Mickey Kaus takes aim at the media meme that has dubbed the opportunistic outbursts of Chucky Hagel "brave". He is absolutely merciless.
OK, maybe Hagel's not so courageous. Maybe he's just right. Except that he chose, as the moment to make his flamboyant speech, not the vote on the imprudent war itself–he voted for it–but a vote to withdraw support for a last-ditch surge strategy that even the NYT's estimable, on-the-scene pessimist Sabrina Tavernese thinks "may have a chance to work." Was this the right time–it certainly wasn't the courageous time–for a speech like Hagel's? Was he serving the nation or himself?
Saying "the war was wrong but the surge is worth a try"–that would be courageous. There's no ready-made constituency eager to cheer a pol who says that.
Bucking your party to actively fight against the war when it would have made a difference–that would have been courageous.**
Hagel hasn't done either of those things. Instead, he let loose at the precise moment when letting loose was least brave and least timely.
And at a time that inflicts the most damage on troop morale, I might add. Chucky is getting lots of love from the left, the HuffnPuff had a whole front page dedicated to him the other day. But they are supporting him only in an effort to fracture the Republicans. So Chucky has a whole new set of friends. But still a less than zero chance of advancing to the presidency. No matter how he postures, no matter what grandstanding he pulls.