Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Hagel Says Bush Administration "Dividing The Country" With Latest Spin

Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) strongly criticized the White House's new line of attack against critics of its Iraq policy, saying that "the Bush administration must understand that each American has a right to question our policies in Iraq and should not be demonized for disagreeing with them."

Some conservatives offer Hagel as some sort of liberal pariah -- Kenneth Tomlinson's crack research team, for example. But that's just empty spin. Others suggest Hagel doesn't represent Republican views, and therefore should be ignored. The response to that empty spin? Does anyone remember how the Republicans fawned over Zell Miller last year?

"To question your government is not unpatriotic -- to not question your government is unpatriotic," Hagel said in a speech yesterday to the Council of Foreign Relations. Arguing that 58,000 troops died in Vietnam because of silence by political leaders, he said that "America owes its men and women in uniform a policy worthy of their sacrifices."

Hagel said Democrats have an obligation to be constructive in their criticism, but he accused the administration of "dividing the country" with its rhetorical tactics.

Hagel's comments came just days after President Bush's Veterans Day speech, when he angrily pointed fingers at "some Democrats and anti-war critics" for trying to rewrite the history of the Iraq War. Others in the administration, such as Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, have since parroted this talking point.

Some suggest Hagel is being vocal because he is planning a 2008 run for the presidency. But more likely he is one of a growing number of people -- Democrats, Republicans and independents -- who have grown tired of the administration's "rhetorical tactics," and now believe that Bush "deliberately misled" the nation when making the case for war.

My guess is that other Republicans will follow suit.

5 Comments:

Blogger mgs said...

I think the first premise is closer to the truth. Hagel, without a doubt, has Presidential ambitions. Bush's way of dealing with everything -- namely to just hammer your opposition (whether it be Democrats or the people of Iraq) until they finally shut the fuck up and go away -- isn't working, what with Bush's approval rating at 37% and the country clearly fed up with him. So Hagel is positioning himself as the 'responsible' Republican that can sweep down in 2008 and fix the mess that little Georgie wrought on the country.

I think, incidentally, that the Democrats will most likely follow suit. The 2008 election is going to be about which party can be the better dustbuster for the American ruling class.

12:29 AM  
Anonymous Captin America said...

How long is JABBS going to ignore "Able Danger" and continue obsessing on this partisan rhetoric that no one cares about?

1:11 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

"No one cares about?"

Keep believing that, Captin (sp?). The conservative noise machine would love nothing more than to keep our society as ignorant as you.

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Superman said...

It's so convenient how Democrats forget that Clinton bombed Iraq in 1998 out of fear that he would use WMDs agaist his neighbors. The liberal arguement is a joke. Go crawl back into your facist holes.

4:07 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

First of all, superman, the word is "fascist," not "facist."

Second of all, why is it that every conservative who comes to JABBS to refute an argument is limited to name-calling? And stupid name-calling at that? I mean, at least come up with a name that makes sense? Fascists? C'mon.

Third, and most important, Superman, JABBS and other liberals absolutely remember that Cliinton bombed Iraq in 1998. In fact, the weapons inspectors from the UN and the IAEA said that because of Clinton's bombings, there was no evidence that Saddam still had a weapons program.

The NIE says as much, too.

The problem is, the Bush team ignored all those reports -- and conveniently forgot about the 1998 bombings -- when the misled the country into war.

I know that you don't hear that from Rush or Sean, but the facts are the facts. The Bush Administration said things in 2002, as explained in another JABBS post, that simply weren't backed up by the facts at the time. But they scared the bejesus out of the country and enough of the Congress to get the war they wanted.

I won't suggest you crawl back into your hole. But it'd be nice if you would actually do an ounce of research before embarrassing yourself here.

4:40 PM  

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