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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

www.NationalView.org's Note From a Madman

August 14, 2008


In the Running

Whether you like it or not, Senator Chuck Hagel (REPUBLICAN-NE) is in the running to become Barack Obama's choice for Vice President.

Comparing it to George W. Bush's choice or Dick Cheney, it's a heck-of-a-lot better.

Hagel (who had met with New York City's billionaire Mayor Mike Bloomberg (the man who has just enough cash to give everyone on the planet one dollar) presumably to be his choice as Number Two had Mayor Mike decided to run as a third party candidate) would be an interesting choice if Obama were to choose him over such Democrats as Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, Indiana's favorite son Evan Bye or Senator Hillary Clinton (assuming she even wants the job).

Hagel has been an true outspoken voice against the Iraq war and has even traveled to Iraq with Senator Obama. He has, more recently, criticized John McCain's following in the Bush-Steps of the current administration in McCain's adherence to the "Stay the Course" message which the Bushies, now the McBushies, are trying to rename, re-frame and re-continue.

Many on the Democratic side don't want Hagel as one of their own, and for good reason. Even the measuring stick of all Conservatives, the American Conservative Union (ACU) rates him as one of their own. By definition that excludes him from being one of our own.

If, and it's a big IF, Obama were to cross that red-blue boundary and select him, Hagel could heal a few blue-wounds by switching parties. After all, he would be running as a Democrat, so, I guess, technically he would be switching. But doing symbolic things such as changing his voter registration would help as well, even though it wouldn't sooth the most rabid (and some not-so-rabid) of us on the Left.

The best argument for Hagel becoming Obama's VP of choice, however, comes not from the Left, but from the Right. They REALLY don't want to see this Maverick (as McCain used to be) Republican with a independent streak helping a Democrat win come this November.

And on top of all that, Hagel's a Viet Nam veteran as well.

"Hagel is his own man. It's tough to be someone's No. 2 when you're used to making your own decisions."
"Hagel couldn't keep his mouth shut long enough to be somebody's No. 2,"
-Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning (REPUBLICAN)

The concern rings as one might expect a Republican to express his concerns: They hate others who are their own person and make their own decisions. They like, and demand robots filing along, single-file in lock-step (or is that goose-step?) behind Their president (or whoever is pulling the stings tight on that President). And they really really hate those who speak out against the will of the few (or the "one").

Hagel would certainly be a more conservative voice in an Obama White House, but is that necessarily a bad thing?

It would nice to see Hagel take such Left-Leaning ideals as health care reform as his own prior to any announcement about his being selected, too.

Don't confuse my understanding of Hagel as a possible choice for the Democrat's Number Two position as an endorsement. But I can see the attraction.

Now the flip- side: Chuck Hagel is a real conservative. He has consistently voted against issues that are near and dear to most Democrats and many middle of the ground Republicans. In 2007, Senator Hagel voted for getting rid of the AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax) instead of making sure it increased with inflation and real wages; he voted against a woman's right to choose; he voted against Stem Cell Research; he voted against requiring Big Oil and other energy companies having to become more transparent three times; he voted against SCHIP for children's health care services; and he voted against student loans.

The things Hagel was against matches the things he was for as well. Senator Hagel voted for extending the Bush 2001 tax cuts; for repealing the inheritance tax, which only applies to 2,300 of America's wealthiest families as the rest of us don't quite meet the multi-million dollar threshold; he voted for requiring corporations to file reports as to their dealings; he voted for off-shore drilling; and he voted for allowing non-union wages to be paid on any and all federally-funded construction projects.

In the end, my pointing out Hagel's attraction to Obama is merely that: My pointing it out. I don't want to see a Vice President Chuck Hagel as President Barack Obama's Second in Command. Although he might be the most attractive of all GOP possibilities out there, in essence, he is merely the prettiest frog...

...and none of us should kiss him.

-Noah Greenberg

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-Noah Greenberg