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Friends, please consider signing this petition urging President Obama to think harder and to come up with a qualified Democrat, rather than former Senator Chuck Hagel, as the next Secretary of Defense.
From what I've been reading today (and fighting about on Twitter) some on the left and the libertarian right are supporting Hagel because of his neocon opponents. The good thing about Hagel is that he won't push Obama into a war with Iran. Neocons hate that. But, who cares? Neocons have no influence.
I find it hard to believe that Obama would be unable to find a qualified, anti war Democrat to run the Pentagon. Hagel is not all that stands between the U.S. and an invasion of Tehran, no matter what anyone tells you.
Meanwhile, for those of us who care about the Democratic party, I think we should discourage Obama from going down the path of turning to moderate Republicans for leadership on defense and security issues. Democrats are perfectly well qualified to handle this and they have the virtue of being members of the party elected to handle such issues.
Putting Democrats in these posts puts to rest the notion that Democrats are weak on such issues. It also builds out the bullpen of choices for future Democratic presidents. That's something that Democrats should care about.
Hagel's not a terrible choice. He'd probably do a fine job. But Obama can do better. Please help me try to let him know that.