This follows along with my complaint of the traditional media furthering a narrative that does not necessarily follow reality. Chuck Hagel has been painted as this moderate Republican, the darling of the new era of "bipartisanship." But aside from the one (admittedly critical) issue of Iraq, how much of Hagel's vaunted moderation is the creation of the media?
Who is this man?
If you read this interview with Hagel in GQ or hear him excoriating the administration and his Republican colleagues on the Senate floor, you think he is a godsend. A Republican who thinks clearly and acts boldly. Something we haven't seen in six years.
But then you look at his voting record, and it is abysmal. Did you know that in 2006 there was not one senator in the country who voted with the Bush administration more than Chuck Hagel? That's not in 2003, where he might argue - and he does argue - he was deceived. That was a month ago!
Matt Ortega gives us some startling statistics:
The article says Senator Hagel wants to move the party back to the "center," but an inspection of his Senate votes reveals that he is not as moderate as some may believe. Hagel scored a 96 rating in 2005 from the American Conservative Union (ACU), up from 87 in 2004. The presumptive front-runner, Senator John McCain (R-Arizona), scored an 80 in 2005 and a 72 in 2004 [Senate Ratings]. Congressman Duncan Hunter didn't measure up to Hagel's conservatism, scoring a 92 in 2005, and tied the Nebraska senator with an 87 in 2004. Only Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo bested Hagel with perfect scores both years. [House Ratings]
And Duncan Hunter is basing his presidential campaign on being the most conservative contender.