President Obama today again followed in the footsteps of President Bush and forced his Secretary of Defense to resign in the wake of a devastating mid-term election. Chuck Hagel, who was brought in to be a “tougher”, more “authoritarian” hand (thanks John McCain!) for the administration as it attempted to negotiate peace in the Middle East, will end his tenure shortly.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down amid criticism of the president’s national security team on a series of global issues, including the threat posed by the militant group known as ISIS.
Senior defense officials confirmed to NBC News Monday that Hagel was forced to resign.
The officials say the White House has lost confidence in Hagel to carry out his role at the Pentagon. According to one senior official, “He wasn’t up to the job.”
Another senior administration official said that Hagel has been discussing a departure from the White House “for several weeks.”
I think “discussing a departure” is a nice way of putting it, but that’s part of the job of being a Cabinet Secretary. This President hasn’t exactly expressed remarkable interest in acknowledging his part in any policy failure, foreign or domestic, so throwing Chuck Hagel under the bus and then backing over him after Hagel decided, without the White House’s blessing, to take a more agressive (uncharacteristic) stance on battling ISIS, isn’t entirely out of character. Plus Hagel’s a Republican, though not exactly a run-of-the-mill one when it comes to defense, and Barack Obama isn’t suffering any of those any longer.
Now, there’s not a lot of time to sneak in Dennis Kucinich as Secretary of Defense before Congress changes over, so perhaps Barack Obama could solidify his Bush-like need to interfere foreign matters by picking up the SecDef Bush dumped: Donald Rumsfeld. He’d be a hit with Republicans, and given that we’re quietly escalating again in Afghanistan, right in line with the Obama Administration’s newfound commitment to foreign policy excellence. Or something.
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