Obama Fires Hagel: The Flat Learning Curve Budges


Sniffs the Weekly Standard:

How Do You Spell Scapegoat? H-A-G-E-L.

Chuck Hagel, apparently fired as Secretary of Defense, was exactly who and what Obama wanted, a weak Defense Secretary willing to carry out the President’s plan of demilitarizing of the U.S. and reducing U.S. power abroad. But that plan has led to rapidly deteriorating stability around the globe, and with ISIS appearing to be winning while the U.S. has restricted itself to bomb runs and “advisors,” Obama had a choice. He could, as he has consistently done for six years, refuse to acknowledge that his policies were misfiring and that his team was failing, thus giving the public no reason to believe that he knew, or perhaps even cared, that his ideology didn’t translate into desirable real world results. He could continue blaming others—Republicans, bad luck, Bush—for failures, and keep his loyalists in their jobs no matter how incompetent they appeared. In the alternative, he could signal that he was not satisfied with the status quo, and let heads roll—you know, like real leaders do. Continue reading

The Hagel Nomination: Integrity Test In The U.S. Senate

Chuck HagelI was able to watch the Senate’s questioning of Secretary of Defense designate Chuck Hagel on C-Span on and off, but clearly “on” enough to recognize a disaster unfolding. Whatever one might be tempted to say about Hillary Clinton’s performance during a day of bobbing and weaving about Benghazi under sometimes hostile questioning before both House and Senate committees, no one can question Clinton’s intelligence, knowledge and preparation. In contrast, no one who watched Hagel can honestly feel confident about his possession any of those qualities. He was uniformly awful, to the point of embarrassment. I found myself feeling sorry for him. He was unprepared. He was vague…he was contradictory; he did not seem to have a grasp on much of anything the job entailed. Several times, Democratic Senators rescued him by correcting his wording or reminding him of what he should have said. In short, he appeared incompetent.

Immediately, various news organizations and reporters told us that it didn’t matter, that Hagel “had the votes.”  If this is true, then the confirmation hearings are a sham, and our elected officials no longer care about trivial matters like the fate of the nation and national defense, but only political maneuvering and point-scoring. Why doesn’t it matter? If a highly touted applicant for an important corporate job botches the job interview, he doesn’t get the job. Are major management jobs in the U.S. Government so much less challenging and important that a lesser standard should adhere? Continue reading