The War Party has suffered significant defections since the proclamation of our great “victory” in Iraq last year, and that’s a good thing; but why would anyone take any of these people seriously? Take Tucker Carlson, the neocon punk with the P.J. O’Rourke haircut on CNN’s Crossfire, a vehement supporter of the war in Iraq who is having second thoughts: “I supported the war and now I feel foolish,” Mr. Carlson said.
I’m just struck by how many people like me who were instinctively distrustful of government forgot to be humble in our expectations. The idea that the federal government can quickly transform the Middle East seems odd to me for a conservative. A basic tenet of conservatism is that it’s much easier to destroy things than to create them—much easier, and more fun, too.
Yes, that’s true—if you’re a five-year-old. But what if you are a conservative pundit with a national audience?
If Carlson was ever even peripherally familiar with the most basic principles of human decency, let alone conservatism, it doesn’t show. He feels foolish because he is foolish. The only proper thing to do, in his case, is to slink away into the night, never to be seen or heard from again.
After all, we aren’t talking about going through a stoplight or telling...