Just for a moment, let’s put aside former Nebraska senator and current defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel’s history of opposing gay rights. Let’s put aside his comments about the “legitimate” government of Iran. Let’s even put aside his comments about the influence of the “Jewish lobby” in the United States. Even with all of that off the table, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who could say with a straight face that Chuck Hagel’s performance at his confirmation hearings was anything short of disastrous. Rather than being assured of his bona fides, members of the United States Senate — and Americans everywhere — were left with more questions than answers.