I am on the record saying that Hagel never seemed like the brightest bulb to me but I deferred to those who insisted that he’s really quite brilliant. I dunno. What I saw today didn’t exactly make me change my mind, even as I have to acknowledge that the Senators questioning him today sounded more like screeching harpies than serious statesmen. I just have the feeling old Chuck didn’t exactly prepare himself for a thoroughly predictable grilling. Or he just doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
I’m sure this has a lot to do with the fact that he’s seen as soft on Iran and hostile to Israel. But I also think some of this is just the way the Republicans deal with apostates. Hagel broke with the party in favor of the Democrats and that. is. simply. not. done. They are making an example of him.
I don’t know if they just want to beat him up and then let him in with a few GOP votes or if they will really tank this nomination. Either way, Hagel didn’t do very well today. If his performance is important (and I’m not sure it is) he didn’t do himself any favors.