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Hagel, 'the Mediocre Man'

9:31 AM, Feb 5, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Chuck Hagel is "the mediocre man," writes Bret Stephens:

Once upon a time, a Republican senator from Nebraska spoke up for the right of mediocrities to occupy eminent positions of public trust.

"Even if he were mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers," said Sen. Roman Hruska in 1970 as a defense of G. Harrold Carswell, Richard Nixon's ill-fated nominee to the Supreme Court. "They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they, and a little chance? We can't have all Brandeises, Frankfurters and Cardozos."

Right. And at the Pentagon, we can't have all Stimsons, Forrestals and Marshalls. Which is why America needs another senator from Nebraska to vindicate the cause of the mediocre man.

That man is Chuck Hagel.

Until his confirmation hearing last week, Mr. Hagel was touted as a courageous tribune of the hard but necessary truth. His nomination, according to one sycophant, "may prove to be the most consequential foreign-policy appointment of [ Barack Obama's] presidency." He was hailed as a latter-day Dwight Eisenhower, a military hero mindful of the appropriate limits of U.S. power, a real American bold enough to tell the chicken-hawk neocon pretenders where they could stick it.

Whole thing here.

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