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 Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) 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.