Thursday, March 29, 2007

McCollister Blasts Protege Hagel

When Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel made his non-announcement announcement at U.N.O., he took the time to point out his political mentor in the front row. It went like this:

I was tutored many years ago by I think the finest public servant that I have ever known who is sitting in the front row of this room today, former congressman John Y. McCollister. John Y., I thank you.
Thank you, and not just for the shaping and molding of my career, which occasionally I know within your sense of evaluation I get off track, but nonetheless, you don't have to agree publicly with that, John. But also, thank you for the service you have given this country, your distinguished service in World War II and your service to the county board, to the Republican Party, and to our country, as a very respected and highly regarded United States congressman.
In today’s Omaha World Herald Public Pulse, the same eighty-three year old John Y. McCollister, a/k/a “John Y. McGumption”, wrote this not-so-subtly veiled blast down of his protégé:

Of course, on the day of the non-announcement, the AP reported that McCollister said the following:

It was a cautious statement, which is unlike the Chuck Hagel I knew. I've got to say I'm a little disappointed that he didn't declare here and now, today, that he was a candidate for president.
And while Jon Bruning, Hal Daub and others are willing to give Hagel the benefit of the doubt, Hagel’s own mentor does not.


Anonymous said...

Hatred for President Bush is indeed what drives most Democrats in Congress. Hatred is not the motivating force behind Chuck Hagel -- except when dealing with Ben Nelson.

That said, I'm not so sure John Y.'s Pulse letter was aimed directly at Hagel, aside from the deserved slap regarding the impeachment remarks. Instead, John Y.'s letter were more of a general condemnation of the Democrats' supplemental funding bill.

As we say here in Saline County, don't make a mountain out of a molehill.
- Ed Randoulph

Street Sweeper said...

John Y. specifcally says that those who throw out talk of impeachment are consumed by hatred. There's only ONE person who has been throwing around the impeachment word.

Anonymous said...

It would be a mountain, S.S., if John Y. had referenced Chuck Hagel by name. He did not.

As for John's letter, why do so many establishment Republicans continue to back a failed war and continue to stand beside a president who refuses to see the writing on the wall. It's over. Iraq will not become a full-fledged democracy, and conditions will not improve as this is a U.S. endeavor.

Perhaps John Y. and others -- like the author of this blog -- should consider what happens if we stay in Iraq another four years; accumulate 10,000 U.S. dead; lose the war; and are then too timid to intervene in circumstances where U.S. intervention is imperative for the security of our nation?

Go ahead, S.S. Rearrange the chairs on the deck. As for me, I'm getting off this Titanic. Other Republicans would be wise to do so. Some things are bigger than party politics.

-Ed Randoulph

Street Sweeper said...


If you're unwilling to see who JYM was referring to, there's no help we can provide you. Maybe he could include a hand-drawn photo next time.

As far as the war goes, please note that Leavenworth Street has NEVER stated a position on the war (as we rarely do on any policy issues -- this is a blog about politics). We have however pointed out Hagel's position and the political implications of the positions that he has taken. Note the difference for future reference.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Who cares what John Y whatever says? He hasnt been a congressman for decades. The OWH prints a letter a month from the geezer. So what? he's another Republican who thinks Hagel is full of crap. THere are millions of them.

Street Sweeper said...

Well, we'd venture to guess that Chuck Hagel cares...

Knightn said...

As, you've said in the past, it's frickin sad in this internet age that you have to scan a newspaper article and upload it from the largest newspaper in the state b/c they refuse to put their opinion page online.

solid post btw.

Street Sweeper said...

Amen, brudduh.

'Sker said...

Perceptive catch and good post. Anyone who doesn't see the ramifications of this Public Pulse letter is in need of help which can't be found here. Politics this is.

OmaSteak said...

With Chuckie invested 100% in defeat for the US in Iraq, potential Republican US Senate primary candidates have to be moving beyond the "I'm seriously considering it" stage given Senator Hagel's insistence/persisitence in becoming one of the leading pseudo-French surrender monkies. One has to wonder about a guy who sees a future president staring back at him in the mirror (only in his own twisted mind) tossing around impeachment when there's no basis in fact or constitutionally for such given there are lots of NE Republicans who wouldn't mind a certain Senator being recalled/impeached himself.

