It seems like only yesterday that people who cited Hagel’s past views and comments were accused of practicing a politics of slur.

Will Democrats as quickly rubbish Rachel Maddow’s scouring of the record as they did Brett Stephens’?

Adding to the entertainment: while Hagel’s statements on Israel, Iran, and terrorist groups do seem to reveal the man’s inner thinking, Hagel’s statements on abortion – extreme as they are – look less heartfelt, and more cynical. Yet it’s the insincere words that seem likely to do the nominee the most harm, because (having changed his mind on abortion once already), the nominee cannot easily dismiss them as just something he said to woo Republican primary voters back in Nebraska. Not “easily” because a confession of insincerity about abortion views in 1995 and 1996 will raise the question: if this is a man who 17 years ago said things he didn’t believe to win an election, isn’t there equal risk he’ll today say things he doesn’t believe to gain confirmation?