Some Republicans opposed W.'s nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court because "it was the right thing to do". Can some Democrats be found to act similarly with Chuck Hagel's nomination?
The question is whether there are a few good men or women—serious liberals willing to speak truth to power, honorable Democratic senators willing to put country before party—who will step forward to sink the Hagel nomination.
It will be revealing about the state of liberalism and the condition of the Democratic party if there are none. It wasn’t pleasant in 2005 for conservatives and Republicans to oppose a nominee—in this case a close friend—of a president they supported. It certainly wasn’t pleasant to seem to give any comfort to the president’s critics. Still, to use a corny but apt expression, it was the right thing to do. And a willingness to do it was a sign of the health of American conservatism.
American liberalism shows no such sign of health. Liberals are pretending not to recognize that Hagel is manifestly unqualified. A few have the wit to argue in excuse that associate justice of the Supreme Court is a lifetime appointment while secretary of defense is not. On the other hand, the damage an incompetent secretary of defense could do over the next four years is very great. Even a liberal can see that.
Maybe. But I won't hold my breath.