American Proscenium

The Return of the Neocons

The disastrous denouement of the Iraq war, and the revelation that we were lied into invading a country that represented no credible threat to us, had supposedly discredited the authors of that reckless adventure—the neoconservatives centered in and around the American Enterprise Institute.  AEI served as the headquarters of the neocon network in Washington, a clearinghouse for everyone from Ben Wattenberg to Laurie Mylroie.  Voicing at least two cheers for capitalism and opposition to the more obnoxious forms of political correctness, the neocons managed to convince the mainstream media and much of the GOP that they constituted the intellectual leadership of the conservative movement.  Today, as the fragmentation of the right continues apace, that leadership is in question—and the movement has been pronounced dead several times over.

Out of power, the neocons are a pathetic lot.  Absent the ear of a prince to whisper into, these counselors of constant war are disconnected from what is, for them, the source of life and sustenance: power.  But never fear.  Now that the Bush years have faded into an increasingly distant (albeit no less unpleasant) memory, there’s a new crowd of neocons in town.  Meet the left-neocons!

What’s a left-neocon?  Subtract at least one cheer for capitalism, put on a thick gloss of p.c.-think, and polish the hard-edged militarism of the unilateralist...

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