How can he be sure? Hagel always looks like he’s been crying.
To believe that a professional politician needed it explained to him that the term “Jewish lobby” is problematic, you’d have to believe he’s an abject imbecile. So … yeah, this is actually plausible:
“He struck me as sincere, and you know, you have to be sitting there at the meeting obviously, but I also told him when he used the word Jewish lobby what it meant to Jewish people,” he added.
“And I told him what a double standard is. That Jewish people throughout the centuries have suffered a double standard. Everyone could be a farmer except Jewish people. Everyone could live in Moscow except Jewish people. I said when everyone else can lobby but all of a sudden when those of us who are pro-Israel lobby, it’s a negative, that’s a double standard. And I’m sure you didn’t mean it, but it harkens to the old days.
“And he really, you know, he almost had tears in his eyes when he understood. So I believe he will be good.”
Of course he had tears in his eyes. He was willing to lie, transparently, about his beliefs to become Secretary of Defense; why wouldn’t he work up some mist to convince a guy with the power to torpedo his confirmation that he’s really and truly changed his ways? This story is the whole Hagel confirmation process in a nutshell, in fact. Here’s one of the most powerful Democrats in the Senate telling you he had to explain the basics of Jewish persecution to a former colleague as if he was a seven-year-old. And yet he’s going to vote for him anyway because, even though he’s patently unqualified, now that he’s mastered “Anti-Semitism for Dummies,” he’ll be “good.” Oh, and also because the people leading the opposition to Hagel are the discredited neocons who “helped push Iraq.” Among the Senators who voted for the AUMF against Iraq in 2002: Chuck Hagel and Chuck Schumer.
Incidentally, Hagel’s favorable rating is now at net -9 among independents and at -21 among Republicans. (Overall, it’s -6.) He’s down among both groups, as well as Democrats, since last month. Good thing voters don’t care about cabinet positions or else O might have a problem here. Exit question: Why won’t Hagel open his archives to media scrutiny? Is that stuff irrelevant now because it dates to back before he found out that Jews have historically been treated a tad unfairly?