Friday, March 16, 2007

"Editorial: Hagel Will Sell Well In the Heartland"

Here's an piece worth sharing (from Huntington News in WV).
Editorial: Hagel Will Sell Well In the Heartland
In every presidential primary, Republican or Democrat, each party's dominant wing (right for Republicans, left for Democrats) are courted heavily. Take the Republicans. Even if the vast majority of Republican voters are not strongly conservative in the Republican primaries, those conservatives are highly prized because they always vote and are passionate enough to get others to vote.

So every Republican who wants to have a chance of victory is talking conservatives' language on social issues and foreign policy in anticipation of next year's primary contests. Even former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is trying to convince wary conservatives that his liberal advocacy on issues ranging from abortion to gun control to gay rights is behind him now.

What a relief for supporters of U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska) that their man doesn't have to try so hard to convince conservatives that he is one of them. On abortion issues, Hagel has a sterling pro-life record in the U.S. Senate. The same is true on issues involving family values like marriage to a defense of the Second Amendment. Moreover, Hagel is a strong anti-tax Republican who wants a balanced budget. And as for his stand against some of the strategy leading up to the Iraq war and the blunders caused in it, Hagel always comes in the name of the soldiers themselves--and a more sensible, effective foreign policy to fight terrorism worldwide.

This is the kind of common-sense conservatism that appeals to both the social conservatives and the traditional, anti-tax conservatives in the Republican Party. More importantly for the GOP as it looks for a winner nationally in what will be a very close election in 2008, Hagel's common sense will resonate with the general voting public in both parties.

Rural states similar to Nebraska, like West Virginia, are as much traditional as they are conservative. Their voters want someone who understands rural issues. Given West Virginia's rise to prominence in the electoral college tally in 2000, putting George W. Bush over the top, look for candidates like Hagel to put in some time in states like West Virginia where they have natural common ground. Hagel can do well nationally, both in the primaries and the general election, in rural states like West Virginia. Hagel's straight-talking yet always-respectful style will be appreciated here.

The American people may be ready for a "Steady Eddie," a fresh face with a solid record of achievement in the U.S. Senate, and a seasoned leader with an intimate understanding of our nation's military, foreign policy, and what makes the private sector hum. If so, the Republicans would be wise to put forward a midwestern statesman this time around for President: U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel.


ericpaddon said...

A true conservative does not support the foreign policy ideals of George McGovern, as Chuck Hagal does.

ericpaddon said...

And to add to that, since when has Chuck Hagel ever considered it worth his time to be as vocal about supporting a ban on gay marriage, or about standing up to the Democrat filibusters on judicial appointees, as he chooses to be when it comes to ripping the Administration?

Charlie said...

Senator Hagel was NOT a part of the Gang of 14 and has talked about the problem of judicial filibusters. Senator Hagel is against gay marriage, but also feels that it is a matter that should be left to the states (federalism is an important issue to him) and you can read about that in the archives here at this site.

Chuck Hagel's foriegn policy views are more traditionally conservative than this administration's foreign policy. Hagel's views are right in line with President Bush (41) and his administration. Hagel is not of the same foreign policy school as McGovern.

Anonymous said...

When did incompetence become a conservative principle? If this were Al Gore's war, conservatives would, quite rightly, sound exactly like Chuck Hagel. Anyone who understands conservatism knows means much more than blindly supporting some dufus in the White House simply because he calls himself a Republican. True conservatives always rebel against the establishment. Senator Barry Goldwater was President Eisenhower's biggest critic. Ronald Reagan launched a primary challenge to President Ford. Both were as disloyal to their president and their party then as Chuck Hagel is today. Both changed their party for the better because they demonstrated the courage to stand up for what's right for America. That's a true conservative.

ericpaddon said...

If Chuck Hagel is in-line with Bush 41, that's only one step slightly above George McGovern for foreign policy incompetence. Bush 41 is the reason why Saddam was allowed to linger in power a decade longer than he should have, and Bush 41 was also incompetently slow in recognizing the break-up of the Soviet Union, doing his utmost best to undermine the forces calling for the end of the USSR (indeed, the obsession with foreign policy "realism" egged on by Scowcroft and Baker is why Bush 41 stubbornly refused to recognize the indepednence of the Baltic States for WEEKS after the August 1991 coup because 41's obsession with the status quo did not want him to see the USSR come aparty). And the less said about 41s shameful anti-Israel tilt, the better.

If Hagel is taking the "federalist" view on gay marriage rather than having the guts to recognize the danger posed by an out of control judiciary to the sanctity of marriage and why a Constitutional Amendment is needed to protect the sanctity of marriage, he becomes a worthless candidate on that issue as well. And even if Hagel was not part of the Gang of 14, why was Hagel not anxious to denounce them AND the Democrats with the same fervor he only reserves for undermining the President?

