I miss Chuck Hagel. When he was our senator, I disagreed with him about most things, and I never voted for him, but I respected him. Do you know how rare that is here in Nebraska?
Here he is again, showing why. Hagel is a conservative and a Republican. We really do disagree at a fundamental level. But I was never ashamed that he was our senator.
Of course, his courage at speaking up about these things made him really hated in this state - in his own party. So he didn't run for re-election in 2008. Unlike most senators, who think they've been appointed for life, he moved on. But I do miss him. (His replacement, Sen. Mike Johanns, has been a complete embarrassment.)
I got this video from Washington Monthly, thanks to a tip from my commenter here (note that I'm always grateful for such things). But let me quote from that article:
Thomas Friedman noted several weeks ago that “sane Republicans” need to do more to stand up to the “Hezbollah faction in their midst.” But have you noticed how infrequently this actually happens? Even during the debt-ceiling debate, arguably the most dangerous scheme launched by a major American political party since the Civil War, no elected GOP officials — literally, not one — ever stood up during this process to say, “Wait, this is wrong. We shouldn’t do this.” They all just went along. The party’s presidential field cheered them on. High-profile retired Republicans and the GOP’s elder statesmen sat on their hands. Even Hagel, who deserves credit for speaking up now, is about six weeks too late.
I’m reminded of this item from Robert Prather, published in July on the center-right Outside the Beltway blog, about his sense of what’s become of the GOP.
I’ve been moving to the left for a few years now, but these idiots are radicalizing me. I’ve never voted for a Democrat in my life (full disclosure: I didn’t vote the last two elections due to moving), but I doubt I’ll ever vote for a Republican again. They’re either stupid or evil, but either way they’re dangerous and bad for the country.
Shouldn’t there be a legion of Republicans — former office holders, party loyalists, life-long members, all of the above — who are sympathetic to this perspective? Even if they’re not willing to go as far as Prather, aren’t there any GOP officials left who heard Hagel’s concerns and found them compelling?
Isn’t it about time more of them said so?