on this one:

Sen. Chuck Hagel will announce Monday he’ll not seek re-election next year.

Hagel also will tell an Omaha news conference he does not intend to be a candidate for any office in 2008, clamping a lid on speculation he might be pondering a late-inning presidential bid.

In a prelude to Monday’s announcement, he conferred Friday with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Later, Hagel gathered his Washington staff together to inform them of his decision, according to sources close to the senator.
I've never been impressed with Hagel. He's all bluster, no substance; last year alone, he voted for Bush's policies 95.5% of the time. True, he's marginally reasonable to deal with compared to the rest of the shrill GOP bullies, but having a modicum of respect for your colleagues across the aisle shouldn't be a noteworthy exception to the rule.

So Nebraska's Senate seat will be up for grabs in 2008. This is a good thing, except the Democrats are already brandishing the name of former Senator Bob Kerrey as their possible contender.

Ugh. Bob Kerrey? This Bob Kerrey?

American liberals need to face these truths: The demand for self-government was and remains strong in Iraq despite all our mistakes and the violent efforts of al Qaeda, Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias to disrupt it...

With these facts on the scales, what does your conscience tell you to do? If the answer is nothing, that it is not our responsibility or that this is all about oil, then no wonder today we Democrats are not trusted with the reins of power. American lawmakers who are watching public opinion tell them to move away from Iraq as quickly as possible should remember this: Concessions will not work with either al Qaeda or other foreign fighters who will not rest until they have killed or driven into exile the last remaining Iraqi who favors democracy.

The key question for Congress is whether or not Iraq has become the primary battleground against the same radical Islamists who declared war on the U.S. in the 1990s and who have carried out a series of terrorist operations including 9/11. The answer is emphatically "yes."

This does not mean that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11; he was not. Nor does it mean that the war to overthrow him was justified--though I believe it was. It only means that a unilateral withdrawal from Iraq would hand Osama bin Laden a substantial psychological victory.
So Kerrey strongly believes that we should stay in Iraq to save face. Tell that to the families of our soldiers still dying there and see what they think, not to mention that Kerrey has been wrong on Iraq before.

And uh, Dems? When someone like the National Review's Kathryn Lopez calls Kerrey her "favorite Democrat" and Rush Limbaugh praises him for being right on Iraq, shouldn't that give you a clue?

Gahd, why are the Dems so fond of self-flagellation?

Update: More reactions on Hagel across the blogosphere from Memeorandum.

posted at 10:03 PM by Wonky Muse

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"Sapere Aude."
(Dare to Know)
-- Epistularum Liber Primus, Horace

Wonk (noun): def. A political nerd. Know spelled backwards.

Wonky Muse is the other Filipino American female political blogger. The sane, liberal one.


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