Principalities & Powers

The Real Cabal

After nearly two decades of paleoconservative criticism, complaints, and general grousing about the ideological hegemony of the neoconservatives, the establishment press finally began to notice the existence of the latter.  Between the time of President Bush’s factually flawed “Axis of Evil” State of the Union Address in 2002 and the “end” of the war with Iraq last spring, probably a dozen articles about the neocons popped up in such locations as the New York Times, the Nation, the New York Review of Books, and similar organs.  What was curious (though not terribly surprising) is that, although each of the articles offered an “exposé” of the neocon “cabal,” its “extreme” views and beliefs, and its awesome power in the government, the academy, and the mass media, not a single article that I know of even mentioned the existence of something called paleoconservatism or cited or quoted any paleoconservative writer—even though the very term neoconservative logically implies a paleoconservative antithesis, and the hostile drift of the articles would seem to suggest that their authors would welcome such an alternative to the neocons as the “acceptable right.”

This silence about the paleos was the result, in part, of the abysmal ignorance of the writers of most such articles but also of the hidden...

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