Nebraskans Should Choose Jon Bruning For Senate

We did not abandon Chuck Hagel. He abandoned us.

By The Directors Posted in Comments (58) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

ImageIt is never an enjoyable thing to take on your own team. It is never fun to turn your back on someone you have previously embraced and supported. But when that former friend keeps rejecting you, insulting you, and putting his personal gain ahead of that of both the country and its citizens, it's time to face reality and admit you are not abandoning your friend. Your friend has abandoned you.

Now is that time with Chuck Hagel. Mr. Hagel has suggested the President of the United States, the leader of his party, should be impeached. Mr. Hagel has ignored what the troops are saying and instead has run to the nearest microphone to denounce the war. Mr. Hagel has done what he could to help himself, not the party, the people, nor the country.

“Chuck Hagel has abandoned the GOP. It's time to accept that fact and elect Jon Bruning as Nebraska's next United States Senator.”

It's time for the Republican Party to abandon Mr. Hagel as Mr. Hagel has abandoned the Republican Party. It is time for the Republican Party to get behind Jon Bruning.

Jon Bruning is a solid conservative, a loyal Republican, and good man. In 2002, he was elected as the youngest Attorney General in Nebraska history and was unopposed in his 2006 re-election bid. Prior to becoming Nebraska's AG, Bruning served for six years in Nebraska's legislature. He fought for tax cuts, victims of crime, and families.

Chuck Hagel has abandoned the GOP. It's time to accept that fact and elect Jon Bruning as Nebraska's next United States Senator.

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or whatever one calls it these days. But how is this any different from what the Democrats (of whom I am one) tried to do to Lieberman last go round?

Both are pretty much down the line party members except in regard to Iraq. Both represent states which are pretty solid for their party. When Lamont challenged Lieberman, the idea was derided on this site as silly. How is this different?

More importantly, how is this bid going to be any more successful than was Lamont's, especially when most Nebraskans support a timetable for withdrawal (although not as high of a percentage as does the nation at large), the only place where Hagel and any Republican challenger will differ?

Well, for starters, Jon Bruning is a popular statewide candidate who has twice been elected statewide — the second time uncontested.

Next, Lieberman was quite popular in his state across parties. Hagel is not.

Then, there is the fact that Hagel has talked favorably of impeaching the President of the United States who happens to be the leader of his own party.

Lastly, there is Hagel's craven disregard for the troops in the field just so he can get on TV.

At what point, if not this one, do we find a new candidate?

1) and 2) have to do with electability. I'm sure that Bruning will run a competive campaign in nominated, but do you really think he would be more of a lock than Lamont would have been if Lieberman hadn't gone indie? The GOP candidate came in a distant third in Connecticut.

3) and 4) have to do with party loyalty, especially the vocal manner in which Hagel displays his disagreement. That was precisely what irked Democrats so badly about Lieberman. He wasn't happy being the pro-Iraq war Democrat; he had to go on TV every weekend to talk about how wrong-headed his party was, not to mention that every pro-Iraq measure got the "bipartisan support" label when it was really the GOP plus Lieberman.

I'm not one to tell Republicans when to run a primary opponent or not. I'd actually love to see Bruning get the nod so that the Democrats could compete in another state. I just don't see any real difference between Bruning's and Lamont's bids, except for the fact that a Bruning primary win could potentially mean a Democratic general election win.

Lieberman did lose his primary. However, he had enough support from Republicans and Independents in his state to win the general as an "Independent Democrat".

I don't think Hagel would be able to pull off the same trick.

(Formerly known as bee) / Internet member since 1987
Member of the Surreality-Based Community

but not one that makes it wiser to run a primary challenger. When Democrats ran Lamont against Lieberman, they new that the furthest right candidate they'd get would be Lieberman; the Republican (does anyone even remember his name?) didn't stand a chance. The whole deal was a no-lose prospect for Democrats.

