Between the Lines

Neocons in the Dark

As I write this the news of Tom Wolfe’s death is breaking.  The stylish author of The Right Stuff, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, and the progenitor of the “New Journalism,” Wolfe was one of the last of the serious celebrity authors.  He contributed at least a few memorable phrases to the American lexicon, one of them being “radical chic.”  His semijournalistic depiction of the spawn of capitalist oligarchs fawning over leftist revolutionaries captured the spirit of an era.  Taking a leaf from his book, perhaps we can capture the spirit of the Trump era in a similar phrase: populist chic.  Today, it’s everywhere.

Republican politicians are all Trumpier-than-thou these days, if they know what’s good for them.  The GOP wing of the “Resistance,” represented by Jeff Flake and Bob Corker, are retiring from the field, defeated.  The traditional Republican country-club set is trying on overalls, which in most cases don’t fit all that well.  In the world of conservative punditry, and the subuniverse of rightist intellectuals, a phrase the neoconservatives thought they had deleted from the conservative lexicon—America First!—is heard once again.  The sight of former cheerleaders for the Iraq war like Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham...

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