John Podhoretz, writing in the New York Post:
Now that President Obama will finally have the defense secretary he wanted in Chuck Hagel, the question arises: Was the anti-Hagel fight worth it? Why did Republicans decide to fight it if they weren’t going to win?
The question presumes that the voices raised in opposition to Hagel’s nomination did so as a political tactic — to hand the president a defeat just after his moment of triumph in November. That notion is a willful misunderstanding.
The opposition arose spontaneously among thinkers and activists long familiar with Hagel’s views and the stands he took throughout his career. They — we — came to share the common view that he wasn’t fit for this extraordinarily important job. The nomination required us to speak out, no matter how elusive the goal of stopping him.
In fact, failing to oppose a nominee who has said what Hagel has said, and who stands for what Hagel stands for, would’ve been an open acknowledgment that his words and his stands were acceptable. They were not. They are not.