Hagel Confirms No 3rd Senate Term — Has 16 Months to Channel Eisenhower

-

IKE.jpg
(painting of President Dwight Eisenhower by Mike Hagel; hanging in Senator Chuck Hagel’s private Senate office)
Before he departs the Senate 16 months from now, Senator Chuck Hagel will have many opportunities to focus a national spotlight on the gaps in the foreign policy and national security course the country is on.
Hagel has 16 months to channel Eisenhower and to challenge in an Ike-inspired way those who aspire to live in the White House and those who surround Bush now to be far better stewards than they are being now of America’s national security portfolio.
Hanging in Chuck Hagel’s Senate office is a portrait of Dwight Eisenhower painted by his brother Mike. This article by John Judis tells the story of Chuck and his brothers — particularly Tom who fought alongside him in Vietnam — and is important to understand the Senator’s decision-making DNA.
I think that the Senate will be far worse off without Hagel there to stand up to the brow-beating and recklessness from the Cheney wing of the Republican national security establishment, but I don’t think Hagel will be disappearing at all from public service or Washington.
But 16 months in the Senate is still a long time. Hagel has responsibilities not just for Nebraska but for the country — and hopefully will play a key role in preventing any new wars hatching while he still has access to the Senate floor and like any Senator can make the nuts and bolts of “unanimous consent” procedures a bit less unanimous.
Here is Chuck Hagel’s formal statement made today:

I will not seek a third term in the United States Senate, nor do I intend to be a candidate for any office in 2008. It has been my greatest honor and privilege to serve my country and represent my fellow Nebraskans in the U.S. Senate. My family and I will be forever grateful for this opportunity and the trust placed in me by the people of Nebraska. It has enriched all of us.
I have always tried to live up to the promise I made to the people of Nebraska the day I announced my intention to seek this Senate seat. On March 30, 1995 I said, “I intend to be a Senator all Nebraskans can be proud of.” I hope I’ve done that, and made some contributions to our state and country along the way. History will sort that out.
I am proud of my Senate record and deeply grateful to all those who helped get me there and keep me there, and those who have worked so hard for the people of Nebraska — my staff. I would like to particularly thank Mike McCarthy, Ken Stinson and Lou Ann Linehan. I owe a great deal to these three individuals.
I would have been unable to do my job without the love, wise perspective and constant encouragement of my wife Lilibet, my daughter Allyn and my son Ziller. My appreciation for their support is immeasurable. I would also like to thank my brothers, Tom and Mike, for their constant support and occasional brotherly constructive evaluations.
I said after I was elected in 1996 that 12 years in the Senate would probably be enough. It is. I have always believed that democracies work best when there is a constant cycle of new energy and ideas, and fresh leadership.
I will leave the Senate with the same enthusiasm, sense of purpose and love of my country that I started with. I leave maybe a little wiser, surely a little more experienced and with a very respectable amount of humility.
Public service has always been a big part of my life, and I hope to have another opportunity to serve my country in some new capacity down the road.
This afternoon, my family and I will return to Washington, and I will go back to work. I look forward to working as hard in the remaining 16 months of my Senate term for the people of Nebraska as I have over the last 11 years.
Thank you.

I think what really just happened in Hagel’s statement is that he has just issued a warning to Cheney’s people that even though he and they are out in 2008, he’s going to do his best to keep them from further wrecking the military and degrading America’s standing in the world.
Watch for fireworks from Hagel tomorrow in the Petraeus/Crocker hearings.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

28 comments on “Hagel Confirms No 3rd Senate Term — Has 16 Months to Channel Eisenhower

  1. Kathleen says:

    Looks like the only fireworks we’ll ever have in D.C. will be by the Grucci Brothers on the 4th of July.
    The “hearings” gave me a headache and a heartache.

