Up | February 03, 2013
>> karin, the point you made, i want to hit it again. it's a totally different interpretation of the hearing than i had, which is basically the kind of most siffirous theatercality shows broadening bipartisan consensus emerging and the foreign policy in america is decentered.
>> absolutely. that's what was happening. i think chuck hagel represents something of a center in the republican party , which may be hard to believe given the way that he was being secured in the hearing.
>> it is hard to believe.
>> but when you listen to his prepared statement, not the actual questions, it wasser hard for most americans to disagree with what he was saying. there was the internationalist component that we need our alliances. they're going to be an important as they've ever been, perhaps more. there will be new configuration of alliances. new burden sharing. he's known to have supported global zero but he talked about a strong nuclear presence until we can get rid of nuclear weapons . that's really hard for the republican right to hear.
>> but what's interesting, he represents an older foreign policy consensus, right?
>> exactly. that doesn't exist any more. in some ways, the reason he's such a threat, the reason he was treated with such contempt is because of the fact that his personal biography and his decorated veteran -- he has this kind of unique credibility to speak about the horrors of war. there's this quote from this new yorker profile when he's talking about his opposition and he says, if you listen to his colleagues talk about more troops in iraq , he was struck as if it was an abdomen administration. very few people now about the war, very few are touched by it. now we're going to send 30,000 more troops into the meat grinder . the meat grinder is such an intense term to use for the horrors of war that you don't hear u.s. senators throw around. what i find disturbing is that this consensus, this bipartisan to me has moved to the right, particularly if you look at something like iran . we were talking negotiations for years ago and now we're talking toughness.
>> yeah. now like the standard is -- i mean, it was pretty amazing to watch hagel question about iran and act like the administration's position was that we should talk to iran . they just grilled him like it wasn't -- like he's totally out of line with the country when really he's perfectly in line with the democratic party and the administration. but the congress is a totally dysfunctional snooegz institution on foreign policy . i agree with you, i don't think that leadership is going to come out of the congress and d.c. is this totally toxic place. if you look at the way the people that were the big newsmakers like elliot and abrahams going on, npr and calling chuck hagel anti-semi, like that's the kind of discussion that's happening in the dominant -- you know, these are two of the institutions of the d.c. republican foreign policy now and is they're ex communicating people like chuck hagel and i'm just not so sure that there's much hope in the -- i sort of see it the opposite way that you do. i think that the party is kicking out what used to be that reliable bipartisan center.
>> i did an interview with hagel in may of last year and i asked him, are you a republican? he said, i don't know what a republican is any more.
>> i think many people actually feel that way and i don't actually -- on the one hand, i believe that the bipartisan chip is emerging in foreign policy , but i'm not sure that it's actually healthy and rooted in reality in terms of what's happening in iraq and the impact that iran is having in iraq . the impact that it's having all over the region. the answers to the big questions in the international system and the role of the united states and the world arel going to come from outside of the beltway. and the dysfunction that we're seeing --
>> that is the problem with foreign policy . the only place foreign policy seems to get made is inside the beltway. i think my particular generational cohort, which was i was 24 years old when we went to war in iraq , that experience of, like, what bipartisanship on foreign policy means to me is anytime i see a bipartisan consensus in foreign policy i run head long in the opposite direction. there was an authorization against use of force and there was one men that voted against it and that's what precipitated the next step. there was this moment in the hearing -- i have to show this moment in the hearing where it was out of a movie where he had said something wrong and was handed a card to correct himself. i want to play that when we get