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Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, rips into Bush, Rush and the GOP

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by Maikeru-sama, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. Maikeru-sama

    Maikeru-sama Mick Green 58

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    Two months before he leaves office, Sen. Chuck Hagel is increasingly unrestrained by political niceties.

    Appearing at a forum at the Johns Hopkins School of Advances International Studies, the outgoing Nebraska Republican leveled harsh criticism at his own party, the lack of intellectual curiosity among some of his colleagues, the Bush administration's handling of nearly every aspect of governance and -- perhaps most bitingly -- the conservative radio voices that often dictate the GOP agenda.

    "We are educated by the great entertainers like Rush Limbaugh," said Hagel, sarcastically referencing the talk radio host who once called him "Senator Betrayus." "You know, I wish Rush Limbaugh and others like that would run for office. They have so much to contribute and so much leadership and they have an answer for everything. And they would be elected overwhelmingly," he offered. "[The truth is] they try to rip everyone down and make fools of everybody but they don't have any answers."

    It wasn't all an exercise in unloading pent-up frustrations. Hagel offered praise for Robert Gates -- creating the impression that he would like the current Pentagon chief to remain at the post once President-elect Barack Obama takes office. He also deflected questions about whether he would serve in the Obama administration or what he thought of the possibility of Hillary Clinton at Secretary of State. Moreover, Hagel offered what amounted to an hour-long plea for the next administration and Congress to reconfigure the way it works together and within the international framework when it comes to foreign affairs.

    "Eighty-seven percent of the American people said America is going in the wrong direction," said Hagel. "You don't need to know another number about anything, and so the election was pretty predictable: the American people don't like what is going on... they want us to start doing what leaders are expected to do, address the problems, find some consensus to governing. Get along. There will be disagreements, sure... but in the end we can't hold ourselves captives to this raw, partisan, political paralysis."

    But the truly memorable bits came when -- unrestrained by formalities -- he deployed a sharp tongue while riffing on the GOP. Reflecting on the Bush administration, Hagel, one of the earliest critics of the Iraq war, held back few punches.

    "Yes, there have been some differences and some pretty significant ones in [the Republican Party]. But when you ask the question: 'Has [our approach] worked? I don't think many people will say it has worked," he said, adding later: "God knows I would never question the quality of our elected officials, that's why I'm so popular with many of them."

    The main thrust of his critiques was aimed not at any individual specifically, but at a closed-off mindset that he believed had taken hold of Republican politics and, consequently, the GOP's approach to foreign policy. "Engagement is not appeasement," he said. "Diplomacy is not retreat. Somehow too many in this town and in this country have disconnected all of that."

    Later in the question-and-answer session, he offered an example to illustrate this quip, gently mocking those officials and voters who, for one reason or another, had problems with things from France or people who were Muslim.

    "There is always going to be a certain know-nothing element to democracy," said Hagel. "That is their choice. But in a world that is so vitally interconnected, it does help if you try to understand the other side... Ask them: 'What is it that scares you about the French so much?'"

    There were, additionally, some compliments to spare. Hagel, on several occasions, lauded the work and approach of Gates, who he said had taken the right ethos to the job at Defense. Finally, he offered a sincerely funny line about Warren Buffet, the heralded financier, Oracle from Omaha and (seemingly) one individual to have weathered the current financial market meltdown.

    There is news today that [Obama] is in serious negotiations with Warren Buffet for Buffet to buy the entire United States government," Hagel joked in the opening of his speech. "I applaud that. I am seeking the job of buffet's driver. He is the only one who has money. Obviously we think highly of warren and we take great pride that he is a cornhusker."

    link
  2. Maikeru-sama

    Maikeru-sama Mick Green 58

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    Some pretty interesting quotes by the distringuished gentleman from Nebraska.

