Hagel-Webb -- The Axis of Change

Sen. Chuck Hagel's (R-Neb.) comments on ABC that he is working towards a proposal and alliance with Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) offer the possibility of a major game-changer for Iraq policy and the U.S. Senate. This is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Hagel and Webb are highly respected war heroes and legislators and among the most cogent critics of the Bush policy. They both have a major streak of independence, a fierce patriotism born of service, deep knowledge of military and world affairs and a desire to dramatically change a disastrously failed policy.

The only thing as bad as the Senate failing to honor its constitutional role for oversight and war powers would be an endless series of party-line votes without any prospect of policy change.

As Hagel said, the president's comments last week about the House vote demonstrated an astounding lack of respect for the legislative branch and the American system of government. Nothing is worse for the country and policy than the kind of derisive, dismissive words the president spoke last week.

The prospect of a Hagel-Webb alliance offers historic change. Should they offer a cogent alternative policy, it will create an opening to work with other senators, from both parties, who have vast experience on military matters and know there must be honorable and bipartisan change to the disastrous status quo.

Let's watch Hagel and Webb closely and hope their initiative comes to fruition, and that these two voices of military experience and leadership can lead to a new day for the United States Senate and American policy towards Iraq.