The Hagelian dialectic

One of my pet peeves is the way the press treats Chuck Hagel. A member of one of the most press-beloved of all species, the “maverick Republican,” Hagel is ritually referred to–especially when he opposes President Bush–as a “potential Presidential candidate.” As I wrote long ago: not as a Republican, he isn’t. The idea that Hagel could contend for the Republican nomination is absurd. He has no money, no organization, no standing in the polls. At most gatherings of Republican loyalists, he would more likely be tarred and feathered than nominated. So why do our reporters and editors continue to anoint the loathesome Senator Hagel as a possible Presidential candidate whenever they quote him attacking President Bush? I think it’s fair to assume that they do it in order to enhance his stature–which is minuscule, in fact, within the party–and thereby advance their story line of deep division among Republicans.
I’m not talented enough to turn my disgust with Hagel into humor, but Scott Ott is. His latest ScrappleFace column is titled “Hagel Bill Would Cap GOP Senator Numbers”:

Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-NB, today introduced a bill with several of his Democrat colleagues that would cap the number of Republican Senators at current levels and begin negotiations with Democrats for a phased GOP withdrawal from the Senate.
The measure comes as the Senate prepares to debate a Hagel-sponsored resolution opposing President George Bush


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