Chuck Hagel (R-NE) is far from my favorite member of the Senate. According to Project Vote Smart‘s 2002 Congressional National Political Awareness Test, he expressed support for the following positions, among others: Elimination of federal funding for the arts, a “slight decrease” in family taxes for those earning over $150,000, a large decrease in the capital gains tax and the elimination of estate taxes. He’s also in favor of increasing spending to fund building more federal prisons.
However, he is also in favor of programs that provide inmates with job skills and job-placement help as well as drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs for inmates. Not only that, he is in favor of penalties other than prison for certain non-violent offenders and supports programs that provide job training and placement services for at-risk youth.
Much of that is largely incidental. The following might not be. In the June 27th issue of U.S. News & World Report, Hagel broke rank with the current power structure in the government and leveled what are likely the strongest charges against president Bush and the rest of the
junta administration from within their own party.
“Things aren’t getting better; they’re getting worse. The White House is completely disconnected from reality,” Hagel tells U.S. News. “It’s like they’re just making it up as they go along. The reality is that we’re losing in Iraq.”
In a second piece on U.S. News.com Hagel is quoted even further, saying:
“If things don’t start to turn around in six months, then it may be too late,” says Hagel. “I think it’s that serious.”
“We made basic mistakes going into Iraq from the beginning. We never had enough troops going in. We should have had at least double or triple. There was one bad decision after another. [One] bad decision was allowing Don Rumsfeld and the Pentagon to run postwar Iraq.”
“I don’t know where the vice president is getting his information from. It’s not where I’m getting mine from. This administration at the top–the civilian leaders–is disconnected from what’s going on.”
and finally, perhaps most tellingly:
“We keep putting our forces who are over there in these impossible situations, asking them to do these impossible things when there’s not enough force structure over there and there never was enough force structure.”
“It’s an absolute joke to say that we have a coalition of the willing.”
I never thought I’d say this but, you go, Chuck!