The nomination of Chuck Hagel by President Obama to become our next Secretary of Defense has really started a firestorm. One of the most interesting reasons Republicans oppose him has to be this:
They've also lambasted positions Hagel took as a GOP senator, including his opposition to unilateral sanctions against Iran, as well as votes opposing the labeling of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization.
But what about Dick Cheney? Dick Cheney not only opposed sanctions against Iran, but Halliburton, under Cheney's control. actually circumvented previous sanctions. But yet nothing was ever said by the right when it came to this.
Chuck Hagel isn't a typical Republican we are used to today. Instead he follows along the lines of more old-school Republicans, the kind I actually like. He doesn't believe that all of our answers lie within the military. He quickly became an opponent of the Iraq War after seeing how disastrously it was being fought. That right there is enough to piss off Republicans, despite their trying everything to distance themselves from the highly unpopular war.
This is what we have come to expect of today's Republican Party. Their pettiness and loyalty to party above all else trumps what is best for the nation and our defenses. The neo-con take over has transformed the party into ones who believe in dangerous foreign policy that not only actually weakens us, but also financially destroys our nation. For example, in 2000 one of the biggest war-mongering neo-cons, Bill Kristol, pushed for Hagel to be George Bush's vice-Presidential pick. No one can really say why, but my gut says it was because Kristol was pushing for Iraq at the time and Hagel was one of the few Republicans who actually saw war, let along served.
So the whole fight over Hagel from the right boils down to one thing - perception. Many Republicans are afraid that Chuck Hagel will expose the rest of the party for being the war mongers they are. To me, I think it's about time. We need a man of common sense running the DOD and Chuck Hagel is a good pick for that.