Chuck Hagel says GOP is not “presenting any alternatives, any new options or any new thinking”

David Stockman recently explained “How my Republican Party destroyed the American economy.” So you’ll be delighted to know that the party has no new thinking at all on what to do now, as TP reports in this 1800

noideas Former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), the chairman of the Atlantic Council, recently sat down for an interview with the Washington Diplomat. In the interview, the former senator touched on a variety of topics, including what he feels is the need for the United States to “unwind” from the war in Afghanistan.

Towards the end of the interview, Hagel says that while he has “no plans to renounce his membership in the party,” he finds that the Republican Party of which he is a part is not “presenting any new alternatives, any new options, or any new thinking“:

“I don’t see them presenting any alternatives, any new options or any new thinking,” Hagel said. “If the Republicans get back in power, what are they going to do? There is no articulation. It’s just a ‘no no no, I’m against Obama because he’s a socialist and he’s taking America in the wrong direction.’ That’s certainly an opinion, but what about you, Mr. Republican? What would you do?”

In fact, leading Republicans like Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal, and Peter King have proudly embraced the “no, no, no” agenda. Hagel told the interviewer that he remains confident that his party will once again rebuild itself. “The Republican Party will find a new center of gravity,” he said. “I think they’ll let this nonsense play out. It’s like a bad storm “” it just has to go through.”

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21 Responses to Chuck Hagel says GOP is not “presenting any alternatives, any new options or any new thinking”

  1. Great illustration. “Talk to the hand”

  2. Leif says:

    ““I think they’ll let this nonsense play out. It’s like a bad storm”…

    Unfortunately the storm may be more than they bargained for and in fact bring down the Ship of State.

    It will be very difficult to get this puppy off the bottom once she is scuttled.

    Encouraging corporations and politicians might want to examine their motives for collateral damage.

  3. Lou Grinzo says:

    Of course the Republicans won’t change — why should they? As long as they tap into the twisted world view of their base and the general unhappiness of the independents over the economic collapse (regardless of who started the avalanche), not to mention racist resentment over the skin color of the first family, plus the general “[expletive] you, I’ve got mine” sentiment which is never far from the surface in the US, it will work.

    Yes, they have precisely zero to offer, but as long as they can get the votes they need without taking the risk of making proposals, they will gladly all stick to the same “no, no, no” script.

    In the US we really do get the government we deserve, and right now, the voters aren’t exactly demonstrating that we deserve representation to be proud of.

  4. steve says:

    The GOP will reign until there is total chaos and havoc.

    As CC changes continues to mutate our society- they will cater to those in Gated communities and those immune from a warming globe.

    The American republic could face fragmentation along geographic regions- in this century-cultural differences will give way to climatic advantages.

  5. John Mason says:

    It seems to me that certain people are just stuck in a time-warp. It’s the same with Conservatives over here – there are ones who get it, but at the same time ones that do not! These are not the Conservatives who believe in conserving things that appear to work, but the Conservatives who instinctively resist any change whatsoever – including climate change deniers among other branches of the faith. There is a big difference.

    Cheers – John

  6. mike roddy says:

    The Republicans’ problem is not their policies or ideas. It’s their souls.

  7. Mark Shapiro says:

    I often succumb to anger and disdain for deniers/burners/conservatives/oil companies.

    Then I am reminded of some history. Bob Somerby, at the Daily Howler, looks back to the civil rights movement, to Martin Luther King’s strategies and strengths. Read it here:

    It won’t take long. Civil rights is not the same as global warming, but can we find some powerful lessons there?

  8. Lewis C says:

    Hagel’s concerns over the GOP’s current direction have to be somewhat understated,
    given both the risk of its presenting an absurdly unelectable candidate for 2012,
    and the risk of its being ridiculed and crushed by an extreme weather impact (such as, say, the loss of Miami, or a Russian-scale hit on the US grain harvest)
    as well as his knowledge of the longer term jeopardy posed by climate destabilization.

    On the latter item, some clauses from the famous Byrd-Hagel resolution back in ’97 document the authors’ clear recognition of the reality of GW and of the need for its mitigation:

    “Whereas although the [UNFCCC] Convention, approved by the United States Senate, called on all signatory parties to adopt policies and programs aimed at limiting their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, in July 1996 the Undersecretary of State for Global Affairs called for the first time for `legally binding’ emission limitation targets and timetables for Annex I Parties, a position reiterated by the Secretary of State in testimony before the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate on January 8, 1997;

    Whereas greenhouse gas emissions of Developing Country Parties are rapidly increasing and are expected to surpass emissions of the United States and other OECD countries as early as 2015;

    Whereas the Department of State has declared that it is critical for the Parties to the Convention to include Developing Country Parties in the next steps for global action and, therefore, has proposed that consideration of additional steps to include limitations on Developing Country Parties’ greenhouse gas emissions would not begin until after a protocol or other legal instrument is adopted in Kyoto, Japan in December 1997;

    Whereas the exemption for Developing Country Parties is inconsistent with the need for global action on climate change and is environmentally flawed;

    That resolution is as near as the GOP has got to laying out its requirements for ratifying a treaty to mitigate GW, and, while it stymied US participation in Kyoto, it is notably far from either denying the problem or precluding US participation in an equitable and efficient treaty.

