Staying true to form, the New York Times rewarded another Republican who is openly critical of the President and other Republicans, especially on the issues upon which he agrees with the Times' editorial writers.
Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) not only received a glowing article in the latest edition of the Sunday New York Times, he was featured in the New York Times Magazine.
The article refers to his possible run for the presidency in 2008, but with the perception by conservatives that Hagel is nothing more than a tax and spend, antiwar liberal, Hagel has as much chance of garnering the conservative vote as Osama bin Laden has of being honored with a ticker-tape parade in New York City.
Chuck Hagel, Nebraska's senior Senator, is currently serving a second term in the Senate. He boasts of key memberships on†four Senate committees: Foreign Relations; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; Intelligence and Rules. † Hagel is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations International Economic Policy, Export and Trade Promotion Subcommittee and the Senate Banking Securities and Investment Subcommittee. † Hagel is also the chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.
The Nebraskan served in Vietnam with his brother Tom in 1968. They served side by side as infantry squad leaders with the US Army's 9th Infantry Division. Hagel earned many military decorations and honors, including two purple hearts. Of course, Vietnam purple hearts aren't what they used to be, thanks for Senator John Kerry who collected three of them in a matter of few months. Kerry's suspicious collection of purple hearts, unfortunately, has actually cheapened an honor that usually goes to men and women who are legitimately wounded in battle.
While Pennsylvania Democrat Congressman John Murtha achieved national attention when he began speaking out against the Iraq conflict, it was Chuck Hagel who was one of the first to compare the Iraq war to Vietnam.
Although Hagel attempts to portray himself as a staunch conservative, he has more of a kinship with northeastern, big-government Republicans. For instance, he worked with left-wing Senator Tom Harken (D-IA) to expand the so-called Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
"When the federal government created IDEA it committed to funding 40 percent of the costs. For over 30 years, it has failed to meet its obligation and pushed the costs down to states and local governments. This is wrong and it takes resources away from education needs in each state. While we have made progress in increasing IDEA funding over the last 10 years, the federal government is still not close to meeting its commitment. This bipartisan legislation takes a responsible approach to fixing this problem and freeing up critical education funds in states like Nebraska," Hagel said.
The Hagel-Harkin bill would fully fund IDEA in five years through mandatory annual phased-in spending increases, until federal funding reaches $26.1 billion in Fiscal Year 2011. The bill would free up local and state funds that had previously been used to meet IDEA requirements for other important education priorities. Therefore, as the federal IDEA share grows, local school districts will have increased flexibility for all their education programs.
Just recently, Hagel joined another left-winger, Senator Dick Durbin (D-Il), to negotiate an agreement with the White House on reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act. In December, both Hagel and Durbin -- who compared US troops to Nazis -- opposed a House-Senate Conference Report on reauthorization of the Patriot Act because it did not provide sufficient protections for the rights of innocent Americans. Granted, there are many conservatives opposed to the Patriot Act, but few of them would even consider siding with a senator who makes disparaging remarks from the floor of the US Senate about the men and women who serve in the US military. However, Hagel wholeheartedly joined the left-wing of the Democrat Party in his opposition to the Patriot Act. He didn't attack the legislation from the right -- he attacked it from the left.
He also appears to have joined Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-NY) in his call to reinstitute the military draft.
On the issue of illegal immigration, Hagel is a Wall Street Journal Republican: he favors having the cheap labor that comes with illegal immigration. While he opposes Bush on national security issues, he supports Bush's de facto amnesty program.
But it's on the issue of Bush's NSA spy program that Hagel is garnering the most attention from the liberal news media. His knee-jerk response echoed that of the usual suspects who worry more about the rights of terrorists than protecting Americans. He immediately called the National Security Agency program "illegal."
His appearance on ABC News's Sunday morning talkfest with George Stephanopoulos drew strong criticism. I myself ended up yelling at my living room TV: "If the NSA program is illegal, terminate it immediately."
I haven't heard any Congress member stand up and say stop doing it. One New Jersey conservative, Mike Restivo says, "Don't mince words, if you believe it should be stopped say so. Itís been going on since late Ď01, Congressional outrage at this point is self serving at best. You either believe it's legal or not, speak up on the floor demanding it instantly stop."
And Chuck Hagel has not asked that the program be terminated.
The Democrats, knowing their credibility on war and national security leaves much to be desired, often use Hagel's (and his fellow liberal Republicans Chafee's and Specter's) name when they slam the President on the NSA program. And Hagel is more than willing to allow his name to be uttered by leftists. That's how you get magazine articles written by the New York Times.
Having a glowing portrait appear in the New York Times may go over big with the liberal elite who still read the enormously biased newspaper, but it doesn't go over big with conservatives. Should Hagel by some miracle get the Republican nod as the GOP candidate for president, most conservatives will sit out the 2008 election and deliver a stunning victory to the Democrat candidate even if it is Hillary Clinton.
Hagel will learn that the likes of the New York Times -- and much of the mainstream news media -- will love him until they see a chance for a "real" liberal-left Democrat to capture the White House. And perhaps that's what's behind the Times' magazine article -- put "liberal stink" on a Republican so as to sour conservatives with the GOP in 2008.†††
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.