Daniel Larison catches Jennifer Rubin demanding re-education for Chuck Hagel:
The language of inquisitors crops up throughout the post. Rubin describes recent reports about Hagel’s views in terms of his supposed “serial recantation,” she insists that he must “renounce” his past views, and later implies that he must express remorse for them. Hagel is supposed to prove the sincerity of his “conversion,” and he must prove that he has “the emotional commitment to these views” that the hard-liners require. At one point, she states that this is necessary because “we expect the defendant to recognize and accept full responsibility for his misdeeds.” In this case, Hagel’s “misdeeds” amount to questioning hard-line policies and nothing more. Applying such absolutist, religious terms to policy differences is twisted, and it is proof of the fanaticism of Hagel’s critics.
It is not enough if Hagel ceases to support a policy that Rubin considers mistaken, and it is certainly not enough that Hagel correct the distortions of his record that his critics have circulated. According to this fanatical view, he is obliged to confess his wrongdoing and beg mercy of the people hounding him.