    Reply

  2. Carroll says:

    Well, now we know what is wrong with them….all we have to do is perform brain surgery on half the population to fix our problems.
    Study finds left-wing brain, right-wing brain
    Even in humdrum nonpolitical decisions, liberals and conservatives literally think differently, researchers show.
    By Denise Gellene, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
    September 10, 2007
    Exploring the neurobiology of politics, scientists have found that liberals tolerate ambiguity and conflict better than conservatives because of how their brains work.
    In a simple experiment reported today in the journal Nature Neuroscience, scientists at New York University and UCLA show that political orientation is related to differences in how the brain processes information.
    Previous psychological studies have found that conservatives tend to be more structured and persistent in their judgments whereas liberals are more open to new experiences. The latest study found those traits are not confined to political situations but also influence everyday decisions.
    The results show “there are two cognitive styles — a liberal style and a conservative style,” said UCLA neurologist Dr. Marco Iacoboni, who was not connected to the latest research.
    Participants were college students whose politics ranged from “very liberal” to “very conservative.” They were instructed to tap a keyboard when an M appeared on a computer monitor and to refrain from tapping when they saw a W.
    M appeared four times more frequently than W, conditioning participants to press a key in knee-jerk fashion whenever they saw a letter.
    Each participant was wired to an electroencephalograph that recorded activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, the part of the brain that detects conflicts between a habitual tendency (pressing a key) and a more appropriate response (not pressing the key). Liberals had more brain activity and made fewer mistakes than conservatives when they saw a W, researchers said. Liberals and conservatives were equally accurate in recognizing M.
    Researchers got the same results when they repeated the experiment in reverse, asking another set of participants to tap when a W appeared.
    Frank J. Sulloway, a researcher at UC Berkeley’s Institute of Personality and Social Research who was not connected to the study, said the results “provided an elegant demonstration that individual differences on a conservative-liberal dimension are strongly related to brain activity.”
    Analyzing the data, Sulloway said liberals were 4.9 times as likely as conservatives to show activity in the brain circuits that deal with conflicts, and 2.2 times as likely to score in the top half of the distribution for accuracy.
    Sulloway said the results could explain why President Bush demonstrated a single-minded commitment to the Iraq war and why some people perceived Sen. John F. Kerry, the liberal Massachusetts Democrat who opposed Bush in the 2004 presidential race, as a “flip-flopper” for changing his mind about the conflict.
    Based on the results, he said, liberals could be expected to more readily accept new social, scientific or religious ideas.
    “There is ample data from the history of science showing that social and political liberals indeed do tend to support major revolutions in science,” said Sulloway, who has written about the history of science and has studied behavioral differences between conservatives and liberals.
    Lead author David Amodio, an assistant professor of psychology at New York University, cautioned that the study looked at a narrow range of human behavior and that it would be a mistake to conclude that one political orientation was better. The tendency of conservatives to block distracting information could be a good thing depending on the situation, he said.
    Political orientation, he noted, occurs along a spectrum, and positions on specific issues, such as taxes, are influenced by many factors, including education and wealth. Some liberals oppose higher taxes and some conservatives favor abortion rights.
    Still, he acknowledged that a meeting of the minds between conservatives and liberals looked difficult given the study results.
    “Does this mean liberals and conservatives are never going to agree?” Amodio asked. “Maybe it suggests one reason why they tend not to get along.”

    Reply

  3. Homer says:

    Some “fireworks” from Sen Hagel, no?
    Hagel’s providing of cover for is more like the effect of igniting Smoke Balls and Black Snakes than “fireworks”.
    Eg:
    Ambassador and General, as much as you want to put a good picture on this, and that’s partly, I understand, your job, and I understand it’s your responsibility, and I don’t question you believe exactly what you have come before this committee to say. But I have to ask this question: Where is this going?
    Let’s get above the underbrush and look at the strategic context, which essentially we’ve never done. That’s not your fault, General. It’s not Ambassador Crocker’s fault. It’s this administration’s fault.
    (cough, cough)

    Reply

  4. Jack says:

    Today is about September 11, 2001.
    There’s only one important question concerning the attacks, did the US gov’t allow/participate in 9/11?
    The answer to that query would explain the illegal wire-taps, suspension of habeas corpus, banning of books like “America Deceived” from Amazon, detaining of dissenters in fences miles away from events, and multiple wars based on lies.
    How can the gov’t be innocent in 9/11 when we have caught it lying so many times (WACO, Ruby Ridge, no WMDs, USS Liberty, Operation Northwoods, Gulf of Tonkin, Pearl Harbor, ETC.)?
    In law, if you determine a person lies ONCE during his testimony, it can be assumed that he lied in the remainder of his testimony. How come we do not hold the gov’t to the same standard as it holds us to?
    The gov’t lied to us about Iraq and more Americans have died there than in 9/11. If the gov’t lied about Iraq then why is everyone so reluctant to believe that the gov’t lied about 9/11?
    Final link (before Google Books bends to pressure and drops the title):
    http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?&isbn=0-595-38523-0

