In view of his pronounced opposition to gays and lesbians and the existence of Israel, some observers expected those groups to at least resist Obama’s appointment of Chuck Hagel to be our next Secretary of Defense. Silly them, that would be like expecting the Communist Party of America to break party lines with Stalin. It won’t happen.
While there is reluctance from groups and individuals generally supportive of Obama, critics from the Jewish and gay communities aren’t going on the record with outright opposition to the choice of the former Nebraska senator.
Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League said in a Monday statement that Hagel “would not have been my first choice” but that it’s the “president’s prerogative” to choose who he wants serving in his Cabinet.
Just-retired Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) had been a vocal critic of the pick as recently as a few days ago… but has come to terms with Obama’s choice. “I was hoping the president wouldn’t nominate him,” Frank told the Boston Globe on Monday morning, but he’s willing to look past Hagel’s controversial comments on gay Americans in the interest of the country’s national security priorities.
“The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the group that Hagel once called “the Jewish lobby,” hasn’t weighed in with a statement of opposition, as some have expected it might.
Other Obama allies are also coming in line.
The National Jewish Democratic Council said Monday that while Hagel has a ”questionable record on Israel,” it expects him to follow Obama’s “lead of providing unrivaled support for Israel.”
OutServe-SLDN, which represents LGBT members of the military, is also satisfied with Hagel’s apology …. “Senator Hagel clearly has the military credentials and experience to do the job of running our nation’s Defense Department – at OutServe-SLDN, we have no doubt about that – and we appreciate his apology for the anti-gay remarks he made in 1998 and the commitment he expressed to LGBT service members and their families,” the group said in a statement Friday.
Human Rights Campaign said that Hagel’s apology and support for gay rights “is appreciated and shows just how far as a country we have come when a conservative former Senator from Nebraska can have a change of heart on LGBT issues. Our community continues to add allies to our ranks and we’re proud that Senator Hagel is one of them.”
The fact that Hagel is a pacifist who hates the United States is of course irrelevant to the discussion; in fact, for Democrats, it’s a plus, but it’s almost amusing to watch the apparatchiks scramble to line up under official Obama doctrine. Second front now!
RELATED: Even the editorial board of the Washington Post thought he was unfit to serve as Defense Secretary. Of course that was three weeks ago, before the secret marching orders were sent from the White House, so who knows where they stand now?