    It seems like wishful thinking on Hagel’s part that the T-party storm can be allowed to blow itself out – the opportunity costs of a US failure to meet even its derisory conditional Copenhagen pledge are simply too great to countenance. Unless the GOP leadership finds the will to resist the nihilists’ corporate backers, they seem likely to take the party, and the nation, further down the tube.



  9. Dan B says:

    What Hagel misses is the true nature of the events of today. We are in the midst of global shifts of power production and power use. The United States resembles Great Britain in the 20’s before their fall from power. A conservative worldview must be coupled with discernment. Many things will not and cannot be saved. The wheels of change are in motion.

    Will China and Europe emerge as the new economic leaders because they had the foresight to invest in renewable energy or will they too succumb to a rapidly changing climate?

    What’s lacking among the loudest voices on the right is the will to turn dire forecasts into a way forward.

  10. Karen S. says:

    Actually, the GOP was once a respectable organization with real environmental accomplishments happening on its watch. It was reasonably bipartisan, and so were the Democrats, but that was a long time ago. Since the GOP was hijacked by corporate self-interests whose skilled PR machines crank out the propaganda of fear and intolerance, other things now come first besides good governance–namely, profit at any price. This and the knowledge that the Democratic Party is so weak makes none of us optimistic about the country’s future. Climate change is indeed a civil rights issue, the ruling class now being the Koch brothers and others like them who’ve been busy creating this economic feudalism. Hopefully they will all be exposed by the Jane Mayers of our time. What I want to know is: how many non-billionaires will it take to un-buy Congress?

  11. Bill W says:

    Of course, the “real” Republicans probably all consider Hagel a RINO.

  12. Peter says:

    Another word for ‘Economic Feudalism’ is ‘Plantations Style Laissez Faire Economics’……

  13. TomG says:

    Heh, what?
    No new options?
    Maybe they should consider the possibility that, as the clock ticks on, we might be running out of options and be only left with reactions?

  14. Chuck Hagel is just stating the obvious and Republican “no-ism” is fueling the Tea Party movement. What centrism there might have been in the GOP is being gutted. Although may have predicted a Republican win this November, I think the Democrats, despite their incompetence, will gain seats because mainstream Americans will have no other choice.

  15. Omega Centauri says:

    I suspect a lot of the wind in the tea-party sales has to do with the TARP, and bailouts in general. TARP was of course necessary to avoid a far worse economic crash than we have seen, but Joe average only see’s it as giving his money to the criminal class. I think a lot has to do with the fact that most people sense that the wheels have come off the bus, but they just don’t know who is to blame, and who will make in better/worse.

    Hard for me to see the party recovering. The only people they have left are either insane, or pretending to be, because otherwise they will be drummed out of the party. The only real hope for the country is an implosion of the party IMHO. But, their PR machine is so good at drumming up false controversies (no matter what the cost to the country may be), and the media is so lax about challenging falsehoods, that it seems to be working. I only wish I had a one way ticket to Canada or Scandinavia, I’d much rather watch this unfold from afar, as an ex-citizen, than be stuck here.

  16. Chad says:

    It’s interesting that the only sensible statements coming out of Republicans nowadays are coming from those who no longer are in office, and no longer have to fear their rabid base. Personally, I am all for severe term-limits at the national level. Our top decisions need to be made by people with no fear of losing re-election. With 310 million citizens, it is certainly possible to find a few hundred new good people every few years.

  17. TomG says:

    Things are not all that great up here in Canada, Omega.
    Our federal government politics are pretty messed up.
    We currently have a minority Conservative Party Government whose political power base is in the province of Alberta.
    Alberta’s main revenue source is oil and guess where the oil/tar sands are located. In Alberta.
    We also have the same kinds of think tanks and special interest groups running amuck spreading as much misinformation as they possibly can.

  18. Chris Winter says:


    I have my doubts about term limits, considering how poorly it’s (or they’ve) worked in California. I’d rather see redistricting reform to dismantle the strongholds for incumbents that so many congressional districts have become.

    Aside: There’s a theory that California’s term limits came about as an effort to get rid of one man: Willie Brown (and his sartorial renown.)

  19. CW says:

    @Lou Grinzo:

    Total agreement. One addition though:

    Given the global influence of the U.S., the rest of the world gets the (U.S.) politicians the U.S.A. deserves. Whether the world likes it or not.