Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.


- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Senator Chuck Hagel's wife endorses Obama

Will Chuck Hagel be far behind?

Apparently Hagel has been supporting Obama without actually endorsing him for some time now. This story in Huffington Post described a Hagel speaking engagement last May:

The Republican Senator from Nebraska was a political thorn in McCain's side on Tuesday night, repeatedly lavishing praise on the presumptive Democratic candidate and levying major foreign policy criticisms at the GOP nominee and the Republican Party as a whole. At one point, Hagel even urged the Arizona Republican to elevate his campaign discourse to a higher, more honest level.

I can only imagine what Hagel thinks of this recent barrage of McCain attack ads.

Chuck Hagel is an honorable and reasonable man. He would have made a good president. Very few people seem to remember that it was actually Hagel who first brought up the subject of impeachment. Of course there wasn't much he could do without even lukewarm Democrat support (and poor Nancy, having lost her table.)

Hagel also supported Obama's pledge to use diplomacy when dealing with Iran, saying that engagement is very different than capitulation:

Hagel, speaking to a small gathering at the residence of the Italian ambassador, took umbrage with several positions taken by the McCain campaign, including the Arizona Senator's criticism of Obama for pledging to engage with Iran. Engagement is not, and should not be confused for, capitulation, he argued.

"I never understand how anyone in any realm of civilized discourse could sort through the big issues and challenges and threats and figure out how to deal with those without engaging in some way...."

Hagel then offered a wry tweak of his GOP colleague. "I am confident that if Obama is elected president that is the approach we will take. And my friend John McCain said some other things about that. We'll see, but in my opinion it has to be done. It is essential."

Hagel, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, went on to belittle the tendency for some within his own party to disparage those who tout diplomacy. "You take some risks in talking about this," he said, "especially in the Congress, because you can immediately be branded as an appeaser."

And when asked to respond to rumors circulating within political circles that the Bush administration was ginning up the possibility of war with Iran, the Senator even raised the specter of impeachment.

"You've got the power of impeachment, now that is a very defined measure if you are willing to bring charges against the president at all. You can't just say I disagree with him, let's impeach him," said Hagel. An attack on Iran without Congress' consent, he added, "would bring with it... outstanding political consequences, including for the Republican Party."

Finally, he charged that if the preeminent foreign policy objective is to achieve security in Israel and stability within the broader Middle East, then the Bush track -- which McCain has endorsed -- is ill-advised.

"If you engage a world power or a rival, it doesn't mean you agree with them or subscribe with what they believe or you support them in any way," he said. "What it does tell you is that you've got a problem you need to resolve. And you've got to understand the other side and the other side has got to understand you."

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