For Chuck Hagel, a Third Party?

(a Dem running mate?)

By Mark Kilmer Posted in Comments (37) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

By reporting the suggestion that Hagel might run with a third party, I'm not dragging out that "giant sucking sound, pig in a poke, Larry" crowd. Or the PJBs. I'm talking about an outfit our media could embrace.

According to Hotline on Call, Chuck Hagel is thinking about bolting the GOP for a Presidential run, perhaps with Unity08, an internet outfit put together by Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford alumni.

Good for him, I guess. From a Hagel celebration in today's WashPost:

[H]is standing among conservative party faithful who will determine the outcome of the Republican presidential nomination remains strikingly low because of the intensity of his attacks on Bush. But Hagel has gained a particular following within the antiwar community.

Make love, not war, maaaan. Truth to power.

Read On…

According to the WashPost, Hagel has joked about running with New York's Republican-ish Mayor Mike Bloomberg. He's also talked about a Democratic running mate, which is where the Carter-Ford alums' Unity08 group comes in.

Names? He digs Obama, according to the WashPost, but he doubts they could team up, in the paper's words, "given the vast difference in their parties' principles." What principles, Chuck? I assume he's at least heard of such things.

Hotline on Call links a National Journal piece, which is understandable, that ranks the candidates from the Republican nomination. (Note to the bedazzled, they put Mitt at No. 2, behind McCain.) In it, they note that the last anti-war candidate to survive a GOP primary was named Romney. Former Michigan Governor George Romney, Dick Nixon's HUD secretary and Mitt's dad.

I still cannot picture Hagel, for all his faults, running with a Democrat. Who would he select who would accept the offer? How about Carl Levin? Maybe he could pick Olympia Snow, though I think she's still a Republican.

Chuck faces a lot of choices, but perhaps he's gearing up for his own reelection campaign next year in a State (Nebraska) which is said to be trending blue.

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For Chuck Hagel, a Third Party? 37 Comments (0 topical, 37 editorial, 0 hidden) Post a comment »

... has gotten longer on both sides, I've suspected this might happen.

Hagel is no favorite here, but his perceived disloyalty to the cause might well be sincere -- and personally frustrating.

Just as I suspect Joe Lieberman is very sincere and very frustrated.

And John McCain (in his own confused way).

And Rudy (if he gets deep-sixed for his liberal social views).

And what of the more moderate Democrats who looked at '08 and saw no real chance of winning the nomination? Evan Bahyh and Mark Warner come quickly to mind.

It almost feels like the country is ready for three parties: A truly conservative party, a "moderate" party, and a truly liberal/progressive party.

We would also like to know your advice for somebody like my daughter, who's going to graduate in two years, advice that you would give a young person.

SEC. RUMSFELD: Advice for a young person. Study history.

We would also like to know your advice for somebody like my daughter, who's going to graduate in two years, advice that you would give a young person.

SEC. RUMSFELD: Advice for a young person. Study history.

Is the moderate party would splinter into 15 or 20 more.

However, the ideological chasm between left and right is obviously waaaay wider than the actual policy chasm. I suspect that if the "centrists" focussed on policy rather than ideology, they could actually come up with a set of stuff they'd agree on.

Ironically, the menu might look a lot like things that Bush has tried to do -- particularly domestically.

We would also like to know your advice for somebody like my daughter, who's going to graduate in two years, advice that you would give a young person.

SEC. RUMSFELD: Advice for a young person. Study history.

Though it raises the question of why "centerists" at present focus more on ideology than on policy. You would think that they could put policy first and sieze control of one of the two major parties. I'd that this has not happened because most issues do not lend themselves well to a "split the difference" solution.

They have to confront the ugly (to them) reality that the reason why we have two major and polarized parties is because “liberals” and “conservatives” have two very different worldviews about the way things should be done and what is really “best for the country.”

We had that experience here in Minnesota where we have a third major party (the laughably named “Independence Party” which ran Jesse Ventura in 1998) whose approach to policy consisted largely of saying several variations of “rise above partisan politics.”

I’ll wager my Farscape DVD collection that should Unity08 (or whatever it will call itself) actually come up with a policy platform on the issues it will be a “split the difference” approach that results in a net growth of government and disproportionately favors the views of the Left (except perhaps on trade).

Let's get one thing straight, the only reason you are conscious right now is because Jack Bauer does not feel like carrying you.

Anything not expressly conservative will become liberal.

"Nothing works like freedom, Nothing succeeds like liberty"

Once an organization defines itself moderate or middle ground the left starts moving further to the left until the hypothetical middle is where they started originally.

Veritas magna est et praevalet.

It seems to me that the only people who call McCain the GOP's "front-runner" are the press. We the People rank him closer to the bottom of the list with people like Hagel (see recent straw polls on the web).

