Neoconservatism

Neo-Con Smear Machine at Full Throttle Against Chuck Hagel

Will the president cut and run?

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Reports that President Obama may nominate former Senator Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense haven't been well received at The Weekly Standard. In pre-emptively opposing the nomination, the neoconservative magazine is employing what you might call a two-tiered strategy: the low road and the lower road.

The low road is taken by the Standard's editor, Bill Kristol. He writes that Hagel is "anti-Israel," and then follows this assertion with a series of facts that don't corroborate it. Of course, as Kristol surely knows, "anti-Israel" is taken by some people as code for "anti-Semitic." As for those Weekly Standard readers who don't interpret the term that way–well, that's what the lower road is for. A separate story written by a Standard staffer quotes a top Republican Senate aide saying flat out that Hagel is anti-Semitic.