While it looks like the much-touted Libertarian Moment has passed—if it was ever here to begin with—we can say with some degree of certainty that the Paleoconservative Moment has arrived. And we can pinpoint the date of its arrival with impressive specificity: The day of the South Carolina Republican presidential debate, when Donald Trump dropped a rhetorical bomb on the GOP with his stunning double-barreled declaration of war on the Bush clan. The first fusillade was aimed not only at George W. Bush and his brother Jeb, but also at the neoconservative architects of the Iraq war. In answer to moderator John Dickerson’s question about Trump’s past statements calling for Bush II’s impeachment, the GOP frontrunner replied, “George Bush made a mistake. We can make mistakes. But that one was a beauty. We should have never been in Iraq. We have destabilized the Middle East.”
Trump went on to level the charge that “They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction, there were none. And they knew there were none.”
Jeb’s reaction was to whine about how “he’s attacking my family!” and seek solace in the arms of his mother: “My mother is the strongest person I know.”
Trump replied, “She should be running!”
In an attempt to save face for the...