Just the idea that Hagel thinks he has a chance makes me laugh.

a McCain/Lieberman ticket, if Rudy was our nominee, but that's the only split ticket (that I deem to have any actual chance of forming) I could envision myself voting for under any circumstance. As for Hagel... I'd spit on him before I'd vote for him.

Perhaps another Clinton elected in a three-man race with the cartoon candidate drawing GOP votes 2:1, but not collecting any electoral votes. That's how we got stuck with the first Clinton.

I think there might be more conservatives than liberals out there right now. You might see the inverse of 1996: With the Republican (pro-life, FiCon, pro-traditional marriage, pro-war, limited taxation/government, build a wall and jail the crim-aliens) getting a 45% plurality; the centrist ("change in direction" on war and corruption, balance the budget, socially moderate, universal health insurance, coprehensive immigration reform) 15-20% and the liberal (who would be free to be virulently anti-war, openly for open borders, loudly pro-abortion, and loudly pro-socialized medicine, and pro-gay marriage) 35-40%.

We would also like to know your advice for somebody like my daughter, who's going to graduate in two years, advice that you would give a young person.

SEC. RUMSFELD: Advice for a young person. Study history.

your "centerist" and "liberal" groups are in substantive agreement.

Socially moderate = pro-gay marriage. Pro-comprehensive immigration reform = openly for open borders. Pro-socialized medicine = universal health insurance.

These people want essentially the same things. Their differences are cosmetic, or ideological.

I have rarely met a “moderate” who is in favor of making a net reduction in the size, scope, and cost of the federal government or is willing return more issues to the States or people.

Moreover I think it is intellectually dishonest for “social liberals” to be considered “social moderates” (except perhaps on physician assisted suicide). IMO the public is overwhelmingly opposed to abortion on demand without any restrictions (although they don’t favor as many restrictions as a lot of prolifers want), support capital punishment, oppose changing the definition of “civil marriage,” oppose racial preferences and setasides, and want the borders secured from illegal immigration. Those are the “socially moderate” positions.

Let's get one thing straight, the only reason you are conscious right now is because Jack Bauer does not feel like carrying you.

The problem is, there is no conservative candidate that has a legitimate chance of getting the nomination. So you would have a moderate (McPain or Romney) or liberal (Guiliani) GOP candidate vs. a moderate independent vs. an extreme liberal democrat (pretty much the entire field).

According to Pew Research (which is in theory non-partisan - at least according to wikipedia) the historical break down by party in the US is more like

Reps 27% - 30%
Dems 31% - 34%
Indys 37% - 39%


which is a little old (mid 2004) but has trend data back to 1987. You can poke around the site if you want more current data.

The point here is you can't win in American politics without the middle, and right now the Republicans are managing to upset their base (with the lack of focus on social conservative issues) and p*ss off the moderates (who are lining up against the war.)

It does not bode well for the short term future.

will essentially be over (one way or another) by 2008

"Nothing works like freedom, Nothing succeeds like liberty"

I have to say one of the things that most irritates me the ambiguity in our foreign policy. The War in Iraq end when Saddam's statue was toppled. The War against Terrorism is gong to be with us for a long long time.

However, the current occupation of Iraq will be over before the end of 2009 - because if Bush hasn't started the draw down before the elections in 08, the Republicans will be get "thumped" again. I'd really rather not see 60 Dems Senators, 270 Dem House members AND Hillary or Obama.

are more likely to self-declare than Republicans. Just me sense of things.

We would also like to know your advice for somebody like my daughter, who's going to graduate in two years, advice that you would give a young person.

SEC. RUMSFELD: Advice for a young person. Study history.

The MSM is going to try and replicate the "Elect Clinton" formula - and the presence of a "Third Party" which pulls 5-15% is part of that. A LOT of the McCain coverage will be directed this way - he is their dream "Independent" candidate.

Hagel is incredibly delusional. I would be shocked to hear he had anything more than token (friends and relatives) support from the Republican Party - and if he thinks Democrats are going to reward him for being a pain in the Republican behind by supporting him for President - no way.

that leaves our good friends, the "moderates" - who are going to be occupied as usual - with wet fingers in the wind.

Sorry, Chuck. Don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out.

if Hillary is nominated, the Repubs should consider Giuliani and/or McCain with Condi as VP, but more importantly, give Lieberman a real good look [he might be the first ever to run at the top of two different major party tickets.

