Trying to Finagle a Secretary named Hagel
President Barack Obama has announced that Wilhelm Freidrich Hegel, the 18th century philosopher, is his next choice for Secretary of Defense. Perhaps it was Hegel’s groundbreaking work on Dialetical Sublation and Epistimological Historicism that impressed the President enough to nominate him for this important post.
Oh, actually, after doing a little more research, it appears that Pres. Obama has nominated former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense. My apologies. Anyway, Hagel is a Republican who has become increasingly centrist over the years (or maybe he’s held the same positions as his party has lurched farther to the right – it’s hard to tell), and is thus likely to face doggedy criticism from the Right during his confirmation process.
So what are conservatives planning to unload on this decorated Vietnam Vet (editor’s note: insert gay sex joke here)?
First of all, the GOP is convinced Hagel, like spicy food, is no friend of the Jewish people. Several years ago he inartfully referred to the power of the “Jewish Lobby” in an interview and now Sheldon Adelson and a bunch of Evangelicals are basically conspiring to have the Mossad kidnap Hagel and hold him for crimes against humanity in the Negev desert. As a Jew that pro-active search for imaginary anti-Semitism makes me proud.
Secondly, Republicans are accusing Hagel of being a homophobe. Back in 1997 (when progressive gay politics was mostly about convincing people that watching Will and Grace was not a sin), Hagel said Pres. Clinton’s openly gay nominee for ambassador to Luxembourg was unqualified for the post because of his sexuality. Hagel has since apologized for that too, both because it was insensitive and untrue – almost no country in Europe is gayer than Luxembourg. More importantly, since when have the Republicans cared about gay rights? As far as I can tell this is like wolves howling about the civil rights of sheep.
But the real reason Hagel, who as a wounded combat veteran is less than thrilled with the use of military force, terrifies the GOP is because as Secretary of Defense he might, just maybe, cut or freeze the defense budget. You see, the only spending the Right approves of is military spending, and a Secretary of Defense who doesn’t want to spend $40 billion on invisible helicopters and tank-mounted chocolate fountains and other shit like that is a threat to the GOP and their corporate masters.
Not to sound like a conspiracy theorist on this or anything. I’ll leave that up to this guy…