Nebraskans are anti-Semites.
Well…maybe not all Nebraskans.
But Hagel’s vocal anti-Israel positions, as well as a few “poorly worded” items he has written, have lead some groups to ask what the motivation is behind his attacks on the U.S. ally and only pro-Western democracy in the Middle East.
It caught our attention yesterday when the Anti-Defamation League came out against the Hagel possible-nomination.
Now the ADL is not just a pro-Israel group. They are the ones who speak up when synagogues and the like get swastikas painted on them.
(And by the way, the ADL ain’t the liberal J-Street group that the OWH hung their hat on the other day.
So is Hagel deserving of this?
We will just tell you one of the main things people will be pointing to.
One is what Hagel wrote in a book — quoting here the Wall Street Journal:
Prejudice—like cooking, wine-tasting and other consummations—has an olfactory element. When Chuck Hagel, the former GOP senator from Nebraska who is now a front-runner to be the next secretary of Defense, carries on about how “the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here,” the odor is especially ripe.Ripe because a “Jewish lobby,” as far as I’m aware, doesn’t exist. No lesser authorities on the subject than John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, authors of “The Israel Lobby,” have insisted the term Jewish lobby is “inaccurate and misleading, both because the [Israel] lobby includes non-Jews like Christian Zionists and because many Jewish Americans do not support the hard-line policies favored by its most powerful elements.”
Ripe because, whatever other political pressures Mr. Hagel might have had to endure during his years representing the Cornhusker state, winning over the state’s Jewish voters—there are an estimated 6,100 Jewish Nebraskans in a state of 1.8 million people—was probably not a major political concern for Mr. Hagel compared to, say, the ethanol lobby.
Just to note again, the gist is, “Nebraska politicians don’t have to worry about the Jewish vote.”
I.e., they can just let their natural antisemitism fly.
Now we doubt that Hagel has some built-in hate towards Jewish people. We don’t think that’s how he rolls.
And others are already coming to his defense on this point.
But Hagel’s deal is that he likes to be loud and brash and plain speaking on topics he is emotional on.
This is what may very well be coming his way, and it won’t be unlikely that every other national Nebraska pol will have to defend themselves that Cornhuskers don’t hate Jews.
We would just note that maybe — MAYBE — telling Iran that the U.S. is absolutely not going to bomb you or support Israel if they bomb you, isn’t the best strategy for the U.S.’s top military official.
Or one who wants the gig. Some of this is why the Washington Post just came out against Hagel.
All that being said, our guess is that if nominated, Hagel makes it through the Senate.
But the “getting nominated” part could be Hagel’s problem.
There are a few Democrats coming out of the woodwork against Hagel.
And, there a groups that are pushing President Obama to nominate a woman for the post — considering the sausage-fest that is his current cabinet.
And then there was this line,
Moreover, one of the prime reasons for Hagel’s support among liberals — his opposition to the Iraq war — has been blemished by recollection he actually supported the war before he opposed it and Republican President George W. Bush. As one foreign policy analyst who has garnered President Obama’s praise in the past put it, “If I were president, I would be plenty worried about having someone who looks after his own political skin first, and is willing to abandon his president in the process.”
But a name that has been thrust to the fore, and mentioned to us by a few others is… Nebraska Regent Tim Clare.
Don Walton at the LJS did a huge write-up on Clare recently. He notes — and Clare likes to note — that not only is he a Lincoln guy but…
Clare has ties to both of Nebraska’s big cities. He was born in Omaha. He made the Super-State high school football team as a defensive back at Lincoln East. He played a year at Nebraska before he blew out a knee.After graduating from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1985, he worked at First National Bank in Omaha, went to night classes and earned a law degree and a master’s degree in business administration at Creighton University at age 29.
Clare also has a monthly newsletter that he sends out — yes a Regent sends a monthly newsletter — and he is known to be aggressive about keeping all of his campaign contacts up to date. And maybe…just maybe…Clare has been in contact with politicos around the state. We will keep that under our Bo-Pelini autographed helmet for now, but sometimes when you meet with multiple folks, word can get around.
Now some say that there is “no way” Clare would get into a Governor’s race if Rick Sheehy is in it.
Unless Sheehy got out.
For some reason.
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