    Reply

  5. Jack says:

    Today is about September 11, 2001.
    There’s only one important question concerning the attacks, did the US gov’t allow/participate in 9/11?
    The answer to that query would explain the illegal wire-taps, suspension of habeas corpus, banning of books like “America Deceived” from Amazon, detaining of dissenters in fences miles away from events, and multiple wars based on lies.
    How can the gov’t be innocent in 9/11 when we have caught it lying so many times (WACO, Ruby Ridge, no WMDs, USS Liberty, Operation Northwoods, Gulf of Tonkin, Pearl Harbor, ETC.)?
    In law, if you determine a person lies ONCE during his testimony, it can be assumed that he lied in the remainder of his testimony. How come we do not hold the gov’t to the same standard as it holds us to?
    The gov’t lied to us about Iraq and more Americans have died there than in 9/11. If the gov’t lied about Iraq then why is everyone so reluctant to believe that the gov’t lied about 9/11?
    Final link (before Google Books bends to pressure and drops the title):
    http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?&isbn=0-595-38523-0

    Reply

  6. Carroll says:

    Vomit…I am sick of them all. I am voting for myself in all the next elections.
    John Dean was on the news last night saying the American government was “broken”. Well duh…we know that. If anyone has any suggestions how to “fix” it besides Burning Washington to the Ground and Starting Over I would like to hear them…becauase I don’t see anything but more of the same from every single candidate.

    Reply

  7. Kathleen says:

    I am so grateful to the protestors at the “hearing” with Petreaus and Crocker. They were the only true patriots in that room.
    Perhaps it’s just me, but as I listened to Petraeus and Crocker and the various Senators, I felt as though my brain had turned to mush. It’s all such unadulterated gibberish. All that talk about sectarian violence and the Iraqi gov’t being dysfunctional is sheer nonsense.
    All factions of the Iraqi population participated in the election.
    All factions of the elected Parliamentarians worked TOGETHER, COOPERATIVELY to draft and adopt a Constitution, in record time.
    All factions worked to propose a peace plan that included an agreement from the Sunnis to lay down their arms, if we agreed to withdraw within two years.
    Busholini gave them the finger and the violence continues. What’s the mystery? The longer we stay the course, the more the unity in the Iraqi Parliament dissolves.
    The violence is not between religious factions but rather between Iraqi nationals who want us the hell out there and Vichy Iraqis, who don’t dare throw us the hell out of there.
    It’s clear Demz want Iraq’s oil as much as the Repugs and they are all dissembling to cover it up.
    Did anyone see Bill Clinton on Larry King? He said if Hillary is elected, she would use this president in some way. That does it for me. Up until that comment, I had resigned myself to perhaps having to vote for Hillary if she was the nominee, but not now. I’ll vote Green even if they nominate Mickey Mouse.

    Reply

  8. Homer says:

    SC: Watch for fireworks from Hagel tomorrow in the Petraeus/Crocker hearings.
    I wait with bated breath.
    This may prove to be a useful in proving or disproving whether or not Sen Hagel is an antagonist of Bush.

    Reply

  9. billyjoe says:

    Steve: I got excited when you inferred that your hero Hagel might create some “fireworks” at the Petreaus hearings. But on second thought, I dont think it’s going to happen. Hagel is likely more concerned about burning political bridges than he is getting us out of Iraq.
    Too bad he wont do the right thing, but that’s the story and problem with everyone connected to this war.

    Reply

  10. bob h says:

    That Hagel can find no place in the Republican Party is testimony to how ridiculous and extreme it has become.

    Reply

  11. Sandy says:

    Hagel probably knows what REALLY happened to those nukes “accidently” flown from that ME staging air force base across the country.
    Knows….and is getting out….while the getting’s good.
    Dopey and Darth are itching to use nukes. And will.

    Reply

  12. e3 says:

    Completely off topic, but that portrait of Eisenhower makes him look like Mr. Burns. Excellent!

    Reply

  13. rich says:

    Tom Ricks cites an emerging “we-were-stabbed-in-the-back” theory.
    Mmm. Weimar.
    The word “Vietnam passes “Joe Klein’s lips.
    .. . . .

    Reply

  14. JonU says:

    Why didn’t Chuck Hagel stand up when it actually mattered, BEFORE we invaded Iraq?
    There is no profile of courage here. Just perhaps a creeping sense of doom at what his silent enabling of the neocons has wrought.
    Hagel, and all those like him who allowed this disaster to happen, have much to make up for. He should get to work and perhaps he can redeem himself.

    Reply

  15. Arun says:

    The only fireworks will be in scattered households around the country as baffled Americans’ heads explode at the utter inanity of the proceedings.

