Re "A petty decision by Obama," Opinion, Jan. 8
Jonah Goldberg's assertion that President Obama selected former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) for Defense secretary to spite neoconservatives is ridiculous.
This would make sense only if neocons hadn't been wrong on virtually every foreign policy issue for a quarter-century. But thanks to the Bush administration, most Americans know neocons aren't worth serious consideration, let alone spite.
Richard A. Sanders
Obama's pick of Hagel throws cold water on his rhetoric advocating compromise. As Goldberg observes, Hagel's nomination proves the president wants a fight.
I could understand the choice if Hagel was the only, or even the best-qualified, nominee, but he isn't. Michele Flournoy, formerly the Defense undersecretary for policy, is much more qualified, absolutely respected by both parties. Her nomination would sail through the Senate and would have indicated that the president was serious about compromising.
Instead, Obama preceded important discussions on the debt ceiling and federal spending with an "in your face" move.
Alan L. Strzemieczny
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