Some things are important. Others are more important. And throughout our lives we must weigh one against the other. It is important to avoid hurting the feelings of any individual or group, but when life or death is at stake, walking on eggs to avoid offending any particular group seems rather pointless.
There are some people – and some groups – that take umbrage so easily the rest of us must tiptoe around them choosing our words with the greatest possible care.
They are as quick to take offense as Cyrano de Bergerac was about his nose.
The storm in a teacup over Chuck Hagel’s nomination is a case in point.
Way back in the dim past, Hagel (photo above, left) said something unfavorable about a gay ambassador’s “aggressive” lifestyle, and some members of the LBGT community are citing the remark as grounds for blocking his appointment as Secretary of Defense.They’re still sniping at the poor guy even though he made a point of apologizing for his comments.
Their opposition seems counterproductive in the real world of war and peace.
Even good ol’ Barney Frank (photo above, right), who is unabashedly gay, concedes Hagel should be Obama’s man at the Pentagon – regardless of his ill-chosen words.
Another special-interest group that’s easily offended is after Hagel’s hide, too. The pro-Israeli lobby is parsing his past utterances in search of of reasons to oppose his nomination.
I am not a Chuck Hagel fan. I have reached the point where I sometimes think the only Republicans I like are dead ones (such as Ike and Nelson Rockefeller). But I would support anyone who will bring the troops home.
Hagel is on record as wondering why American kids are still being blown to bits in Afghanistan so many months after Osama bin Laden’s summary execution. I’ve been wondering the same thing myself.
So, if Chuck Hagel is the man to finally get American soldiers safely home, I say appoint him already.
Nothing can possibly be as important as the lives and limbs of those poor kids they keep sending to protect the interests of the drug lords and grifters in that godforsaken wasteland nobody could possibly civilize.
As a bonus, Hagel is also skeptical of America’s massive military budget, which has doubled in the past decade and now looms as large as the rest of the world’s combined. As far as I’m concerned, anyone who is willing to take on the military-industrial complex can’t be all bad.
It’s way past time for Americans to stop dithering about “entitlements” and look to the Pentagon for deficit-shrinking budget cuts.
And, of course, there’s the fact that Hagel’s fellow-Republicans are raging against his appointment. As the old proverb puts it, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
Click here to read a more scholarly analysis of the Hagel debate.