An interesting question brought up by the Chuck Hagel brouhaha is: "How strong is the military-industrial complex?" Was all that Republican virulence against former Republican Senator Hagel just pork-barrel politics?
As an offshoot of the military-industrial complex (to use the term introduced by Dwight Eisenhower in his farewell address as President), I'd say: Pretty strong! Simply counting the number of my relatives, in-laws, friends, and neighbors who have been employed by the military aerospace industry alone, it's obvious that the military-industrial complex is a major lobby.
On the other hand, it's not invincible. Aerospace spending, for example, was cut way back under Nixon and then again under the elder Bush.
Most notably, you can joke about the military-industrial complex. For example, four decades ago my cousin was a staffer for Senator Henry M. Jackson (D-WA) (working along with the future prominent neocon Ben Wattenberg).
Back then, Sen. Jackson was irreverently known as the "Senator from Boein g" for his staunch support of the military-industrial complex and a hawkish foreign policy. If you enter "Senator from Boeing" into Google in quotes, even though Jackson died way back in 1983, you get 172,000 pages. (Some of them refer to Jackson's state of Washington successors in the U.S. Senate).
Heck, if you enter "whore for Boeing ," you get 3,550 pages.
Analogously, I've long thought of a certain current Republican Senator as the "Senator from Mossad" because I assume that the Israeli intelligence agency has a thick dossier on him, and that they've managed to let him know about its existence.
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