Peter Beinart in The Daily Beast on Chuck Hagel After President Obama nominates Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense this afternoon, the confirmation hearings are likely to dig up a history most Republican senators would rather not reflect on heading into new international crises, argues Peter Beinart. "At the heart of the opposition to Hagel is the fear that he will do what Republicans have thus far largely prevented: bring America’s experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan into the Iran debate," he writes. "What the Republican foreign policy establishment fears is that with Hagel as secretary of defense, it will be impossible for Barack Obama to minimize the dangers of war with Iran, as George W. Bush minimized the dangers of war with Iraq."
Doyle McManus in the Los Angeles Times on John Boehner The possibility of a Republican coup in the House of Representatives has dissipated, and John Boehner will remain Speaker of the House. But should he really consider that a victory? Doyle McManus argues that upcoming fights like the looming debt ceiling vote put Boehner in an unenviable position. "It's no wonder that by Thursday, when Boehner was narrowly reelected as speaker over protest votes from disgruntled conservatives, the sour joke in the Capitol was that his caucus was punishing him for his failings by letting him keep his job," McManus writes. "Boehner has the job he always wanted. But it came without a guarantee that he's going to enjoy it much."