Since Hagel right now believes in cutting and running in Iraq and undermining the war effort, he only proves that for a true conservative, there isn't a dime's worth of difference between electing Harry Reid President and Chuck Hagel when it comes to foreign policy. Joe Lieberman is a man of far more intelligence on foreign policy (and respecting the Reagan tradition) than Hagel ever will be.

And as for likening Hagel's attacks on the President to Ronald Reagan challenging Gerald Ford, that is the most laughable thing I have ever heard. Reagan is the one who authored the famous "11th Commandment" rule regarding Republicans, including those he opposed and Chuck Hagel never wastes an opportunity to stab the President in the back and undermine US foreign policy at any opportunity.

I for one hope for a primary challenge to Hagel for the Senate in 2008, since Hagel has already demonstrated his valuelessness to the GOP as part of a GOP Senate Majority for 10 years, so there's no point appealing to my sense of party loyalty to get a Senate majority back for which Hagel was not one iota of help for.

Anonymous said...


OK, the comparison to Bush 41 makes me wince, too. You are correct in recalling his underwhelming response to the collapse of the Soviet Bloc. As much as I disliked the man and his policies (as did 68% of the voters in 1992) there is no denying his failed presidency is being seen in a much more positive light due to the comparison with his son, who undoubtedly will "officially" be declared the worst president in history any day now.

I do hope Hagel can articulate his vision of federalism. The concept has been out of fashion for sometime now that Republicans have joined Democrats in believing that federal money and power can solve all our problems. You don't like gay marriage? Then don't marry a guy. You don't want gays to get married in your state? then live in a state that prohibits it. You don't want gays married anywhere? Then change the Constitution. That's how federalism works.

Your 11th commandment reference does not change the fact that Reagan did challenge Ford. Nor the fact that he took on the establishment again in 1980 against Bush 41. What you have to realize is that your support for Bush 43 is not support for a conservative. It is support for the establishment. After all, would a conservative embark on the biggest spending binge since LBJ? Would a conservative spearhead No Child Left Behind? Would he engage in nation building?

Reagan didn't. Case in point: After taking bad advice to insert Marine into the Lebanon civil war in which 243 Americans were killed, what did he do? He cut and ran. In other words, he made the right choice because he recognized they never should have been there in the first place. He was man enough to admit his error and protect American lives and interests. George W. Bush couldn't fill his jockstrap. As they say in Texas, GWB is all hat and no cattle.

ericpaddon said...

Reagan's cutting and running from Lebanon was a mistake. One of the few mistakes I hold him responsible for next to the bungled Iran initiative.

But my argument on Reagan re: Ford stands for a simple reason. Ronald Reagan did not attack Gerald Ford by borrowing from the rhetoric of the wackos in the Democratic party which Chuck Hagel has done on more occasions than I like to remember, including an asinine suggestion that the President should have met with Cindy Sheehan, a person who is nothing more than a traitor to the United States as far as I'm concerned.

Hagel also has called for giving the world's last Stalinist tyrant, Fidel Castro, a gift in his old age by lifting the embargo against his thug regime, which also puts him in the fine company of every other McGovernite extremist in the Democratic party. Which prompted a National Review columnist to note how Hagel has seemingly never met a despot he doesn't like. And I note with interest how Hagel also attracts support from all the anti-Israel people who believe in whitewashing Arab and Palestinian violence.

And as for calling George W. Bush the worst president, just where in the world are you ranking the Slickmeister, who is the true occupant of that position with Chuck's pal Jimmy Carter not far behind? Your answer will prove illuminating on that one, as it will offer a further reminder of Hagel's worthlessness to the rank and file GOP who believe in the principles of Ronald Reagan, of which Hagel represents a betrayal of the first order.

George W. Bush delivered on tax cuts (as Reagan did), delivered on quality appointments to the Supreme Court (surpassing Reagan who was only 1 for 3) and has made repeatedly good choices for other judges that Chuck Hagel has lacked the guts to stand up for by blasting the Democrats with the same fervor he displays for stabbing the President in the back (I guess Chuck doesn't want to run afoul of Harry and Hilary the next time he pushes for a bug-out from Iraq resolution that tells the troops they're incapable of getting the job done!). And on foreign policy, George W. Bush displayed leadership after 9/11 and a vision of what the War on Terror is about, which Hagel lacks completely except to make himself the favorite Republican of the Cindy Sheehans and Michael Moore crowd by borrowing their rhetoric at any grandstanding opportunity.