Over Christmas, I had a long cocktail conversation with Repub Palm Beach County Chair who told me that Clay Shaw lost because his opponent was Jewish and Jewish Republicans will vote for a Jewish Democrat in the solitude of the voting booth. Another Repub-elected pol at the same party opined that the reason the Florida electoral vote was so close in 2000 was the presence of Lieberman as VP on the ticket. Otherwise, Billy Jeff's swamp creature AG had bagged the Cuban vote for the Repubs with the Elian G fiasco and it would have been a cakewalk for the Repubs, as it was in 2004. These ward-heelers estimate a half-million S. Florida Jews, and at least 200,000 are Repubs, so do the math. If that works nationally, multiply the math.

McCain and VP as Lieberman or Condi, the Repubs can dance to the Homecoming Crown in '08, or Giuliani and Lieberman/Condi. [The Catholic vote for Giuliani will be less than thunderous, but the same principle that got Irish Catholic Dems to become "Reagan Democrats" applies for Giuliani a bit---Kerry as RC was a total loss because of his chameleon camouflage.]

It has rather unfortunate implcations for classical liberalism though. It looks like people will in fact vote for their "tribe" and not for their rational self interests.

The funny thing about all of this is that Hagel is solidly conservative on every issue other than the Iraq War. He has a 86% rating from the ACU, and is definetely more conservative than McCain, Guliani, and Romney. But yet, conservatives have grown to hate him because of his stance on the Iraq War. The opposite is true of Lieberman. He's liberal on every issue other than the Iraq War, and the anti-war left hates him because of his position on Iraq. I guess that just goes to show how big of an issue the Iraq War is right now.

the war has nothing to do with it.

Conservatives have disliked Hagel for much longer than the war. He's like a John McCain without the good judgment.

I have absolutely no beef with conservatives, elected or not, who have opposed establishing a front in the GWoT in Iraq. Bob Novak opposed it. Tucker Carlson opposed it. Dick Armey opposed it. Heck, Milton Friedman even opposed it -- and he's one of my idols.

What frustrates me is somebody who supports something and then runs the other way when the going gets tough. And what frustrates me even more is when they not only run the other way, but go out of their way to make things difficult on those who didn't run away with them.

THAT is my problem with Sen. Hagel. He voted for the Iraq War Resolution. And now, like Kerry, Biden, HRC, and virtually every other Democrat who voted likewise in either house, he's made a name for himself by making life that much more difficult on those charged by the Constitution to carry out his sentiments.

This distinguishes him from Joe Lieberman -- who, after all, is doing nothing more than remaining committed to the effort he helped initiate.

And it pains me greatly to see these spineless politicians duck and take cover from a policy they supported while our brave men and women and uniform are just carrying out their duties bravely...with no such luxury.

People like this don't deserve to be in positions of power and prestige. They're weak. They can't see something through to completion if the slightest difficulty arises.

I’m all for members of Congress including Republican members feeling free to voice their opinions of our policy in Iraq. That’s one of their jobs as members of Congress and insofar as it’s aimed at being constructive, it’s welcome.

But the remarks of Senator Hagel have become indistinguishable from that of Democrats who are simply using this as a political football and have no apparent interest in trying to win (the goal of the administration, Senator McCain, and a few others) or trying to make the most of a less than ideal situation. There is nothing constructive in crying “quagmire” or “failure” particularly when it is not even true.

I supported the Iraqi phase of the War* with the expectation that it would take at least a decade and maybe up to tens of thousands of American lives. So far it’s gone a lot better than I expected and I reject the idea that because things don’t go in a smooth linear progression (who would have thought that levels of violence might rise and fall) that it’s a sign of “failure.” If Senator Hagel had rosier expectations then it was foolish of him to vote for the war resolution. But since he has done so, IMO he has a duty to do his utmost to win.

* And yes, Iraq is part of the War just like Afghanistan and the one hundred or so other countries where we have operations in place against the jihadists.

Let's get one thing straight, the only reason you are conscious right now is because Jack Bauer does not feel like carrying you.

so we know who you are.

Mike Gamecock DeVine @
The Charlotte Observer
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

Is he really going to pull a Bob Smith?

If so, he must simply want out of the Senate. Because that would be the only consequence of consequence to come from his pursuit of the presidency by way of 3rd party. He'd lose the race itself, obviously, and also earn rejection from the Republican Party.

He may be popular enough in Nebraska to do a Lieberman to get reelected, but I sincerely doubt it. Nebraska's not full of independents like Connecticut is.

All that said, I wouldn't exactly be upset to see him go. It would make it that much easier for Mike Johanns to run for, and win convincingly, his seat.

When looking at Republican senators up for election in 2008, there are two that might be worthy of a primary challenge.

#1: Chuck Hagel
#2: Lindsey Graham

Both have done harm to our efforts in the war, which is the overriding issue of this generation. Furthermore, Hagel and Graham are at odds with conservatives on other issues like judges and immigration.

If Hagel were to bolt the GOP, all of the hard work of denying Hagel the 2008 GOP nomination would already be done... by Hagel himself!

