Nebraska’s Senator Chuck Hagel has become a vocal critic of the Iraq war. Today he said that the United States is losing in Iraq, and Iraq is like Vietnam. The Associated Press reports:
A leading Republican senator and prospective presidential candidate said Sunday that the war in Iraq has destabilized the Middle East and is looking more like the Vietnam conflict from a generation ago.
But wait! What exactly makes Chuck Hagel a “leading Republican senator”? Not seniority; he is a second-termer. Not any official responsibilities; Hagel is not a member of the Senate leadership, nor does he chair a Senate committee. Not legislative accomplishment or influence; Hagel has little noteworthy legislation to his name, and is more often an eccentric voice–e.g., in his call for reinstatement of the draft–than an influence on his fellow Senators. It is hard to escape the conclusion that for the Associated Press, any Republican who attacks the Bush administration and claims that we’re losing in Iraq is automatically promoted to “leading Republican senator” status.
And “prospective presidential candidate”? Not as a Republican.
Via Power Line News.