Chuck Hagel confirmed as Defense Secretary by a 58 to 41 vote. Among those voting not to confirm Hagel were neocon Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Marco Rubio. I would have voted to confirm as would have my favorite foreign policy analyst, the Cato Institute’s Chris Preble. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky bravely bucked his party’s establishment to vote to confirm Hagel.
Nay votes for Hagel:
“Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty.” — President George Washington
The neocon crowd, crouching behind a The Defending Defense Project banner, is going to go bonkers with the confirmation of Chuck Hagel. Talk about a day ruiner for John McCain and Lindsey Graham (how can we dump this guy in 2014?). The anti-Hagel cabal was all over him because Chuck had the audacity to compare Iraq to Vietnam and argued that an Iraq adventure took the military’s eye off Afghanistan. Well Hagel, for my money, was then and now 100% correct on both counts. I like Hagel and love the concept of Sequestration. Do not be head faked with the yak of dangerous defense cuts. America’s defense budget in large measure is an offense budget How many Ground Combat Vehicles/Bradley Fighting Vehicles, F-35’s, M1 combat tanks, or Littoral Combat Ships (the guns aren’t effective) are required to defend America’s shores? None. Click to my friend Jon Basil Utley of The American Conservative, retired army officer Ralph Peters, and Bloomberg’s Paul Barrett for plenty of details on the house cleaning that should commence at the Defense Department. I expect Chuck Hagel to take out the boning knife.