It’s also an effort that the traditional GOP probably would have steered clear of, for an obvious reason: Hagel is likely to be confirmed, and investing in a campaign against him would be squandering resources and inviting an embarrassing defeat. The current anti-Hagel effort has an amateurish quality; it’s happening not because it’s a politically shrewd move, but because donors can afford it.
As the post-Citizens United landscape becomes clearer, it is hopefully dawning on some Republicans that by unshackling the Adelsons of the world, the ruling has weakened the party’s control over its message. Instead of the Republican Party deciding which fights to pick, donors are picking for them. If Hagel is confirmed, it’s not just Adelson who will look like a loser, but the party that’s allowed itself to be led into a losing battle.