    Reply

  16. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Fireworks”, my ass.
    Chalk Hagel up as a big fat dud.
    The only “fireworks” are on talk radio, as Savage and Hannity rip these cowardly traitorous Dems a new asshole.
    I see no one brought up Petraeus’ role in the bullshit propaganda we were fed about the weather balloon trailers that were called WMDs by our lying scheming CIC. This guy Petraeus has had his head up Cheney’s rectum for the duration of this fiasco.

    Reply

  17. Carroll says:

    Well, I see the hearing got hijacked by the Bomb, Bomb, Iran crowd.
    The dems?..who are they? I think they are dead and gone…or just as good as.

    Reply

  18. Bill R. says:

    Steve, you are a cheering section of one for Chuck Hagel. I think Hagel is tremendously isolated now. His party and senate colleagues are going the whole way with Bush’s war and apparently signed on for the duration, and Hagel hasn’t really committed to an active effort to end the war. He may have some rationality but he doesn’t seem to have guts or leadership.

    Reply

  19. a reader says:

    Steve, I was very, very disappointed to learn that you signed a 2004 statement put out by the Project for a New American Century about Hong Kong, the extremist neocon group that is responsible for our current foreign policy disaster in Iraq. I don’t see any benefit to giving credence and support to a group of people (namely, those of PNAC) whose are ideas have proved so destructive in Iraq. You can advocate on Hong Kong, but why affiliate yourself with PNAC?

    Reply

  20. Erica says:

    Hagel said that he believes a constant circulation of new people and ideas is reflective of democracy and I agree with him, although Congress will definitely suffer without him.

    Reply

  21. Lee Mortimer says:

    I would say Sen. Hagel has left himself considerable room for becoming a candidate for president or vice president in 2008. He was asked by one reporter if he would consider an independent presidential ticket, and by another reporter, if he would accept the vice presidential spot on any ticket.
    He had a clear opportunity to dampen speculation and rule out such eventualities–and he pointedly did not do so. He simply said he would “not get into speculation or hypotheticals or what-ifs . . . I am here today to talk about my decision not to seek re-election nor, as I say, intend to be on any ballot for any office in 2008.”
    He was unambiguous about not seeking re-election to the Senate. He had to be clear on that. But we all know the elasticity of the word “intend” and what that can mean. If Hagel is anticipating an independent presidential candidacy, or accepting the vice presidential spot on someone else’s ticket, this is exactly the way he should be conducting himself.
    He has often lamented that the presidential selection process is too long and that elected officials should concentrate on their current jobs and not be distracted by premature campaigning for higher office. By his statement today, Hagel intends to stay focused on his Senate responsibilities.
    What may happen in the next 6-10 months will only be clear when the time comes. I would bet that Hagel in 2008 is still a live option.

    Reply

  22. JohnH says:

    “Hagel has 16 months to channel Eisenhower and to challenge in an Ike-inspired way those who aspire to live in the White House and those who surround Bush now to be far better stewards than they are being now of America’s national security portfolio.”
    I’ll believe it when Hagel starts practicing what he preaches…with his votes. Until then it all amounts to nothing more than Steve Clemons’ fawning over Hagelian spin.

    Reply

  23. linda says:

    dems at the hearing are totally in the bag. and too cowardly to do anything other than kiss the asses of crocker and petraeus as they deflect and disinform the american public.
    otoh, they are offering up those iran softballs for crocker and petraeus to hit out of the park…

    Reply

  24. Chris says:

    Sorry Steve, but if the man had the guts to do something he would have done it by now.
    You’re going to be disappointed again.

    Reply

  25. Kathleen says:

    Steve.. I’m sorry to say I’m no longer surprised by Demz lack of fire in the belly.`If they think taking impeachment off the table is a strategy, then what can we expect besides more flag lapel pins? Wasn’t that giving Dopey a big green light to do whatever? Talk about untouchable.
    It’s a really tragic mockery of democracy. All they can think to do is slide into 2008.
    Maybe Hagel will go out in a blaze? Try to set the night on fire, Chuck.

    Reply

  26. Carroll says:

    The only fireworks so far were the protestors who were evicted from the hearing..who Ike Skelton assures us he will have “proscuted to the full extent of the law”.

    Reply

  27. Steve Clemons says:

    Kathleen — i’ve been surprised at how few fireworks there are on petraeus/crocker as well….nothing “break out” yet. steve

    Reply

  28. Kathleen says:

    Fireworks would be fun… it’ gotten so droningly boring listening to Demz and the MSM echo the voices from the Beltway bubble, I’m developing narcolepsy….zzzzz
    Wake me when they start impeachment hearings. everything else is a charade of democracy.

    Reply

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *