I know. The sky is falling, the rains are pouring down, and lightning will strike me dead. Yet, I still have this feeling that Senator Obama could take a huge step forward by choosing Senator Chuck Hagel as his running mate. A step forward to unity in this country by having a representative of both major political parties included on the ticket for the White House.
It would also go a very long way to shutting down the Republican Party extremists who are gearing up for an August lie fest in attacking Obama. Politico reports that Republicans Lamar Alexander and Adam Putnam intend to kick off the festivities with the completely asinine notion that it is Obama, in cahoots with Reid and Pelosi, that are holding up the offshore drilling in America, thereby causing the rise in oil prices. Uh huh. It's not like the Republicans didn't allow for the deregulation of EVERYTHING, and that caused the 'Enron' types to have a field day pushing prices through the roof. And it wouldn't have anything to do with all those friends and relatives of Republicans current and past that work in the oil industry or as their paid lobbyists either right?
Back to the issue at hand. The reason's Obama should take a very serious look at Chuck Hagel are many, not the least of which is Hagel's integrity. It is very hard to look across to the right side of the divide in America and find any politician that has any honor, and even though Hagel has voted along Party lines in most instances, there are times when he has gone against his own Party to vote on what he felt was right. He was also the only Republican to say the word impeachment when speaking about the Iraq war and the whack job in the Oval Office.
His recent trip to Iraq and Afghanistan with Obama shows that he isn't afraid to walk side by side with fellow Americans against the wishes of his Party, because he sees people in this country as just that. Americans first, Party extremists be damned. The entire Mid-West's fondness and respect for Hagel would also be a major boost to Obama's chances, in fact, it could actually guarantee a victory come November. The states of Nebraska, Kansas, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Montana would almost certainly fall into Obama's lap with a Hagel pick.
The effective neutering of John McCain's candidacy would be assured with an Obama/Hagel ticket, as Hagel's voting record shows he upholds the ideals of many conservatives in this country. Anathema to me personally, being a hard core liberal, Hagel however embodies the ideals of truth, which would be a refreshing change from the usual right wing spin machine.
There are times when conservatives have a valid point on issues, and during those times, it is incumbent that liberals not take the low road of locking them out of the decision making process. The arguments that tit for tat is the name of the game due to what the extremists that hijacked the Republican Party did to Democrats since the 1990's are wrong, and will only lead to more of the status quo. And it's exactly that status quo we are all trying to get rid of. It has caused deep ideological differences across the country, with no end to the dirty politicking, lying, outright falsehoods, and hands at each others' throats.
The country would be served well by a Unity ticket. Until such time that the Congress can be reshaped enough to do their Constitutional duty, an Obama/Hagel Presidency/Vice-Presidency could be the check and balance, with each side having a voice, only this time, it would be voices of truth. Make no mistake. I am personally disappointed with Hagel's voting record. But if it can be Hagel that is reaching out and admitting where the right went wrong, maybe it's time for the Democrats to put aside their anger and seek what's best for everyone. As much as I hated the idea of a completely right wing government, I also dread the thought of a completely Democratic controlled government. There must be a balance, a dissenting voice that's in a position to be heard, and Chuck Hagel as Vice-President would be that voice.
All of us on the left are giddy at the prospect that the White House, the House and the Senate will probably end up predominantly Democratic this year. We want the war in Iraq to be over. We want the government to be opened up again, and we want our jobs back. We demand the return of the rule of law, habeus corpus, an end to the Military Commissions Act, and the re-outlawing of torture. But what we do not want is a sudden shift to cause chaos and even more division. And that can be avoided by making sure that the conservatives have a voice in the new government to come.
Best of all, like I said before, it would pretty much gut John McCain's candidacy, and that, in and of itself is a good argument in favor of a Hagel pick. Imagine McCain with his senile old fingers on the button, merrily singing 'Bomb Bomb Iran.' Yes. A Unity ticket would be the best step forward for the country. The country we ALL love and wish to get back on the course we left three decades ago. The country we all wish to heal, and end these divisions that have been shoved down our throat by fools from both sides. And as hard as it is for the left to swallow, Obama should very seriously take a look at Chuck Hagel as his choice for Vice-President. It would give us the time to vote out of office all of those in the House and Senate who betrayed the trust of the People by providing the needed balance while we the People do some house cleaning in Washington. Yes, I mean you Joe Lieberman, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Jon Cornyn and Sam Brownback for starters. There's many more on the list of 'must go', but we can begin with these traitors first.