Anonymous said...

Leavenworth St. = the meetingplace for Nebraska's Hagel haters. Or for those who have nothing better to do than make a big deal of a letter-to-the-editor from a guy who hasn't been congressman for 30 years. (What's next, a posting on a letter from Charlie Thone?)

You're diminishing your own service, S.S. Perhaps it's time to return to your even-more-trivial Separated at Birth features.

- Ed Randoulph

Street Sweeper said...

Looking at the comments board on this particular post, I see one anti-Hagel commenter, two pro-Hagel, two who don't take a side, and then your moderator. How you define that as a gathering of Hagel-haters, I don't know. But then you're the same one who refuses to see McCollister's implications in the first place.

And your numerous comments seem to be proof of the post's relevance.

Be sure to come back now, y'hear!

Anonymous said...

S.S. must his have his 13-year-old kid responding to reader post's while he works his day job. I'm just waiting to hear "nah-nah-nah-nah-nah."

- Ed Randoulph

Street Sweeper said...

If this is what you're going to send, at some point we won't bother posting your comments.
If you can't contribute anything, just walk away from the keyboard.

Anonymous said...

2008 GOP Senate Nomination...Chuck Hagel vs. John Y. McCollister. A 2008 battle royale of teacher against student. Who would Jon Bruning endorse?

Eisenhower Republican said...

Remember when this was a Pete Ricketts site?

What's with people thinking this is an anti-Hagel site? I don't see it at all. SS posts have been generally defensive of Hagel. some people, I tell you...

Anonymous said...

Senator Hagel spoke like a loving son of former Congressman McCollister, who in turn indirectly wrote ill of Hagel. Beyond that putting the kibosh on the father and son picnic, McCollister’s March 29th letter epitomizes the lumpy illogic of the stay-in-Iraq-forever crowd.

McCollister suggests a blind hatred of President Bush is the motive for all who don’t want to stay in Iraq, calls warnings of impeachment careless, and says early withdrawal from Iraq risks the lives of our troops apparently more than keeping troops in bloody urban combat. These mushy conclusions are based on McCollister’s assertion that “a new U.S. war strategy renews our hopes for victory.”

Yet that “new strategy” of more troops is not new. “Victory” in Iraq isn’t defined. And victory is deemed by McCollister to be a “hope”. But hope for what? That Sunnis and Shiites will fall in love? That a centuries old civil war will evaporate as Iraq becomes America’s 51st state?

As long as Hagel is scrutinizing executive policy and warning the GOP of dangers ahead, Hagel is doing his constitutional job and his partisan duty far better than the angry elephants and calculating donkeys who pander emotional appeals devoid of policy focus.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Anonymous (from the previous post):

Don't try to talk logic to the politics-before-principle crowd. They aren't listening. Most conservatives knew from the beginning that Iraq was a mistake. But most of the GOP faithful dropped their trowsers and bent bent over for Bush, regardless of how ugly Iraq got.

A lot can change in a year. I'm betting right now that while Hagel will still have plenty of detractors in April 2008, his position on Iraq and criticism of Bush's "stay the course" will be positives for Nebraska's senior senator, regardless of whether Hagel runs for the White House or Senate re-election.

And S.S., I would be interested in your thoughts on Congressman Lee Terry, who on Saturday called on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to resign. Does this mean Terry's re-election or Senate ambitions are "D-U-N" -- as you said of Hagel's presidetial hopes?? Me hardly thinks so.

Sometimes, exposing a faux conservative president and his administration is simply the right thing to do. Politically speaking, of course.

-Ed Randoulph

Street Sweeper said...

Yes Ed. Terry and Hagel's criticisms are EXACTLY the same. Excellent comparison...

(For those uncertain, the above is sarcasm.)

Anonymous said...

The only people who don't hate Hagel at this point are types, the French, and terrorists.

The surge is working. Hagel's rush to surrender is idiotic if not treasonous.