“You Shouldn’t Have Said Something Like That”

That’s Butters to Hagel on the power of the Greater Israel Lobby:

Hagel completes the Kabuki dance. Any Senator who has refused to make military aid contingent on stopping the illegal West Bank settlements has been intimidated into doing a dumb thing – for this country and for Israel. But you cannot say that in public in Washington. And have your nomination survive.

On the broader question, I’m struck by the total embrace of neoconservatism on the GOP side even after Iraq; and by the really low-key, low-impact, risk-averse, underwhelming testimony from Hagel.

A reader notes:

Watching bits and pieces of the hearing on the web. Looks like a lot of angry old men really pissed off that anyone would question the wisdom of the Iraq war. Which demonstrates something: this was the biggest foreign policy mistake of modern US history, yet we had an institutional failure of accountability for it. This hearing is, it would seem, our sole accountability moment… but Hagel doesn’t quite seem up to the task.

No, he doesn’t. But I suspect that’s the point.