Hagel opposition perplexing

To the editor:

The verbal assault unleashed at President Barack Obama’s nominee for the cabinet post of secretary of defense, former moderate Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, by many members of the candidate’s political party is quite puzzling, as well as somewhat troubling.

Such opposition by Republicans to one of their own political persuasion appears to be a continuation of their orchestrated attempt to immediately oppose virtually any nominee or potential nominee of Obama’s in order to score political points with their own supporters, as has also long been the strategy in the Republicans’ obstructing nearly all of the president’s proposed legislation, as well.

Perhaps such tactics are primarily the reason that the approval rating of Congress continues to hover around an abysmal 14 percent?

As a member of the United States Senate, Hagel served the state of Nebraska quite admirably during his tenure in office, and his experience as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as well as the Select Intelligence Committee of the Senate should help prepare him well if and when he assumes the position of secretary of defense during the second term of the Obama administration.

In addition to his legislative experience, Hagel served heroically as a non-commissioned officer (sergeant) in the Army during the Vietnam War, during which he was seriously wounded in combat, giving him a unique perspective in the position of secretary of defense, having actual firsthand knowledge of the true horrors of war.

Hagel appears exceptionally well qualified to serve in the position for which he is currently being considered, in contrast to the appointment and confirmation of Dick Cheney in the position of secretary of defense under Republican President George Herbert Walker Bush, who received several deferments so as not to serve his country militarily in the Vietnam War.

How could Cheney have been considered qualified when the nearly impeccable credentials of Hagel are somehow in question?

The 2012 presidential election has seen Obama overwhelmingly re-elected by the Electoral College. It’s time now for Republicans to return our nation’s business as the top priority over partisan politics.

Richard Hord

Martins Ferry