Between the Lines

Neocons in a Lather

With Donald Trump continuing to rise in the polls, the neoconservatives are in a lather.  Bill Kristol, who initially declared he was “anti-anti-Trump”—in the same sense that his departed father declared he was “anti-anti-McCarthy” (Joe, that is, not Eugene)—recently tweeted, “Crowd-sourcing: Name of the new party we’ll have to start if Trump wins the GOP nomination? Suggestions welcome at”

The essential unity of neocons and liberals is underscored in the Great Anti-Trump Convergence, with the New Yorker and Commentary both conjuring all the familiar bogeymen who haunt the nightmares of Manhattan’s Upper West Side: Father Coughlin, Charles Lindbergh, Joe McCarthy, Mussolini, and (of course) the failed Viennese painter who rises from the grave whenever it’s time to end the conversation.

All these ghosts are from the World War II era, a time when the War Party was eager to drag us into Europe’s perpetual cauldron of hatreds and bloody internecine conflicts, and the campaign against “isolationism” was in full swing.  The paladins of perpetual war again raise their battle flags and urge us into the fight—in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan—against the Hitlers of our day.  And Trump is their favored target on the home front.  Trump, after all, is alone in making any sense on...

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