Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The American Conservative - Cover Story

The cover story at The American Conservative this issue is "Hagel's Dilemma." The full piece is excellent and I highly recommend it. Here are some excerpts:
"[H]ere at ground zero of the conservative movement were innumerable depictions of the late President Ronald Reagan, tons of literature and rhetoric about the sanctity of life, traditional values, constitutional correctness, limited government, states’ rights, and self-determination. In his 11 years as a U.S. senator, Hagel has in some way defended them all, yet he is a pariah in what should be his political comfort zone."
Simply put, it is the 800-pound gorilla that no one at CPAC wanted to talk about this year—the war in Iraq—that has come between Hagel and the conservative grassroots. It is why they are willing to overlook Republican Rudy Giuliani’s anti-gun and pro-gay positions or Mitt Romney’s mid-career conversion against abortion."
“Talk about no good deed going unpunished. If you use voting record as the center of the senator’s conservatism, he is in the charmed circle,” said Ross Baker, a political science professor at Rutgers University"

"But there are plenty of hopeful libertarians, independents, and foreign-policy realists in the Republican ranks who believe Hagel can lead the party out of 15 years of broken pledges, bloated government, partisan chicanery, corruption, and war.

“I think Americans, and the Republican Party, need a thinker, rather than a party person or right winger who doesn’t care, doesn’t think,” said Safranek. Despite his bright red record, Hagel’s pragmatism on the war is attractive to the political middle, Safranek insists...“[Republicans] will see him as their shining hope,” Safranek cheerily predicted, “once they get to know him they will love him.”"


"But on the issues, Hagel points out that he has voted with the president more than any other senator today and has a lifetime rating of 85 from the American Conservative Union.

He is pro-life, defends an individual’s right to bear arms, and supports a flag-burning amendment. A self-made millionaire—he started a cellular phone company that eventually became part of Vanguard Telecommunications in the ’80s—he draws high marks from pro-business and property-rights groups.

On the other hand, Hagel voted against the Republican-sponsored Medi-care prescription drug bill and No Child Left Behind."

"The current field of Republican candidates, according to recent surveys, are not endearing GOP voters. “If they could forgive his sensible and often prescient view on foreign policy,” said Baker, “he would probably be one of the few Republicans with a prayer of retaining the White House for the party in 2008.”"


Anonymous said...

Glad to find this site...we need more like this! HAGEL '08!!!!!!!

Andrew said...

I'm afraid that Hagle would compete with Jim Gilmore for the title of "forgotten conservative." People are so bullish on Fred Thompson without considering other equally skilled politicians.