hagan-hagelBy almost any measure, former Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel’s testimony on Jan. 31 before the Senate Armed Services Committee was a disaster. The man didn’t know anything, said he didn’t know anything, and was roundly criticized by both Republicans and Democrats for not knowing anything. But N.C. Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, perhaps showing solidarity with people whose names begin with “HAG,” has decided he should be Secretary of Defense.

“After several weeks of reviewing his qualifications, meeting with him in private, and participating in his hearing, I plan to support the nomination of Senator Hagel to become our country’s next Secretary of Defense,” she said in a statement.”

Hagan put her narrow parochial interests ahead of the national interest with this decision, and if you think I overstate, she said as much in announcing her vote:

“During the hearing and in our meeting, Senator Hagel assured me that he would be a helpful partner in getting answers about water contamination at Camp Lejeune. …and he shared my concerns about the serious, negative consequences sequestration would have on North Carolina.”

But the kicker, which puts her judgment in as much question as Hagel’s was this:

“He also expressed his strong support for the state of Israel, one of our most important allies.”

Only the staunchest and most deluded Obama spokesmen tried to say Hagel did well in his appearance. Even some Obama operatives “knew it was a disaster.

And anyone who has been paying attention for the last 20 years knows of Hagel’s vocal and many-times-demonstrated antipathy for the state of Israel, and even gays.

Hagel defenders claim these criticisms are just a lot of smoke and that there’s no fire there. But some anti-Israel activists are convinced that Hagel lied about his feeling on Israel in his testimony simply to help get himself approved.

Here’s a thought exercise: Imagine what Hagan would be saying if a Republican had Hagel’s rhetorical record and had put in such an abysmal performance at a nomination hearing.