Hagel would win reelection in a walk. A pro-Iraq candidate would have a tougher time. Ousting Hagel in a primary is a good way to get another blue senator in a red state. As a Democrat, I'd be fine with another Webb/Tester/McCaskill/Brown, but I'm pretty sure that's not what most of the folks here are hoping for.

I have a moonbat cousin I talk politics with, and he is a fan of Hagel.

And the Nebraska Democratic Party is also upset with the idea of Bruning making a challenge. Thats enough to convince me that Bruning needs to run.

I have "moonbat" friends who like Giuliani (and even one who likes McCains), but I never met any that cared for Hagel. I never understood why so many "wingnuts" liked Lieberman either, though. So it goes, I suppose.

As to the NDP, I believe that they are trying to make a grab at the AG spot by making Bruning out to be negligent of his job. In addition, just like with the presidential race, it doesn't hurt to attack any and all candidates of the opposing party as earlier and as loudly as possible.

Either way, though, as a Democrat, I fully support Bruning's run. As an individual, I find the inconsistency between the way Lamont's and Bruning's runs were/are portrayed here amusing.
So good luck taking down Hagel; the more fights in '08 more races I get to watch/bet on against my other political-junkie friends.

How unprincipled liberals are.

If you are a liberal obsessed with ending the Iraq war then I can see why Hagel might seem like a hero. His position (my cousins)is principled, even if its a principle I disagree with.

I guess that if I could trade a low flat tax of about 10-15%, privitized social security and medicare, universal school choice, the elimination of all agricultural and industrial subsidies, unilaterally disarm and dismantle all trade barriers, a federal judiciary full of Scalias, and eliminate every federal government agency and function that I viewed to be outside of what the government's core functions should be in exchange for ending the Iraq war...I guess I have to admit that I'd do it if liberals would also forsake ALL of those principles just in order to end the Iraq War.

Even CFG does not have as big a crush on Hagel as you do. They give him a mere 87 last year. Graham got an 86, and you are cool with dumping him. You sound ready to start a "Draft Hagel for POTUS" movement.

Lindsey Graham's 2005 rating was a measly 72 - ranking him 38 out of 55 Republicans. Not exactly steller. And Graham undermines the conservative agenda in many other more dangerous ways - such as his sabotage of conservative nominees to the federal judiciary. Lindsey Graham is a truly terrible senator on a wide range of topics, although I'm happy to see him get his economic agenda together last year - he also came close to proposing some really backwards economic sanctions on China that were reminiscent of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act which helped spawn the Great Depression.

Hagel is really just bad on the war. I don't want to see Chuck Hagel anywhere near the White House. I just want him to stay in the Senate.

1. We don't put Sen. Hagel in blackface
2. We don't attack Sen. Hagel personally
3. We aren't flipping out because he hugged a political opponent
4. We aren't doing any of the other nasty things the online left does routinely, either

Run like Reagan!

There is nothing wrong with the Republican Party demanding accountability from its members. Chuck Hagel relishes his role as being thorn in the side of the Republican Party, and the mainstream media is all too happy to oblige him with as much coverage as he wants, just as long as he is criticizing other Republicans. This schtick really crossed the line when he hinted at supporting the impeachment of the President of his own party.

Knocking off Hagel sends a clear signal to other "maverick" Republicans. The media may love your publicity stunts, but the grass-roots base will end your career if you tear down other Republicans in order to gain stature with the MSM.

"Back in the thirties we were told we must collectivize the nation because the people were so poor. Now we are told we must collectivize the nation because the people are so rich. "

William F. Buckley, Jr.

If we can't hash out our policy differences in the primaries, then there is NO time we are afforded to do so, if we are to follow Reagan's 11th.

The ability of one faction to challenge antoher in the primary is a vital safety outlet that helps keep the party from exploding from its internal differences.

So I don't want to hear one word, not one word, about how this is anti-party. Not one. This is what a primary election is for.

Having one previous primaries does NOT give the Senator a lifetime bye from having future challenges. That's not how a party controlled by its membership works.

