Instapundit observes that the confirmation fight over Hagel may have made it so clear that he lacks Republican credentials that he cannot fulfill his primary role as Secretary of Defense in the second Obama term:
I think the original plan was to nominate a Republican who could take the blame for defense cuts — and actions. I don’t think Hagel can fill that role usefully now, even if he’s confirmed.
I think Instapundit is quite right about the reason for Hagel, who was initially touted as a Republican willing to buck his party:
President Obama wants someone willing to buck his own party good and hard on defense.
Hagel will carry out orders to gut the Pentagon and will have that coveted "R" after his name to make sure the blame is properly cast away from the president and his party.
Everyone has their role in the new administration. We are so bucked.
But when only Democrats are eager to have Hagel as Secretary of Defense, the notion that Hagel is a respected Republican who is only doing what is proper and necessary--and to take the blame when we lack a needed capability--is clearly false. Since Hagel has the votes, it will be interesting to see if he still withdraws because of this problem.
Resistance is not futile. President Obama may not be stopped from cutting defense spending too much, but at least he'll have to take responsibility for it, right? That's a victory, of sorts.
Note: I'd link to the article Instapundit linked to, but trying to go to it apparently triggered a fake virus warning site that mimicked my security software. When I ran my actual security software, it said my computer was clean.