There seems to be quite a bit of buzz about Obama's pending appointment of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense. The announcement is supposed to take place on Monday 1/7.
The Democrats have two real complaints that I can find. The first, which is a valid criticism, is Hagel's anti-gay sentiments as a Senator. Now, there are a couple of reasons that this really isn't relevant to this appointment. The first being that, as a senator, he would have been bound during those years to tow the party line. Now, whether that was his reasoning or that he's really bigoted, I don't know. However, the position of Secretary of Defense has nothing to do with any US legislation regarding the LGBT community, so the point is moot.
The other complaint they seem to have is that he's a republican, and Obama should be looking to his own party for his cabinet. Let me be perfectly clear on this point. The partisan "drama" has gone on long enough. If we're to accomplish anything of import in the next four years, we need to start working together. People like Hagel and Christy showing blatant bi-partisanship and willing to work with our president is necessary for us to move forward. If your biggest issue with this appointment is his party, then you are part of the problem.
The Republicans have some complaints as well. Many of them have a problem with Hagel's stances against the Iraq war. They also have a problem with his outspokenness against our blatant support of Israel. Those are both very good reasons for us all to support this appointment. A quote from Ed Koch really says it all for me.
“Such an appointment would give great comfort to the Arab world that would think that President Obama is seeking to put space between Israel and his administration."
In reality, Chuck Hagel is a decorated Vietnam Veteran who knows first hand the horror of war. He has a record of knowledge and insight into the political climate surrounding conflicts and military actions around the world. I fully support this appointment, and I think we should all stand by our President in this. He's making a wise choice.
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