Run like Reagan!

You are right on all accounts. Some seem to get selective about this issue, but that doesn't cut it.

I expect there will be quite a few senate primaries that involve incumbents come next year. To say it is unhealthy is plain wrong.

In the 2008 election cycle, conservatives should focus on improving the Senate by replacing two of its own:
Chuck Hagel and Lindsey Graham.

I'm with you on Linsdsey Graham. He has done as much harm to the task of reforming the judiciary as any Democrat and he's in favor of surrendering our borders. Graham must go and he should be replaced with Thomas Ravenel.

His Club for Growth scores aren't very good either. Throw Graham overboard.

In 2006 Chuck Hagel's Club for Growth Score was an 87, In 2005 it was 99% - making him somewhere between the 4th and 14th most economically pro-growth senator in the country.

He is against Agricultural Welfare in Nebraska of all places!

I don't agree with Hagel on the war, and I used to want him to go, too. However, after considering Chuck Hagel's record in its entirety, the conservative movement is a lot better off having Chuck Hagel in the Senate than another pork-loving Republican. I think that Bruning is likely to be another Ag Welfare Porker just like Ben Nelson and a majority of other midwestern politicians.

This is an extremely boneheaded, shortsighted move by the directors.

Adrian Smith? Pete Ricketts? I'd support either one of them. But Bruning? Maybe he'll surprise me, but right now I have to say, thanks but no thanks.

The porkbusters are sorely misguided, letting 1-2% of the federal budget be their guiding star.

The war and national security are almost indescribably more important than who gets a federally-funded swimming pool, I say.

Run like Reagan!

...a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right...

---Thomas Paine---

Chuck Hagel's stellar scores are based upon his commitment to reducing the size of government, free trade, tort reform, tax reform, and generally empowering the people in promoting greater capitalism.

Anyone who supports ousting Chuck Hagel has forfeited any right to complain about Jerry Lewis, Ted Stevens, Don Young, or any of the other nefarious violators of multiple principles of a conservative vision of a limited government. Because, hey - at least they're good on the war.

Nevermind that we have a lot more ground to be made up in the battle for limited government than in the battle to hold the votes together on Iraq.

Hopefully the Club for Growth will come out swinging for Hagel and put all of this idiocy to rest. That's how the NRA took the gun issue off the table - they backed those incumbants who backed them, regardless of their stances on other issues or party affiliation.

This is not a rhetorical question. Do you have any evidence that Bruning would be bad on economic growth?

There is nothing to suggest that Bruning knows or cares about what pro-growth policies are or why they are so important.

Chuck Hagel has a proven track record.

There is nothing to suggest that he'd be GOOD on pro-growth economic policy. That's usually ominious.

I think that Bruning is likely to be another Ag Welfare Porker just like Ben Nelson and a majority of other midwestern politicians.

And you may want to take a closer look at what Ricketts actually ran on.

Stay out of this primary (unless you want even fewer donations).

The CIA has better politicians than it has spies - Fred Thompson

Bussing Democrats in to vote for Chafee? Give me a break...

Hopefully the new team replacing Sen. Dole's has more sense than that.

Run like Reagan!

who the new team is? I didn't know we (or should I say 'they') were changing the guard over there.

It's war -- so when can we start shooting back at the enemy Democrats?

them to continue to act like Republicans (ie the stupid party)

The CIA has better politicians than it has spies - Fred Thompson

The Club for Growth can probably do just as much if not more to propel Hagel as the NRSC and RNC could - and you're lining up against one of their Senate all-stars. I don't like your chances.

I am a big fan of Club for Growth. I have given money to them and supported a lot of their candidates. I check their web site regularly. They have not been talking a lot about Hagel. They haven't been talking against him either. I suspect their support will depend a lot on Bruning's stances on tax and spend issues. Unless there is a big difference they may stay out of the primary.

