February 5th, 2013
My Dear America:
During his recent testimony before the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee former Senator Chuck Hagel might very well have wished that he was back in Vietnam where he and his buddies stuck together and his enemies were easier to figure out than those seated in front of him in the Senate Hearing Room while he was in the Hot Seat.
Although I did not see Hagel's full testimony before the Committee, what I did see made me realize that I did not want to see the entire testimony and responses. Clearly anyone feeling as though it is still possible to be your own man in today's Republican Party should watch this ugly spectacle in which a thoroughly decent man and obviously a man who is a Republican through and through was the victim of an Epic Character Assassination seemingly because he had the nerve to occasionally misspeak about the influence of the "Jewish Lobby" or gays in the Military.
Although Hagel took full responsibility for his verbal gaffes, the Foreign Relations Committee's Republican Members seemed to want far more than an apology from the Ex Senator from Nebraska. They seemed to all want their individual pounds of flesh from the Obama Nominee for United States Defense Secretary.
Clearly one of the odder and most victimizing exchanges between a Committee Member and the Defense Department Nominee took place between Senator John McCain and his former friend, Chuck Hagel. McCain's Grandstanding seemed to have no limits and although Hagel tried to reason with McCain nothing seemed to be able to satisfy McCain outside of an admission by Hagel that he had been wrong about his criticism of the "The Surge" in Iraq. Although Hagel refused to admit that he had been wrong McCain's brutal interrogation of Hagel clearly must have seemed like an incredible betrayal by McCain by one Vietnam Vet to another.
The reason for McCain, as well as countless other Republican Chicken Hawks piling on the first Vietnam War Infantryman ever to be nominated to be Defense Secretary is clear, at least to me.
We are living in an age in which Republicans are no longer allowed to have a mind of their own and express thoughts of their own. Hagel saw what was coming in the Republican Party and decided to get out before "The Invasion of the Mind Snatchers" got him too, as it seems to have gotten McCain and many others.
Chuck Hagel is a Republican through and through in nearly every way. He is a self made businessman who voted for nearly everything proposed by George Bush with the exception of the Prescription Drug Program addendum to the Social Security System.
Hagel has always been independent and unpredictable, however. In 2008 Chuck Hagel made the unprecedented move of, along with Independent and former Republican New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, supporting and even campaigning for Democratic U.S. House of Representatives Member and former Navy Admiral, Joe Sestak, for Pennsylvania Senator in his fight against first of all, Turncoat Republican turned Democrat, Arlen Specter, who Sestak beat in the Democratic Primary. Unfortunately Sestak then narrowly lost to Republican Right Wing Firebrand, Pat Toomey in the General Election.
Chuck Hagel has stepped out of the Right Wing Republican line only occasionally but enough times to show that he is someone who clearly thinks for himself and is unappreciative of others making his decisions for him.
It seems clear that Hagel will in the end be approved by the Congress to take his place at the Defense Department and if he does Republicans should be happy that one of their own, despite being flawed by common sense, is in line to make decisions that they will more than likely be in agreement with.
But what Governor Bobby Jindal has labeled "The Stupid Party" seems to have completely lost its mind and continues to rush off trying to beat into submission, not only Progressives, but also members of their own party who have the nerve to refuse to be stupid.
I hope, but do not anticipate, that the Republican Party will come to its senses soon and start doing what they should have been doing for the last four years, which is governing and helping to prop up rather than destroy and disrespect The United States of America and its government representatives.
We are living in an increasingly dangerous world and if the Republicans were not stupid they would start at least pretending to show the world that we, indeed, have a United Government and can function most times like we are not a nation of Clowns and Nincompoops.