Skip to comments.They Only Look Dead
Posted on 12/22/2009 5:35:21 PM PST by rabscuttle385
Justin Raimondo detects yet another death of neoconservatism and yet another resurgence of non-interventionism on the right. As usual, he takes isolated examples, misinterprets them and then grossly exaggerates their importance. It is great news that many Tea Party protesters support something like a non-interventionist foreign policy. As many of them were originally Ron Paul supporters, just as I was, it makes sense that quite a few of them do support this. It would be even better news if there were any reason to believe that most of the Republican Party and conservative movement shared their foreign policy views. The very thing that Raimondo cites as evidence of this, namely the criticism Tea Partiers are receiving from Frums neoconservatives, is proof that it is not so.
At the moment, Ron Paul is getting a hearing on fiscal and economic policy because it suits both party and movement to pretend that the GOP values fiscal responsibility and limited government. We know that the party does not value these things, but it is a start. It is on these issues that Tea Party protesters and the rest of the movement are finding common ground. That is fine as far as it goes, but movement conservatives are fixated on questions of spending in order to avoid taking any responsibility for the foreign policy they have endorsed for years. Like Pawlenty, who is now trying to appeal to Tea Party sentiments by suddenly adopting the positions they favor, these conservatives blame Republican collapse on excessive spending and corruption. They are reacting to what they believe was the lesson of the 2006 and 2008 elections. The only trouble is that they have learned the wrong lesson. As ever, the war in Iraq and the GOPs other foreign policy mistakes are never mentioned, and just like Pawlenty they continue to believe that invading Iraq was the right thing to do.
What Raimondo seems unable to grasp is that Republicans and movement conservatives are encouraging and tolerating Tea Party protesters in spite of their foreign policy views, which they know they can safely ignore anyway. The attacks on their foreign policy views by Frum et al. are a desperate bid to make them seem unacceptable to party and movement leaders in order to derail Tea Party advocacy of libertarian and small-government conservative economic and domestic policies. Why do Frum et al. focus on the Tea Party protesters foreign policy views and their support for Ron Paul? They do this because they are reasonably sure that most Republicans and conservatives see these things as liabilities. It is not true that the only thing that matters to Frum et al. is foreign policy. Most of what Frum has been doing for the last several years and the purpose of his website have been to move the GOP and the movement to the left on most domestic policies.
On foreign policy, Frum and his colleagues are not at odds with the rest of the right, and they know it. It is on domestic policy where they are on the margins and have relatively little influence at the moment, and so they are trying to undermine their opponents in domestic policy debates by drawing attention to foreign policy views that the Tea Partiers hold and which most on the right seems not to hold. It is the equivalent of centrist Democrats c. 2003-04 using progressives foreign policy views against them, but the difference is that the centrists in the GOP have the majority of the party on their side when it comes to foreign policy. That is lamentable and disastrous, as the recent elections have shown, but it is the way things are at present. At the moment, neoconservative domestic policy arguments are out of favor, but there is scarce evidence that their foreign policy arguments are unpopular among Republicans and conservatives. When even some of the antiwar Republicans on Afghanistan vote for imposing sanctions on Iran and wish to launch a war against Iran, it would appear that neoconservatism is not nearly as politically weak as we would like it to be.
Hmm, interesting thoughts in that, though I’m not certain that Tea Party protestors and American Victory advocates are exactly at odds to begin with, most Conservatives and moderates want both wars to be one, the anti Victory forces are generally far more leftist than even Lincoln Chaffey.
Unless “foreign policiy views” is meant to be some sort of codewords?
Meh...the pseudo attack...of the moderate moderates...
“At the moment, neoconservative domestic policy arguments are out of favor, but there is scarce evidence that their foreign policy arguments are unpopular among Republicans and conservatives. When even some of the antiwar Republicans on Afghanistan vote for imposing sanctions on Iran and wish to launch a war against Iran, it would appear that neoconservatism is not nearly as politically weak as we would like it to be.”
Ronnie was against Attacks on the Taliban after 9/11...
He’s our cindy sheehan..
Yeah, we're all just war mongers, even the "antiwar" Republicans. The fact that a nutcase is about to acquire nuclear weapons in one of the most politically, geographically and economically sensitive regions of the world, an area that has been unstable for all of recorded history, has nothing to do with it.
There are only two options, win the war or lose it. Being anti Iraq/Afghanistan war can either mean tail-between-legs defeatism, or get it over with by winning decisively. I don’t believe playing for a tie is an option any sane human believes in (hence Obama is not sane).
What they don’t get, but they will when it is time, is that true conservatives are being “sifted” during this time. The phonies, RINOs and pretenders will be winnowed out. It doesn’t take a super-majority to overcome evil, just committed believers standing fast, not giving in.
This author also wrote an interesting piece on why Neocons mostly agree with Obama's strategy for Iraq: "Yes, Obama Is A Liberal Internationalist"
"Whenever Obama reminds us that he is a hawkish liberal internationalist, neoconservatives and hawks gasp in amazement (and try to take credit) and many of his supporters express dismay at the betrayal they have experienced. It is understandable why some neoconservatives would want to treat Obamas liberal internationalism as a result of going neocon, because as long as Democratic leaders adhere to something close to a pre-1968/post-1992 liberal internationalist foreign policy neoconservatism has no reason to exist, except perhaps as the distorted echo of liberal internationalism that it has always been."
Agree completely. But to win that war, you have to decide what "winning looks like" before you go in, in order to take steps to achieve it. And you have to be realistic about your goals based on the true situation is on the ground -- not what you'd like it to be.
The fact is that we have never defined what "winning" looks like in any sort of realistic and consistent way for Afghanistan. Is it "killing bin Laden"? Is it "wiping out "al Qaeda"? Is it "wiping out the Taliban"? The fact is that one even talks about getting bin Laden anymore. Al Qaeda just gets up and moves on to destabilizing the next country, and the next country until our military forces are tuckered out following them around. Wiping out the Taliban is unrealistic. As much as being a woman, I'd like to see the Taliban's head on a plate, I have to agree with Chuck DeVore. The best we can do is to show the Taliban that it is unprofitable to support al Qaeda, nothing more.
Ah yes, the good old days.. watching Justin and antiwar.com make nancy-boy idiots of themselves.
“.Most of what Frum has been doing for the last several years and the purpose of his website have been to move the GOP and the movement to the left on most domestic policies.”
Neo-cons are liberals.
I've seen David Frum in person and know others that know him quite well. His problem seems to be that he is too full of himself, as demonstrated by his clumsy attempts to assert himself as a GOP party leader and pundit. The fact is that Frum's only political credential worth anything at all is his year or two as a GWB White House speechwriter, during which time he coined the term "Axis of Evil."
He is a most definitely a RINO, and a pessimistic one at that. His prescriptions for GOP revival by movement toward the "center" are not realistic - especially considering the current political climate - and his books have met with very little enthusiasm.
I don't know how you can make such a broad, sweeping statement. Neo-cons are pretty much defined by their foreign policy preferences, and would be all over the map in terms of domestic issues.
That’s a pretty broad statement.
I suppose it depends on how one defines “neo-con.”
Oh, for the love of Pete!!! Justin Raimondo??? Are you freaking kidding me?????
Neo-liberals are cons. There I fixed it.
The more he doesn’t get it, the more he doesn’t it. Circular file. I don’t even pay attention to this crap any more.