The #1 rule of special interests is to always back incumbants who are good on your issues. It's because they are risk averse. You have an incumbant who is proven on your issues, and so you back him because the challenger might be good on your issues and might not be. Do you really want to take that chance? I don't.

That is not the way that Club for Growth usually operates. They are more set up to finance primary challengers to economically liberal Republicans, especially those in strong Republicans districts and states. They have not been that strong on backing incumbents.

Also see George Allen and Chris Chocola. Do you have any doubt that if any of their top performers were in a contested primary that they would balk at supporting him?

You seem to think that the Club for Growth is merely obsessed with fielding challengers and not preserving their hard-earned work, which seems naive to me.

Yes, they usually operate to oust economically liberal Republicans with challengers because they've not had a whole lot of incumbants to protect. Chuck Hagel, howver, is one such incumbant.

Bruning might face not only Hagel, but a gang of conservative special interests who are well served by having him continue in the Senate despite his pugnacious stance on Iraq.

Allen and Chocola were not challenged in the primaries. They were challenged in the general election by people who advocated bad economic policies.

If Bruning is ok on economic issues then there is nothing for the Club for Growth to defend.

Just don't write him off before he has announced a position on these issues.

Will he be challenged by John Frankenberry?

"Nothing works like freedom, Nothing succeeds like liberty"

outside pressure groups. We had the Las Vegas casino industry pour a lot of money into getting us to legalize casino gambling, we still said no. We won't vote against a candidate because he has CFG support, but we are a very independent people and won't want to vote for someone just because of an outside interest group.

I'm not sure why we need such a ridiculous number of different groups grading members of Congress. In any case CFG is pretty far down on my list when evaluating candidates. And if they decide to back Hagel they'll be picking a fight with the GOP base. His CFG score for 2006 was 87, so I don't know that he is an All-Star exactly.

Looking at some of the votes CFG used in arriving at their numbers, I have to wonder what they are up to. Some make sense but others look plain weird.

...and let the people decide!

Yes! Go Bruning! I know all about Hagel's CFG score, and his ACU score, all that. Reliable vote in most of the conventional ways. But the guy makes a living from grand-standing on the Sunday shows and bashing Bush, the GWOT, and conservatives.

Plus, any time there's one of those 'bi-partisan efforts' (as the press calls it when there are 48 Dems and 4 Repubs involved), he's a frequent participator in that non-sense.

Not to mention he was one of the proponents of the Amnesty Bill. I wonder what ACU and CFG think of that.

He's not a liberal like Specter, Collins, and the rest. But he is a back-stabbing, opportunistic weasel, which makes him another flavor of RINO.

And if we don't Primary these people who don't feel obliged to represent their constituents, then what? Is there no lesson to be learned by the Toomey fiasco? Every time that CS Specter opens his mouth, I think about how we could have had Toomey, if only Santorum and GWB had kept their mouths shut.

It's war -- so when can we start shooting back at the enemy Democrats?

Can Hagel pull a Lieberman, losing his party's primary, but still wind up with his name on the ballot as an independent?

A lot of states have laws that you have to register and get the required signatures to be on the ballot as an independent BEFORE the parties have their respective primaries.

If Hagel can legally put himself on the ballot as an independent after losing his primary, he will. He'll only leave the Senate kicking and screaming.

"Back in the thirties we were told we must collectivize the nation because the people were so poor. Now we are told we must collectivize the nation because the people are so rich. "

William F. Buckley, Jr.

Hagel has a 0% probability of winning an election in Nebraska. In this state, he's almost as popular as Al Jazeera, an organization he will forever be associated with. His presence on a ballot would guarantee victory for his Democratic opponent, in this red state. The worst thing that could happen to Bruning would be for Hagel to lose/drop out of the primary, and end up supporting Bruning. We have long grown tired of Hagel's tirades, and the negative PR he has carefully manufactured for this state.

I'm worried Hagel could bleed off enough support from the Republican nominee (Bruning), and give the Senate seat to a Democrat.

