Friday, August 18, 2006

Other than Zombie Lincoln, Zombie Theodore Roosevelt or Zombie Eisenhower

There is only one Republican I can stomach at the moment, not that I'd vote for him - but at least Hegel seems to actually be in pain, an actual "straight-talker"?

Gas prices, drought, war.

Iraq, Lebanon, terrorists, the plot to blow up airliners over the Atlantic.

Nebraskans with questions on their minds.

Hagel with direct answers.

“There were no terrorists in Iraq until we got there.”

“War should never be held hostage to a political agenda. It shouldn’t be used as a partisan issue, a wedge issue, especially by those in my party who say Democrats don’t care about the security of our country.”

“I think the Patriot Act had gone too far (and needed to be amended) to balance constitutional liberties and security.”...

...Yes, Hagel acknowledges, his critiques of Bush administration policies in the Middle East probably are becoming increasingly blunt.

Does that reflect anger?

“I am very frustrated,” he answers, leaning forward in his seat to talk over the sound of the two engines rushing him toward the Sioux City airport.

“I see policies that clearly are not in the long-term interests of the country, policies that are damaging this country.

“We’re going to pay a price.”

Sure, Hagel says, “I’m not unaware that when I challenge the president, I’m politically outside the mainstream of my political party. I have angered some people.

“Yes, it will have an effect on my future. I’m not bothered by it.”...

...Hagel is annoyed by those in his party who choose to use the war for partisan advantage.

That’s “cheap political rhetoric,” he says.

“At least as many Democrats have died in Iraq as Republicans.”

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