Why Not Flournoy?
8:42 AM, Feb 5, 2013 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
The woman who still could be the next defense secretary, Michele Flournoy, has an intelligent op-ed, well worth reading, in today’s Wall Street Journal, on "The Right Way to Cut Pentagon Spending." If we're to have a defense secretary who acquiesces in cutting defense (and we will while Barack Obama is president), Flournoy's article suggests the cuts would at least be done carefully and thoughtfully if she were in charge. One can have no such confidence about Chuck Hagel. Indeed, can anyone even imagine Chuck Hagel having the wit or knowledge to write an op-ed such as Flournoy's? After his performance before the Senate Armed Services Committee, would it be even credible to have Chuck Hagel sign such a piece once someone else had written it?
It's worth repeating this obvious point: If a few Senate Democrats desert Chuck Hagel and he's forced to withdraw as the nominee, we don't (alas!) get a neoconservative defense secretary. We could, though, get a far more impressive Obama supporter, a competent Democrat.
Will no Senate Democrat have the courage to step forward to produce this result, a superior one for both the Obama administration and, more importantly, the country?