Out of Nowhere

Washington Post on Hagel

The Washington Post's shockingly anti-Chuck Hagel editorial.

Here's something you should know about. The Washington Post has an editorial today that comes down heavy on Chuck Hagel in a really big way. This is one of those shot-across-the-bow editorials, but of an especially intense and prickly sort. We basically have the Washington Post saying here to Obama, do not follow through with this nomination, we'll do all we can to help defeat him. Like this:

Mr. Hagel’s stated positions on critical issues, ranging from defense spending to Iran, fall well to the left of those pursued by Mr. Obama during his first term — and place him near the fringe of the Senate that would be asked to confirm him.

Fringe? Youch. That word terrifies politicians and is no doubt meant to do just that in this case. The Post's cahier against Hagel covers the Pentagon budget and Iran's nuclear capability (surprised they left Israel out).

Normally, of course, senators will vote nearly automatically to confirm a former senator, one with whom many of them served no less, to a cabinet post. This editorial changes that calculus instantly. The Post is all but saying to senators, "Not this time." That would certainly be some sight, wouldn't it? Republicans blocking a former Republican senator and decorated war veteran!