[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/03/20/art.chuck.hagel.gi.jpg caption=" Sen. Chuck Hagel at a Foreign Relations Committee hearing."]
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
The U.S. needs independent leadership and maybe even a new political party.
Senator Chuck Hagel, the Nebraska Republican and one of the very few class acts in Washington, has a new book out, "America: Our Next Chapter." Hagel writes, "In the current impasse, an independent candidate for the presidency, or a bipartisan unity ticket... could be appealing to Americans."
Hagel, who is a Vietnam veteran, also suggests that the war in Iraq might be remembered as one of the five biggest blunders in all of history. He says that the invasion 5 years ago was "the triumph of the so-called neoconservative ideology, as well as Bush administration arrogance and incompetence."
Hagel says he held one of the Senate's strongest records of support for President Bush, but his standing as a Republican was still doubted because of his opposition to the administration's foreign policy – one he sees as "reckless" and "divorced from a strategic context."
Hagel announced last year that he wouldn't run for a third Senate term or seek the Republican nomination for president. His name was often mentioned as a potential running mate for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on an independent presidential ticket. But last month, Bloomberg said he wouldn't run.
Here’s my question to you: Republican Senator Chuck Hagel says the U.S. may need a new political party. Is he right?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Drew from Newburyport, Massachusetts writes:
Absolutely!!! We have an institutionalized two-party system that is sanctioned by the government designed to perpetuate itself instead of responding to the needs of the people. One party has been largely hijacked by the right while the other is beholden to the left. The relatively sane block of moderates making up nearly half of the electorate in this country are usually stuck choosing between two candidates that don't truly reflect their desires.
Donna from Galveston, Texas writes:
Jack, Are you kidding? Chuck Hagel makes absolutely too much sense. His idea, as well as any other like-minded, rational, logical, intelligent individual will be shouted down by political rhetoric, and the possibility of another party will be buried under more partisan strong-arm maneuvers. I have watched a new trend in politics over the recent past. They may as well post a new banner in Washington: "Politicians wanted; no backbone or brain required."
Yes, Republicans and Democrats alike have failed the American people. Gas prices are high, foreclosures are high, and the economy is in shambles. A new party would bring back confidence to the American people.
Anna from Missouri writes:
If the Democratic Party does not put an end to the Clinton campaign or the superdelegates override the pledged delegates and put her on the ticket in the fall, a third party will definitely be possible even this year. Obama/Hagel would take enough votes from McCain and Clinton to propel them into the White House.
Bill from New Jersey writes:
At least one. It seems that the third party efforts of the past were too closely related to a singular issue, so that when the issue went away the party did as well.
Barbara in Florida writes:
Yes, Jack. We could have an independent party similar to Canada's system, but they still get stupid politicians, too.