The New Triangulation
On September 18th, Ted Kennedy bull horned "There was no imminent threat. This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud." Who could disagree with that? It’s all pretty much the truth, except that the invasion was planned in Washington, D.C. years ago. But what I found interesting was the response from Tom Delay, who accused Kennedy of "the most mean-spirited and irresponsible hate-speech yet." Hate-speech!?! Mean-spirited?!? I thought we were in the Age of George W. Bush, the latest self-anointed other son of God, where adults returned to the White House. Instead, Delay sounds like the mindless drones trotted out to kill the messenger of the latest scandal during the Clinton 90’s. And this wasn’t the first time Delay whined like some PC thug.
Delay’s response illustrates neoconservatism’s true nature. It is not a school of thought, a creed, a philosophy or any other mature system of thought. Instead, neoconservatism is merely a name given to political strategy and tactics. And tactics adopted from the Left, at that. Adopting the rhetoric of thought crimes like hate speech, "mean-spiritedness" and of course the Left’s long-used slur against anyone who questioned them, that you must be an anti-Semite which the neocons now brandish with glee (Joel Molbray used it again on CNN last Thursday afternoon), to the legitimization of "compassionate conservatism" (i.e., "Big Government Conservatism") in place of State’s and local rights and federalism, to centralized education, to embracing the Civil Rights assault on individual self-ownership, Medicare and other entitlement expansion, eye-popping deficits, acquiescence to affirmative action quotas, abortion and gay marriage, and of course the adoption of the same nation-building ambitions and big-spending they used to deride during the 90’s. Just what does today’s neoconned conservative Republicans believe in anyway? Certainly its not liberty.
The Republican Party is now the Party of omnipotent government ambition now that the conventional Left is a spent force, but it still might take a generation or two for right-thinking Americans to hold their noses and migrate to the Democratic Party and return it to its libertarian roots.
Neoconservatism is a malleable approach to politics that fogs the air with rhetoric about liberty while at its root they have one and only one goal — to get and keep exercising coercive power. The paeans to liberty are merely "boob-bait for the Bubba’s."
Maybe Jonah Goldberg was right after all and Neoconservatism doesn’t exist. They’re just plain vanilla political opportunists.
Tuning in to CNBC’s Capital Report (not its lead-in program Crudlow & Clymer — anyone catch the obscure reference to the 2000 election?) on Tuesday, I was interested to hear that former weapons inspector Scott Ritter would be interviewed, even if it probably would be the usual blather about the War Party’s lies and deceptions being the exception instead of the norm as most discussions go on these beltway-type shows. Scott Ritter was introduced as the only man in America who still defends Saddam Hussein, and later in the interview was asked if the world is safer with Saddam out of power. (The entire world? Really?) Ritter said, "No, it isn’t." And you could hear the audible gasp from the hosts. I guess they swallowed Bush’s wiggling worm of lies hook, line and sinker. So much for objectivity. At least with the Butcher of Baghdad we knew that if he did indeed have the dreaded WMD they were in Iraq. Now where are they? Who has them? Before we knew, or thought we knew. Now we don’t. Some success.
El Pillbo in Deep Caca
What else is there to say about Birch Barlow’s predicament, except maybe, that it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving person. It’s always nice to see the drug warrior, total warrior, super (false) patriot brought down low by their own hand. Now, if only similar events could discredit the rest of the desktop infantry of pundits. Oh wait… the cakewalk in Iraq has already done that.
The Crawford Mussolini in Deep Caca
Good news. Bad news. The good news is yet another poll shows support for Bush’s imperial project is on the u201Ctipping pointu201D towards life support. But the bad news is that whoever would replace the Crawford Mussolini would be no better (Dean) or possibly even worse (Clark).
The poll found confidence in Bush’s foreign policy performance sliding to just 44 percent. 50 percent lacked confidence in Bush’s ability to handle an international crisis and 53 percent said they now believed the invasion of Iraq wasn’t worth the cost.
"Landing on the carrier, declaring the conflict over, this Romanesque sort of victory parade, certainly did raise the stakes," historian James T. Smith told CBS News. "And now those expectations are falling because people are seeing that the Iraq situation is not going according to plan."
And some people thought reforging Iraq into the 51st State would *ahem* "be a cakewalk."
Oh well. Live by the poll numbers, die by the poll numbers. But even though times change, principles don’t. Of course, it helps to first have principles.
Man of the Year
The Jerusalem Post (owned by Conrad Black, professional ex-Canadian, paid-up member of the smear bund and one of the many Dr. Strangelove’s in the neocon camp) has declared Wolfowitz of Arabia their Man of the Year.
LRC needs its own Man of the Year. But who could it be?
Could it be Aristotle? After 2300 years, is Aristotle still the man? What about the gangster-in-chief himself, George W. Bush, for drawing back the curtain on the essential nature of the U.S. government of war, war, and more war (and all the opportunities for personal and societal corruption that supplies)? Or maybe Ron Paul should be LRC’s Man of the Year from the fact that he was attacked by neocon tyrant Michael Ledeen for daring to quote Ledeen’s own words calling for total war on societies that do not practice "creative destruction." A strong contender is Justin Raimondo, for doing the labor of ten men in publicizing the myths, lies and bizarro ideological migrations of the War Party.
However, there is one man who’s been instrumental to disturbing and exposing both wings of the War Party in these times. From applying the path blazing insights of Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard to current events and making available to readers their writings both on LRC and Mises.org, providing individuals around the world with ideas they have never before encountered, to exposing the War Party and counteracting the effects of the War Channel, Lew has given all of us a worldwide forum to critique, ridicule, lampoon and otherwise comment on the fantasies of the neocons, their statist allies and fellow travellers.
Lew is far too humble to nominate himself, not like he has a website named after him or anything, so for doing all this is why I nominate Lew himself as the first annual LRC Man of the Year.
Adam Young [send him mail] writes from Ontario, Canada.