Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sen Chuck Hagel: McCain Ad Attacking Obama Irresponsible

Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, who accompanied Obama on his middle east trip Criticized John McCain for his latest attack ad insinuating Obama disrespected troops by not visiting a military hospital in Germany.
Obama's campaign called the new accusation "wildly inappropriate."

[Chuck Hagel] agreed, saying on Face The Nation that the GOP's presumptive nominee is "treading on some very thin ground here when he impugns motives, and when we start to get into 'You're less patriotic than me, I'm more patriotic.'

"They're better off to focus on policy differences," he said.

"It's just not responsible to be saying things like that, again, if for no other reason than for the good of this country and the world.

"One of these two men, on January 20th of next year, is going to have to bring this country together, and the world, to deal with huge problems. I think the next president is going to inherit an inventory of challenges as big as Franklin Roosevelt inherited on March 4, 1933."
As an unabashed liberal, I admit I have my own misgivings about beefing up your war credentials with a republican Senator alongside you. But as a Democrat, I've always had some respect for republicans like Hagel, who have openly criticized the neocon policies of Bush & Cheney.

And yet as I ponder my candidate's apparent move to the right on military issues, I realize 2 things that give me confidence:

#1, The Core Values in Obama's foreign policy are still liberal: war is not the only way to solve problems, and economic and cultural exchange fosters stability. What is different from previous Democratic candidates, is that he talks about increasing our military in an almost Reagan kind of way. Obama is not going to be pinned down as other Democrats have been before him, as being weak on military issues. That is something Democrats need to re-brand themselves on, if we are to win this election.

#2, Obama plans to go aggressively into deep-red republican territory, competing in traditionally red states for the first time in a generation. The general election campaign has just yet begun, and we have yet to see the candidates fully engage each other on the ground. And when it comes time for Obama to swing down into those traditionally republican strongholds, he's going to come armed with a tough plan to rebuild our military and take the fight to Al Qeada in Afghanistan/Pakiston.

Sometimes I wonder if I even sound like a Democrat anymore :-) Then I remember that the New Democratic majority is a coalition of many different people. OK, I can compromise a bit on this. In a big tent, we all have to learn how to make temporary compromises in exchange for support in the future. I have an idea what kinds of things I am willing to compromise on, what about all of you?

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