The overwhelming feeling you get from watching the low points of Chuck Hagel’s SecDef hearings is: what on Earth is this man doing here? He scarcely seems as if he wants to be there. The angles of attack taken by various skeptical senators were entirely predictable; with the possible exception of small but telling incidents like the al-Jazeera interview that Ted Cruz bludgeoned him with, he should have known all of this was coming.
Leaving aside politics, the proverbial man from Mars would wonder why this particular gentleman was tapped for a position that many others must be far more qualified to hold. But of course, it’s all about politics – not only Obama picking a fight with his political opponents over the nomination, but also Hagel’s real job, which will involve running through the Defense Department with a budget axe, while assuring credulous media talking heads that we don’t need all that ironmongery any more, because the world is ultra safe now.