Sam Smith - It's only a hunch, but it looks like Chuck Hagel's first assignment may be to run interference for John Brennan. The Hagels of the world come and go, but really good hit men are hard to come by. If Hagel gets blown out of the water by the right, he will have still served the noble assignment of keeping liberals from noticing what a rotten guy Obama has named for the CIA.
Here's another hunch: the reason Obama would like someone like Hagel in the Pentagon is that even the killers at the top have noticed that wars don't work well. We haven't had a really nifty invasion since Grenada and, increasingly, wars just piss off the people you need in the next election. This helps to explain the shift to drone massacres and renditions. Part of this shift, however, is to make the Pentagon less important. . .even to the killers at the top. Hagel and Brennan fit the shift exceptionally well.
Washington's Blog has noticed the same development
The guy who tried to drive solo in a car pool lane on the grounds that he had corporate papers (and hence personhood) on the passenger's seat was using a variation of the argument I proposed years ago when the right began arguing that life began at conception. If true, then all pregnant women should be allowed solo in car pools as well.