    I bet it just annoys the heck out of Chuck Hagel, who is a Vietnam Veteran and a long time Republican to be branded a traitor by the likes of guys like Rush Limbaugh.
  3. Bach

    Bach Benched

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    Hagel might as well just call himself a Democrat because he definitely isn't a Republican. I'm sure most on the right care as much about what he says as the left cares about Leiberman.
  4. Cajuncowboy

    Cajuncowboy Preacher From The Black Lagoon

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    He's not a republican. With the exception of the "R", there is nothing Republican about him.
  5. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    He could not carry Joe Lieberman's necktie. Hagel is an example of someone who frankly the Republican Party needs a lot LESS of.
  6. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    Hagel is a Republican but pretty much in name only. However I find it funny some talking about Lieberman in a good light when Lieberman is very liberal except when it comes to the war so both the left and right are funny to watch concerning Lieberman.

    However whether you like or dislike Hagel what he said is the truth in this one section...

    Since Rush knows so much and is a darling to the right, he should run for office and try to change some things.
  7. Cajuncowboy

    Cajuncowboy Preacher From The Black Lagoon

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    Why would he take the pay cut???
  8. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    Since he claims to care for the country and he seems to think he knows what is right and wrong...why wouldn't he?

    Or are you saying he is nothing but a selfish and greedy person that would rather make money on a radio show instead of serving his country?
  9. Cajuncowboy

    Cajuncowboy Preacher From The Black Lagoon

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    He can do more for the country being a voice because he has a larger audience than the President.

    More people listen to him than listen to most presidential address'.
  10. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    Yes and it worked during the last couple of election cycles. :laugh2:

    Nah...you just basically said he is greedy and does not want to take a pay cut...it's ok, you were right the first time.
  11. Cajuncowboy

    Cajuncowboy Preacher From The Black Lagoon

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    I don't blame him. I wouldn't take the pay cut either. Not greed, just capitalistic.

    And the truth is that he was never a fan of McCain anyways and he never really got behind him. He got behind Palin.

    So as far as your assertion, you are off base.
  12. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    Nah...he is greedy and by your own admission you are greedy. Nothing wrong with that I guess. I wouldn't run because I know others would be better and I would get in trouble.

    Whether he did not like McCain or not he still preached his message against Obama to try and get McCain/Palin ticket elected...so he did try, he just failed.

    It's ok...Rush is not all of that when it comes to many things, he just is smart enough to make a great deal of money.
  13. Maikeru-sama

    Maikeru-sama Mick Green 58

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    Quite a bit of people that leave the private sector in order to serve their President take huge paycuts, this is nothing new.

    Besides, I doubt very seriously that even the most staunch Republican President would ask Rush Limbaugh to serve as he brings absolutely nothing to the table.
  14. bbgun

    bbgun Benched

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    Next to McCain, Hagel is probably the most reviled man in the Republican party. The GOP went the "moderate" route this year and got trounced. Given a choice between real Dems and Dems-lite (McCain, Hagel), the electorate will always go for the real thing. True, Bush and Limbaugh have myriad flaws, but Hagel is the last person who should articulate them.
  15. BigDFan5

    BigDFan5 In Tebow I Trust

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  16. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    I personally think that the key to a republican resurgence is for them to reinvent themselves as the party of God and become even more uncompromising on hot button social issues.

    Here's to the extreme right winning the upcoming battle for the party's heart and soul.

    :toast2:
  17. MilesAustinforMVP

    MilesAustinforMVP Benched

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    Actually Hagel is pretty conservative on just about any issue you can name.
  18. MilesAustinforMVP

    MilesAustinforMVP Benched

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    Actually Palin kind of ruined that whole moderate brand McCain had going for him. In fact Obama got more moderate votes than Bush did in '04.

    The problem was no matter who the Republicans nominated he was just going to end up being a sacrificial lamb in this sort of political climate.
  19. bbgun

    bbgun Benched

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    Yes, because Republicans who did the opposite of that did so well this year. :rolleyes:
  20. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    miles your opinion of what is conservative is kind of funny. Hagel was a joke for a long time in the party.

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