Chuck Hagel: Anti-semite, or just an odd pick?

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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Nobody ever accused the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin of burying the lede. With Chuck Hagel expected to be nominated for defense secretary today, Rubin took one last shot at the former Republican senator this weekend.

She opened with this:

If Republicans had nervy firebrands like the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, someone would rise up to declare, “Chuck Hagel’s America is a land in which gays would be forced back in the closet and Jews would be accused of dual loyalty. Chuck Hagel’s world is one in which devastating defense cuts become a goal, not a problem; we enter direct talks with the terrorist organization Hamas; and sanctions on Iran wither.”

No need to read the rest.

Rubin seems to lament that Republicans don’t have their own version of Ted Kennedy, but of course, they do. There are plenty of Republicans who use incendiary and irresponsible rhetoric. The difference is that the mainstream media doesn’t glorify them — doesn’t call them a “Last Lion” — for engaging in such hyperbole.

Besides, who needs politicians when columnists can pick up the slack?

In any event, this seems a tad overwrought.

This is not to say that Hagel should be nominated. As Bill Kristol pointed out on Fox News Sunday, it’s not like he’s the most qualified — or obvious choice.

“Is there any Hagel legislation?,” Kristol asked rhetorically. “Has he written anything memorable? — said anything memorable?,” Kristol added. “Has he run anything big like the Pentagon?”

Matt K. Lewis