"I think he's been a great leader, but I don't want my daughter near him." - Claire McCaskill on Bill Clinton

Graham's a better Senator than he gets credit for. I don't think he's been harmful to the war effort, nor do I think he's been harmful on judges.

He has been down right heroic of the sunday shows in the faces of the defeatists.

Mike Gamecock DeVine @
The Charlotte Observer
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

Mini-McCain was a big supporter of the "Torture Bill," though, and in non-war issues he was, of course, a G14 member.

election on the radio

As I have argued for the past three years, the Iraq War is one of America's finest hours with respect to our accomplishments and even more so with respect to costs incurred when compared to past US wars and with congruent wars in world history.

Yet, Sen. Graham, like most elected officials, and even most unwavering war supporters, has bought into the Drive-by Media-driven conventional wisdom meme that the war has been "mishandled" and that because of same, Iraq is a "mess" requiring a new "plan" or "strategy." Of course, if one wishes not to face the raised eyebrows of Tim Russert and more importantly, to be re-invited as co-stars on Sunday TV shows, one must accept the meme and only then argue for victory.

Most conversations about the war between elected officials and the media are juvenile arguments over meaningless semantic phrases like whether we are "winning" (we won't know we were winning until we have won) and should "stay the course," but even that conversation may be had only after the obligatory re-hash of the WMD intell failures and star chamber-like inquisitions as to whether the poor soul would still vote for the war knowing what we know now. And of course, one must accept that we really know what we know now, ie that since we didn't find the volume of WMD that we expected, that surely they never were there. That we know. Uh huh...

See Amir Taheri on why if we saw the war through the enemy's eyes, public support would be high. There is no excuse for the GOP and their alternative media outlets not to communicate the truth about the war that deserves to be told to honor the troops and to respect the American people.

But Graham didn't get the luxury of an un-challenging canned cliche interview with Bristol. No sir. Bristol challenged Graham on his certainty that more troops at the outset and now would solve all Iraq's problems. Bristol refused to accept the CW that the war has gone badly and is going badly or that the US and not Iraq is responsible for security.

I was happy that Graham got to hear that view, because while I am all for the democratization project as a long-term draining of the swamp that produces terrorists, the main reason we are there is to prevent future 911s by eliminating a terror sponsor state (done) and preventing the establishment of a replacement for same.

read it all

Sen. Graham Displays GOP Culpability for Tepid Public War Support in Radio Interview

Mike Gamecock DeVine @
The Charlotte Observer
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

It's as if people are oblivious to what the impasse was all about and what kind of results we got because of it.

It was not about the appellate court judges -- not for the Republicans and the White House or for the Democrats. It was all about positioning for the SCOTUS nominations. The Democrats knew that Bush would have 1 or 2 picks and they knew that at least one of them would not be a conservative. And they wanted to put him in a position where he felt obligated to get their approval of whomever he nominated. They wanted to be relevant to the process.

The problem for Bush if he succombed to their action was that he was tacitly acknowledging their relevance. As such, he was very bullheaded about keeping those nominees there rather than withdrawing them.

Like most of you, I'm sure, I was pretty apoplectic about the G14 deal when I first heard of it. I wanted them to do away with the filibusters permanently and take votes on all of the nominees.

I felt like G14 was not a compromise, but basically giving sacrificing a couple appellate nominees in exchange for a promise that they wouldn't filibuster. Accordingly, the left was pretty happy with it, because they also thought the nuclear option would be employed.

But it turned out to have worked. Both of Bush's SCOTUS nominees passed, to the chagrin of the Schumers of the world. And, in hindsight, the left sees the G14 as a massive failure to impact the direction of the Supreme Court. And I think they're right to think that way.

For our side, I think it turned out pretty well -- scratch that, very well. We got most of the blocked appellate judges and both of the SCOTUS nominees -- both good ones.

To the credit of both Mike DeWine and Lindsay Graham, they both made it clear when Roberts and then Alito were nominated that they didn't see an "extraordinary circumstance" with either nominee and would gladly vote for the nuclear option were the Democrats to filibuster.

It was enough to get them not to...even though many tried with Alito and the hard left was pushing very, very hard to get him nixed.

you cite and since I feared the senate would make a constitutional argument for the nuclear option. Moreover, the 3 appelleate judges we got were the best, and Roberts and Alito will reverse many free religious speech cases.

more later

Mike Gamecock DeVine @
The Charlotte Observer
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

However Mr. Hagel wants to leave the Republican party is fine with me, as long as its soon. If he wants to go the independent route, and split the appeasement vote, it is probably the best contribution he could make.

Perhaps he is trying out for Gutfields new club....the always at the ready Patriotic Terrorist..

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