Two more exhibits in too little, too late to keep the Republican party in the mainstream. First, Chuck Hagel calling General Petraeus General Betray-Us Bush’s used car salesman.

Maher: Isn’t a dirty trick on the American people when you send a military man out there to basically do a political sell-job?”

Hagel: It’s not only a dirty trick, but it’s dishonest, it’s hypocritical, it’s dangerous and irresponsible.The fact is this is not Petraeus’ policy, it’s the Bush’s policy. Themilitary is — certainly very clear in the Constitution — is subservientto the elected public officials of this country. but to put our military in a position that this administration has put them in is just wrong, and it’s dangerous.”

Hagel, of course, has announced his retirement from the Senate and may well be replaced by conservative Democrat Bob Kerrey.

And then there’s Lincoln Chafee, who, after having had the decision to retire made for him, has disaffiliated with the Republican party (hat tip Susie).

Lincoln D.Chafee, who lost his Senate seat in the wave of anti-Republicansentiment in last November’s election, said yesterday that he has leftthe party.

Chafee said he disaffiliated with the party he had helped lead, andhis father had led before him, because the national Republican Partyhas gone too far away from his stance on too many critical issues, fromwar to economics to the environment.

“It’s not my party any more,” he said.

Next thing you know, Alan Greenspan will be proclaiming that Bill Clinton is the one with an "old-fashioned attitude toward debt.



Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.