The Corner

New Fronts Open in War against Hagel

While opposition to former Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel’s prospective nomination as secretary of defense has, until recently, focused primarily on his views on the Middle East — Israel and Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah — a 1998 remark by the former senator is drawing gay-rights groups into the fight, too. 

It was that year that Hagel opposed the nomination of philanthropist James Hormel as ambassador to Luxembourg. “Ambassadorial posts are sensitive,” Hagel told the Omaha World-Herald. ”They are representing America,” he said. “They are representing our lifestyle, our values, our standards. And I think it is an inhibiting factor to be gay — openly aggressively gay like Mr. Hormel — to do an effective job.”

The country’s largest gay-rights group, the Human Rights Campaign, earlier today called Hagel’s remarks “unacceptable.” Michael Cole-Schwartz, a spokesman for the HRC, acknowledged that “we do not know . . . how [Hagel’s] views have evolved over time” but said the group “look[s] forward to hearing from Senator Hagel on these issues should he be nominated.” 

Regarding Hagel’s stated opposition to the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, Cole-Schwartz said, ”It is critically important that the new Secretary of Defense is supportive of open service, lesbian and gay military families, and the community as a whole. Whomever is selected to be the next Secretary of Defense needs to understand there are clear expectations for progress at DOD and that the President’s views on key issues should be reflected by the Secretary.”

Hagel, a Vietnam veteran, told the New York Times in 1999, “The U.S. armed forces aren’t some social experiment.” 

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Hillary Ruins the Plan

Editor’s note: Andrew C. McCarthy’s new book is Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency. This is the first in a series of excerpts.  There really was a collusion plot. It really did target our election system. It absolutely sought to usurp our capacity for ... Read More
Culture

An Insider’s Guide to Italian Insults

The tragicomic irony of Chris Cuomo’s pugilistic outburst earlier this week — cursing and physically threatening a man for taunting him with a reference to the movie The Godfather — is that the CNN anchor reinforced the usual tropes about Italian Americans. We are all wise-guys, goons, and Mafiosi, just ... Read More
Religion

Another Pop-Culture Christian Loses His Faith

It’s happened again. For the second time in three weeks, a prominent (at least in Evangelical circles) Christian has renounced his faith. In July, it was Josh Harris, a pastor and author of the mega-best-selling purity-culture book I Kissed Dating Goodbye. This month, it’s Hillsong United songwriter and ... Read More
Economy & Business

The Great Mystery

Kevin Williamson disputes my characterization of his riposte. He writes: I wrote that people can choose what kind of work they want to do, and what kind of services they want to consume, without any help from Michael. Kevin then accuses me of being a stouthearted defender of the “Real America.” If ... Read More
World

It’s Time for Trump to Troll China

Donald Trump has a nuclear-grade weapon that he operates with a special phone: his Twitter account. And it’s time he used it against Chinese president Xi Jinping. Trump has reportedly promised Xi that he would not make critical comments about internal Chinese issues. By “issues” we mean concentration ... Read More