Why Chuck Hagel?

Politico runs a piece called “Why Obama went all-in on Chuck Hagel.” The article eventually provides an answer: “because he’s unafraid of sacred cows. . . .”

The “sacred cows” aren’t named, but they don’t have to be. Obama nominated Hagel to stick it publicly to Israel and what he and Hagel consider “the Jewish lobby.”

Actually, the “pro-Israel lobby” probably could have killed the Hagel nomination, and would have done so if it were worthy of this description. Instead, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, and AIPAC have remained on the sidelines, cowed by Barack Obama.

Score one for Obama’s “stick it to Israel” campaign.

On the other hand, Hagel has been forced to back away from most of his most offensively anti-Israel positions and remarks. So the “stick it to Israel” campaign turns out to be something of a wash, given that administration policy towards Israel will be roughly the same (hostile) regardless of the identity of the Secretary of Defense.

Where does this leave us? As the Politico article makes clear, barring the unexpected, it leaves us with a Secretary of Defense in whom virtually no one, by this point, has any confidence.