The phony Chuck Hagel fight

As if reporters don’t have enough to cover, with the House GOP imploding and another game of fiscal hostage-taking coming in two months, everybody’s gone all in on the “controversy” over former GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel’s nomination as Secretary of Defense. Yes, Sen. Lindsay Graham is shrieking that his foreign policy views are “out of the mainstream,” John McCain has “serious concerns” and Mitch McConnell won’t promise to confirm him, but this will blow over.The biggest non-story is the threat that pro-Israel Democrats might ally to block Hagel’s nomination. Although New York Sen. Chuck Schumer conspicuously failed to promise to support Hagel’s confirmation on “Meet the Press” last month, allegedly because of his insufficient fealty to protecting Israel, Schumer is unlikely to buck President Obama. The National Journal’s Josh Kraashauer had a slightly odd column about Democratic Hagel skeptics, hyping Schumer’s doubts and pointing to the Democratic Jewish “minyan” of senators, including Dianne Feinstein and Carl Levin, as key to the confirmation. But Levin and Feinstein quickly came for Hagel’s confirmation after his nomination Monday. Schumer and New York’s other senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, both released non-committal statements praising Hagel’s background and vowing a fair hearing, but stopping short of endorsing him. Still, it’s almost impossible to imagine the two of them going it alone, without Feinstein or Levin, on Hagel.Continue Reading…

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The phony Chuck Hagel fight

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