It's an unlikely scenario, but Nebraska has a Democrat Senator (Nelson), so it's not completely impossible.

"Back in the thirties we were told we must collectivize the nation because the people were so poor. Now we are told we must collectivize the nation because the people are so rich. "

William F. Buckley, Jr.

I am confused now. Nebraska is a well-known conservative stronghold, right? And Hagel has all these high rankings from CFG (a decidedly conservative outfit, if a 1-trick pony), and the ACU.

Then why does he have no chance of getting re-elected?

Oh, never mind, I forgot. Could be that "impeach Bush" thing, plus that "weekly Sunday morning 'conservatives and their values suck' grandstanding", etc.

It's war -- so when can we start shooting back at the enemy Democrats?

No, Nebraska is a well-known centrist stronghold that leans right.

Nebraska only leans right, I'd love to see how much of the vote Kerry would have gotten in a conservative stronghold. 20%? 10%?

"Despite the current Republican domination of Nebraska politics, the state has a long tradition of electing centrist members of both parties to state and federal office; examples include George Norris (who served his last few years in the Senate as an independent), J. James Exon, and Bob Kerrey. This tradition is illustrated by Nebraska's current U. S. senators: Republican Chuck Hagel is considered a maverick within his party, while Democrat Ben Nelson is considered by some to be the most conservative member of his party in the Senate"

There has been talk of Bob Kerrey running for this seat. I don't see how Bruning survives a race against Kerrey. Hagel, with the power of incumbancy, probably could keep Kerrey out of the race.

And I'll stipulate that it's a seat we could lose if Kerrey or that Omaha mayor (I think?) who has been talking about running gets in the race.

That said, to call Nebraska "a well-known centrist stronghold that leans right" is completely ridiculous and dilutes the meaning of the word centrist beyond all usefulness.

How many times has a Democratic candidate for president carried Nebraska since Germany invaded Poland? Once. LBJ over Goldwater in 1964 by about 5%. -

I think that's a pretty good streak.

Ok, so they elect Democrats to the Senate. So do the Dakotas. Come on, Massachusetts just elected their first Democratic governor since Dukakis. These things don't make either North Dakota or Massachusetts "centrist."

Nebraska has to be on any short list as one of the most Republican and most conservative states in the country.

I don't think we are all doctrinare republicans. It seems that we are very socially conservative - even Ben Nelson has stated support for a Pro-life ammendment to the constitution.

Jacob mentioned this above, but I think it's important to expand upon this. As someone backing Hagel in this one, I'll be the first to say that he has a huge ego. That ego could very well cause him to run an independent bid should be be defeated in a primary.

In his last election, Hagel ran up the score on his Democrat opponent, taking 85% of the two-party vote. If he, an incumbent Senator, took a third of that, it would present a serious problem for Bruning if the Democrats were to put up a serious candidate. Even if Bruning or Hagel then went on to win, we would have spent valuable resources that could have been spent defending Sen. Sununu and other incumbents or attacking Sen. Landrieu & Co.

What's more, Hagel is conservative on everything but Iraq. Although conservatives have a much more cohesive unit than the left coalition, we will fall apart if every issue becomes a litmus test. We'd have enough people depart on just about every Republican candidate that we'd become a permanent minority. Pro-lifers, immigration activists, tax cutters, deficit hawks, spending cutters, and gun activists would all start expecting to get everything they want from every candidate and never settling for anything less. I'm all for primaries against those who are generally more harmful than helpful, but single-issue deal breakers for every incumbent will kill us.

Obviously, I still consider the Directors allies and they are doing far more for conservatism than I am, but I think that in this particular case, they have made a poor judgment call. As influential as they are, I really hope that this doesn't end up handing the seat of someone who's almost always on our side to someone who almost never is.

...except your deference to the Directors. These aren't exactly the sharpest knives in the drawer or the editors of National Review or anything, that's for sure. LOL

"Hagel is conservative on everything but Iraq."


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