Mike the Mad Biologist

Chuck Hagel on Know-Nothingism

While I often disagree with Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE), he usually doesn’t practice sleazeball politics. He’s also disgusted by the Cult of Stupidity that has enveloped the Republican Party:

For Hagel, almost as disturbing as Palin’s lack of experience is her willingness–in disparaging remarks about Joe Biden’s long Senate career, for example–to belittle the notion that experience is important. “There’s no question, she knows her market,” Hagel said. “She knows her audience, and she’s going right after them. And I’ll tell you why that’s dangerous. It’s dangerous because you don’t want to define down the standards in any institution, ever, in life. You want to always strive to define standards up. If you start defining standards down–’Well, I don’t have a big education, I don’t have experience’–yes, there’s a point to be made that not all the smartest people come out of Yale or Harvard. But to intentionally define down in some kind of wild populism, that those things don’t count in a complicated, dangerous world–that’s dangerous in itself.

“There was a political party in this country called the Know-Nothings,” he continued. “And we’re getting on the fringe of that, with these one-issue voters–pro-choice or pro-life. Important issue, I know that. But, my goodness. The world is blowing up everywhere, and I just don’t think that is a responsible way to see the world, on that one issue. And, interestingly enough, that is one issue that stopped John McCain from picking one of the people he really wanted, Joe Lieberman or Tom Ridge”–the Independent senator from Connecticut and the Republican former governor of Pennsylvania. (Both men are pro-choice.)

Nuance. How very….French
[/snark]

I’m glad to see a conservative Republican (in a sane environment, Hagel is a conservative Republican) recognize the importance of not being a fucking moron.

Comments

  1. #1 TomJoe
    October 30, 2008

    Sadly enough, if McCain/Palin lose, it’ll most likely be the end of the Republican Party as we’ve known it for the last 20 plus years. Sadder still, is that Palin will be seen as one of the up-and-coming leaders of what is left of the Republican Party. It’s going to be a clusterf**k.

  2. #2 Josh in California
    October 30, 2008

    The marginalization of the GOP is the best thing that could possibly happen in American politics right now. If enough republicans jump ship, we’ll (I hope) end up with a variety of smaller, less powerful parties, putting an end to the idiotic two-party system we’ve had for the last seventy-plus years.

    The dems haven’t been as organized as the republicans for a long time (look at their voting record on issues like illegal domestic spying), so I figure that they’d follow suit and slowly splinter.

  3. #3 Robert Jase
    October 30, 2008

    Chuck Hagel is a remnant of what the Republican party used to be. The handle was pulled when Reagab was elected, its water swas swirling when Bush 1 was in office and burped down the toilet under Bush 2.

  4. #4 Edward
    November 1, 2008

    Back in the late 1970′s, when I was old enough to be paying attention to politics and world events, there were both Republicans and Democrats that I would have voted for, if I could have. I believed very much in voting for the person, not the party. But then came the 1980 election, when Ronald Reagan sold the American public on voodoo economics. Since 1980, the demographics show that the poor have gotten poorer and the rich have gotten richer – that’s real redistribution of wealth for you. I could see that Reagan’s economic policies would be bad for the US in the long term, yet the Republicans have stuck to them ever since, and as a result, I have never voted for a Republican. Yes, the policies have seen some periods of short-term growth, but never anything that is sustainable for several decades.

    I have no great loyalty to the Democrats either, and usually I see them as the lesser of two evils. I long for an election where there are two (or more!) strong candidates between whom I have a hard time choosing. So, while the Republicans seem to be swinging ever rightward into being religious fascists, I wish that more moderate elements would reclaim the party.

    I do not think having only one possibly good choice is the “best thing” for our country.

  5. #5 Larry Fafarman
    November 1, 2008

    For Hagel, almost as disturbing as Palin’s lack of experience is her willingness — in disparaging remarks about Joe Biden’s long Senate career, for example — to belittle the notion that experience is important.

    Sheeeesh — of course she is going to belittle something that her opponent has more of than she does! What in the hell is to be expected? Duh.

  6. #6 Larry Fafarman
    November 1, 2008

    The New Yorker article also says,

    Several of Hagel’s close friends told me they believed that if McCain won the election he would ask Hagel to serve in his Cabinet, as either Secretary of Defense or Secretary of State, and that Hagel would agree, despite their differences.

    How could Hagel hope for a cabinet position in a McCain administration after saying those nasty things about McCain’s running mate? How could Hagel hope for any support from the Republican Party in the future?

  7. #7 Comrade PhysioProf
    November 2, 2008

    Fuck Hagel! Too little too late from a rat deserting a sinking ship.

  8. #8 Jack Zarnett
    February 22, 2009

    The marginalization of the GOP is the best thing that could possibly happen in American politics right now. If enough republicans jump ship, we’ll (I hope) end up with a variety of smaller, less powerful parties, putting an end to the idiotic two-party system we’ve had for the last seventy-plus years.

  9. #9 mirc
    March 10, 2009

    thanks

  10. #10 nusret
    August 2, 2009

    thanks for article very