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Where Have All the Neocons Gone? (who cares---just get 'em out of OUR party)
The American Conservative ^ | January 12, 2009 | Jacob Heilbrunn

Posted on 03/16/2009 7:48:46 AM PDT by Liz

EXCERPT Though neocons formed a kind of Praetorian Guard around John McCain during his campaign, their truculent approach to foreign affairs sabotaged rather than strengthened McCain’s appeal. The best that Sarah Palin, a foreign-policy neocon on training wheels, could do was to offer platitudes about standing by Israel. It seems safe to say, then, that the neocon credo is ready to be put out to pasture.

Or is it? One problem with this line of argument is that it’s been heard before—sometimes from the neoconservatives themselves. In 1988, after George H.W. Bush replaced Ronald Reagan, neocon lioness Midge Decter fretted, “are we a long, sour marriage held together for the kids and now facing an empty nest?”

Then in the late 1990s, Norman Podhoretz delivered a valedictory for neoconservatism at the American Enterprise Institute. Neoconservatism, he announced, was a victim of its success. It no longer represented anything unique because the GOP had so thoroughly assimilated its doctrines.

In 2004, a variety of commentators scrambled to pronounce a fresh obituary for neoconservatism. The disastrous course of the Iraq War, Foreign Policy editor Moisés Naím said, showed that the neoconservative dream had expired in the sands of Araby.

Yet the neocons show few signs of going away. The Iraq surge was devised by Frederick Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute and spearheaded by William Luti, a protégé of Newt Gingrich and Dick Cheney who is currently at the National Security Council.

Its success has prompted some neocons to claim vindication for the Iraq War overall. Nor has the network of institutions that the neocons rely upon melted away, from the Hudson Institute, where Scooter Libby and Douglas J. Feith are now ensconced, to the Weekly Standard and Fox News.

It’s also the case that the realists inside the GOP feel more embattled than ever. Sen. Chuck Hagel has pretty much resigned from the GOP itself as well as from his Senate seat, denouncing Rush Limbaugh and others as retrograde conservatives.

They have undeniably suffered a number of setbacks. The sun has set on the flagship neocon newspaper, the New York Sun, a victim of the financial crash.

The citadel of neoconservatism, AEI, has ousted Michael Ledeen, Joshua Muravchik, and Reuel Marc Gerecht. Meanwhile, Robert Kagan has incorporated realist tenets into his writings, while David Frum, who co-wrote with Richard Perle the standard neocon foreign-policy text, An End to Evil, and who previously demanded the expulsion of allegedly unpatriotic conservatives from the conservative pantheon (a move Russell Baker called reminiscent of the Moscow purges), now seems to be hinting at, among other things, a reassessment of neocon foreign policy. “I cannot be blind,” he conceded in a farewell address to National Review Online last month, “to the evidence … that the foreign policy I supported has not yielded the success I would have wished to see.”

Looking ahead, the neocons do not have an obvious horse. In the past they have glommed on to everyone from Sen. Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson to Colin Powell, whom William Kristol briefly touted for president. Another problem is that George W. Bush himself has increasingly deviated from neoconservatism.

With the fall of Donald Rumsfeld, on whom the neocons tried to blame the mismanaged Iraq War, Vice President Dick Cheney has lost out to the combination of Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Even Kristol seems to have shed some of his habitual fervor, musing about the shortcomings of capitalism in his New York Times column and expressing the hope that Obama will put aright what has gone wrong.

The result has been something of an identity crisis in the ranks of the neocons. Like not a few revolutionary movements that have fallen on hard times, neoconservatism is experiencing a schism. Two camps are starting to face off over the question of the true faith, with the first embracing orthodoxy and the second heresy. The question they face is simple: Should the neocons continue to move right, serving as the advance guard of an embattled GOP? Or should neoconservatism become true to itself by returning to the center?

Will the movement, in fact, morph back into what it was at its inception in the late 1960s when it belonged firmly to the Democratic Party—moderate on domestic issues and mildly hawkish on foreign policy? --SNIP--

TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: fredkagan; gop; kristol; liberalsindisguise; mccain; neocons; neoconsundermybed; podhoretz; rebuilding; richardperle; rinos
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To: Califreak
"Whenever I hear someone say neocon, I’m always reminded of 9/11 troofers."

