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David Brooks on Why Obama Chose Hagel

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RUSH: Chuck Hagel. David Brooks of the New York Times tells us why Chuck Hagel was picked as Obama's defense secretary.  It's all about... By the way, David Brooks is wired into the Obama White House.  David Brooks is the White House's favorite conservative in the media.  Brooks says... I'm just going to paraphrase from his column a couple days ago.  The reason Obama wanted Chuck Hagel is because Obama wants to dismantle the military to pay for a growing welfare state, a la Europe. 

Not to save money. 

Obama doesn't want to cut defense to save money. 

Obama wants to cut defense because he doesn't like it. 

To the American left, the American military is the focus of evil in the modern world. 

The American left is happy when the American military fails.  It gives them an opportunity. I talked about this once with Bill Bennett.  It gives them the opportunity to point to the military as a failed institution.  For as long as I've been alive, and I'm sure it's been the same thing for you, you have heard various Democrats (presidents, members of Congress, senators) lament all the money we spend on defense and how we could better spend that money on people and social programs.

They say it as though we're not spending anything on social programs, that we're not spending anything on education and we're not spending anything on hunger. "We need more! We need more on hunger, more on education. It's all this "we need to invest" stuff.  Well, Obama's gonna do it.  Obama is going to be the first Democrat to actually cut the defense budget.  I shouldn't say cut.  Dismantle the military.  This is more than cutting the budget.  That's not the right way to put it. 

He wants to dismantle the military just like Western Europe did theirs.  Western Europe... Actually, they can't afford it, either. But Western Europe was able to expand their welfare state because they didn't have to spend on their defense.  They had NATO and they had us.  If Obama succeeds in this, there isn't gonna be anybody that will have the ability to project power the way the United States once was able to do so. 

Now, the theory behind Hagel being the choice is that he's a Republican, even though he's not that popular among Republicans and even some Democrats.  Because he's a Republican, it will be easier for Obama to dismantle the military if there is a Republican defense secretary at the time.  That's Brooks' theory.  Now, some people disagree with Brooks' theory on the basis that Hagel's not a popular Republican.

They think if Obama found a popular Republican to go in here and dismantle the military, that would be one thing.  I don't think it matters! The Republicans haven't demonstrated even the desire to stop Obama.  They certainly haven't demonstrated that they have the tactics to do it, and maybe they can't.  But to not even try? They do have the House of Representatives.  They do have control of the spending. 

But for some reason they're falling back on the idea that "all they have" is the House, and that's not nearly enough; that they're outnumbered.  So, anyway, David Brooks is making it plain here that the choice of Chuck Hagel is so that a Republican is in charge of defense as the military is dismantled.  Here are a couple of excerpts.  "Americans don't particularly like government, but they do want government to subsidize their health care.

"They believe that health care spending improves their lives more than any other public good. In a Quinnipiac poll, typical of many others, Americans opposed any cuts to Medicare by a margin of 70% to 25%." Of course, now, these are people -- Brooks, the president, others -- who live and die by polls.  Did you ever noticed how many opinion columns are nothing more than recitations of what polling data says, and then they analyze it and plug it into whatever the subject is of the column? 

"Americans don't particularly like government, but they do want government to [pay for] their health care. They believe that health care spending improves their lives more than any other public good. ... In a democracy, voters get what they want, so the line tracing federal health care spending looks like the slope of a jet taking off from LaGuardia. Medicare spending is set to nearly double over the next decade.

"This is the crucial element driving all federal spending over the next few decades," and here Brooks is agreeing with Obama that our deficit is due to health care spending, not any other spending.  Well, they'll throw defense in.  They will say that the budget deficit and the national debt are because we've thrown so many worthless, needless dollars away on defense.  But we gotta get our health care spending!

We're not spending too much money anywhere else, is what Obama says.  We're spending money on people, and people want the things we're spending it on. But they do not need a big defense department anymore.  So get a Republican defense secretary to preside over this dismantling. They're not defense "cuts." This is crucial to understand the distinction: These are not defense cuts.  I mean, they are, but the result of the cuts is the dismantling of the military in order pay for a growing welfare state. 

"As the federal government becomes a health care state, there will have to be a generation of defense cuts that overwhelm anything in recent history. ...  Chuck Hagel has been nominated to supervise the beginning of this generation-long process of" dismantling the military. "If a Democratic president is going to slash defense, he probably wants a Republican at the Pentagon to give him political cover..."

As I say, there are a number of Wizards of Smart who disagree with Brooks on this because they say, "Well, Hagel's not a popular Republican so he's not gonna give anybody cover."  You know what?  Even Chuck-U Schumer is worried about Hagel.  Now, Chuck-U Schumer would love to see the defense budget dismantled.  But, Chuck-U Schumer also loves Israel, and Hagel doesn't love Israel. 

I don't know that he dislikes Israel, but he's clearly an undesirable when guys like Chuck-U Schumer get involved. So normally Chuck-U would rubberstamp Hagel because of the dismantling of the military.  But there's the Israeli side of Hagel that they're a little worried about.  So he's not universally loved, and he may not survive the confirmation process.  All that aside, the take-away is quite simple: Obama does want to dismantle the military. 

He does want a health care state and a welfare state.

And he wants the money from the defense budget, in part, to supposedly pay for it.

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