A Secretary of Defense.... UPDATE

....rather than a Secretary of Offense?Now that the Republicans have cleared the decks of Susan Rice for Secretary of State who will they, and others, go after next?No sooner was former senator, Chuck Hagel, named as President Obama's likely candidate for Secretary of Defense than the attacks began. What are his qualifications? What are his disqualifications? Here's some commentary.Stephen Walt: Five reasons to appoint Hagel.Politico: Ten facts about Hagel.Also on Politico: Send us Hagel and we will make sure every American knows he is an anti-Semite, a senior Republican Senate aide told The Weekly Standard. The aide continued, Hagel has made clear he believes in the existence of a nefarious Jewish lobby that secretly controls U.S. foreign policy. This is the worst kind of anti-Semitism there is. Just stopped being secret!Update from Politico: "Hagel has also been blunt in dismissing those who think hes not sufficiently supportive of Israel. 'Im not an Israeli senator. Im a United States senator,' the Nebraska Republican told Miller for his book The Much Too Promised Land.... 'I support Israel, but my first interest is I take an oath of office to the Constitution of the United States, not to a president, not to a party, not to Israel. If I go run for Senate in Israel, Ill do that,' the senator said."

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages.

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