Neocon is a term used by limp-wristed purse-swingers to attempt and drive a wedge between those who are willing to use military power and those who don't.

21 posted on 03/16/2009 8:09:57 AM PDT by lormand (Paulrhoids - The hemmrhoids of American Politics)
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To: Liz

What happens when two or more people hold truths to be self-evident, but contradictory? Which self-evident truth, is real?

22 posted on 03/16/2009 8:10:24 AM PDT by stuartcr (If the end doesn't justify the means...why have different means?)
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To: mikeus_maximus
WE are the real RINOs.

I think you may have expressed one of the most simple-yet-profound ideas I have read here in a very long time.

We use the term RINO, when what we usually mean is "CONSERVATIVE in name only". "Republican" has only loose correlation to "conservative" much of the time.

23 posted on 03/16/2009 8:10:27 AM PDT by TChris (So many useful idiots...)
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To: SolidWood

Amen, brother.

“Neo-con” is used here like it would be on the Daily KOmmunistS website. They use it like little sounds like “neo-nazi” so just stick it on anything you don’t like.

24 posted on 03/16/2009 8:11:05 AM PDT by Lee'sGhost (Johnny Rico picked the wrong girl!)
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To: rabscuttle385
"...and neo-cons"

What is a neo-con?

25 posted on 03/16/2009 8:11:44 AM PDT by lormand (Paulrhoids - The hemmrhoids of American Politics)
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To: woofie
My neo cons are better than your neo cons

Well, kick them twice and beat 'em with a stick.

26 posted on 03/16/2009 8:14:36 AM PDT by MARTIAL MONK
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To: Lee'sGhost
“Neo-con” is used here like it would be on the Daily KOmmunistS website. They use it like little sounds like “neo-nazi” so just stick it on anything you don’t like.

That, and the fact that "con" is shorthand for "con-man". The implication of fraud, dishonesty, swindling, etc. is obviously not an accident either.

"Neo-con" = (by implication/association) "Neo-nazi con-man"?

27 posted on 03/16/2009 8:14:43 AM PDT by TChris (So many useful idiots...)
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To: mikeus_maximus
You could not be more wrong.

In fact, you are making stuff up without any proof or even any evidence.

There has never been a poll taken that showed that Gun Control, abortion rights, higher taxes or a weak foreign policy had a majority of Republican support.

All of our Presidential nominees that you mentioned CAMPAIGNED as “conservatives” (Heck, even Obama campaigned as a “conservative”)

Most people are not political junkies, and once you get passed the “litmus test” issues, voters decide if they like the candidate or not.

We need to do a better job of recruiting conservative candidates, and those candidates will then WIN most of the primaries, if those candidates do a better job of communicating with the voters.

The idea that we need a “3rd party” is insane, we will give the country over to the left, if we do that.

The idea that we can win elections by REDUCING our ranks is also insane.

28 posted on 03/16/2009 8:16:19 AM PDT by Kansas58
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To: woofie
We are all neo cons unless we can prove otherwise....Lets get ourselves out of our party!
Neo con apologist?

Speak for yourself. I'm not a neo con and I don't have to prove anything to anyone...

29 posted on 03/16/2009 8:16:21 AM PDT by lewislynn (What does the global warming movement and the Fairtax movement have in common? Disinformation)
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To: Petronski; SolidWood; bill1952
"A neocon is anything bad and/or Joooooooish."

There goes Petronski spewing his profound "wisdom" all over the place.

Now who's going to clean that up?

You people who do not even know the definition of neo-con are sure quick to throw us into the tank with all the "KOOKS".

May I suggest you actually take a minute (or all day, in your case) to finally get a handle on who the neo-cons are, and what they are doing.

Otherwise, you will continue to look foolish.

30 posted on 03/16/2009 8:18:49 AM PDT by Designer (We are SO scrood!)
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To: Liz

The surest way to detect mental midgetry is to see the term “neocon” used.

31 posted on 03/16/2009 8:19:46 AM PDT by pissant (THE Conservative party:
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To: Liz
"3. Our security is through strength, not surrender.

Huh? To rage against neo-cons and at the same time to support the central idea of the neo-conservative foreign policy??????

32 posted on 03/16/2009 8:21:30 AM PDT by alex
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To: Califreak

“neo-con” conservative...aka former liberal...

