Monday, August 21, 2006

Hagel States the Obvious or Hagel Tells It Like It Is

Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska is one of my favorite GOP leaders. I like him because he calls a spade a spade and he did that on Sunday on the current state of the Republican Party:

"First time I voted was in 1968 on top of a tank in the Mekong Delta," said Hagel, a Vietnam veteran. "I voted a straight Republican ticket. The reason I did is because I believe in the Republican philosophy of governance. It's not what it used to be. I don't think it's the same today."

Hagel asked: "Where is the fiscal responsibility of the party I joined in '68? Where is the international engagement of the party I joined _ fair, free trade, individual responsibility, not building a bigger government, but building a smaller government?"

His frustration does not lead him to think Democrats offer a better alternative. But Hagel wants to see the GOP return to its basic beliefs.

"I think we've lost our way," Hagel said. "And I think the Republicans are going to be in some jeopardy for that and will be held accountable."

If the GOP gets its head handed to them in the fall; one hopes they would come back to the party Hagel knew. That's a party I would be proud to be a part of again.


Michael Smith said...

I was glad to see Hagel’s comments, but I fear it will fall on deaf ears among the self-righteous core of the party. I see the situation somewhat like a pendulum. The further they push it to the social/religious right, the more it’s going to pull to the left. This November it might just come whipping to the left with a lot of momentum.

I’m all for some of the “right” issues of fiscal conservatism and individual liberties – they can all be argued from a sound basis in the Constitution. But many of the recent action of Republicans simply reflect opportunistic pandering to “conservatives” who would establish a Christian theocracy, driven by the short-term interests of big business, with a foreign policy characterized by “islamo-fascist” paranoia. I’m disappointed that every time I think we’ve reached the limit of public tolerance for this nonsense, a new terror threat or Israeli crisis tops off the public perception that if it weren’t for President Bush we’d be up to our knees in terrorists.

Charlie said...

Hagel's comments on Sunday were right on. The GOP has strayed too far from where it needs to be on fiscal issues and civil liberties (and foreign policy). I'm hoping that Hagel can guide the party back to where it needs to be.