To the liberal mind...a neo-con is WORSE than a nazi...

You have to liberals this is heresy...neo-cons are apostates from the “church of humanity”...

Neo-cons have drank from the well of liberalism and found it wanting...

It’s a dirty invective uttered to pass muster of profanity...but never mistake it’s meaning when spashed upon the stoning alter of the press...

To liberal ...Every conservative is a neo-con....

While to conservatives....we understand the variables in the party...

I’m a former of the few on the boards....I AM a neo-con....But I dont consider Frum to be a neo-con...he’s just a liberal republican...he’s a powell, a Buckley Jr,spector, collins, snowe, gramnesty, McCainiac.....etc etc ...

I’m much farther to the right than these any of these smacktards...

The danger a former liberal represents to liberals...the source of the the fact that true neo-con can see through there bullshit they were once of that same mindset and world view...

33 posted on 03/16/2009 8:22:50 AM PDT by Crim
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To: SolidWood
But too often the “neocon” brush is used to include everyone favoring strong foreign policy.

That's a good point. I would contend that anyone who favors a strong foreign policy as an element of a big-government, globalist world view would fit the bill as a true "neo-conservative."

34 posted on 03/16/2009 8:23:27 AM PDT by Alberta's Child (I'm out on the outskirts of nowhere . . . with ghosts on my trail, chasing me there.)
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To: bill1952
I still have yet to find a cogent, clear, and unified answer as to what a neocon is.

I'm not clear on this myself. I believe that originally the term was applied to former Democrats who became disenchanted with the Democratic Party's weak, submissive approach to foreign policy and became Republicans. The following definitions seem to apply:

Social conservatives: A "neocon" is any Republican who isn't a social conservative. Also termed "RINOs", even if their views are overwhelmingly in line with traditional GOP values, these people must either fall in line with what social conservatives want or be driven out of the party. The article above demonstrates this definition.

Foreign-policy isolationists and Democrats: A "neocon" is anyone who supports the war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in general favors a muscular foreign policy. This is the definition used mostly in the media, by Hollywood anti-war types, etc. There is also a segment within this group who use the term "neocon" as a code word for "Jew" - many prominent neoconservatives such as Richard Perle and Paul Wolflowitz are Jewish.
35 posted on 03/16/2009 8:26:56 AM PDT by AnotherUnixGeek
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To: Designer

It amazes me sometimes how quickly the insults fly. It’s a sure sign that one has nothing better to say.

36 posted on 03/16/2009 8:27:31 AM PDT by Petronski (For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden. -- Cdl. Stafford)
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To: SolidWood

That’s right, everyone is a kook, but people like you are pure genius. That works real well. That’s what your buddy Medved does. Ron Paul brings up points you don’t want public so you call him a kook and make him a Nazi. Brilliant. So, let me ask you, who should go to war with Iran before they get a nuke?

37 posted on 03/16/2009 8:29:38 AM PDT by SQUID
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To: mikeus_maximus

True, but when a true, articlulate conservative comes along, he/she is popular. Look at Palin, whom is very, very ordinary American.

Liberal Republicans run as conservatives( Mitt ), because that is how you win the GOP. Then, they stab them in the face, because that’s what liberals do.

38 posted on 03/16/2009 8:34:07 AM PDT by Leisler
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To: Alberta's Child
That's Clintonian and arguably to far lesser extent GWB foreign policy.

We need however a strong, if neccessary pro-active foreign policy for America's strength and security (which will benefit the free world too), while vastly shrinking government domestically.

We neither can afford Giuliani-Frum liberalism, nor Buchanan-Paul isolationism.

The above article is ridiculous from the onset for attacking Palin. It may have escaped the authors attention that Frum was viciously bashing Palin. The folks that are worrisome within the GOP are not the hawks, but the domestically liberal hawks.

39 posted on 03/16/2009 8:34:46 AM PDT by SolidWood (Palin: "In Alaska we eat therefore we hunt.")
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To: Califreak
Whenever I hear someone say neocon, I’m always reminded of 9/11 troofers.


Amazing << Hear this. Feel this, and tell me that this isn't music.

Oh, dear...

40 posted on 03/16/2009 8:35:11 AM PDT by rdb3 (The mouth is the exhaust pipe of the heart.)
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