Saturday, December 03, 2005
More comments on Andreasan, whether the Democrats have Iraq war baggage, etc.
"conservative realist" wanted to make this point:
It is really odd, this strange phenomenon where realist conservatives are embraced by antiwar leftists as comrades in arms.
And then to go from that to all sorts of diatribes about fascist
Let's get off of the 1960s fantasy train here that there is gong to be some groundswell antiwar movement that is going to usher in the age of Aquarius.
That train left the station after the 2004 elections. The debate in
America now revolves around what sort of conservatism will
prevail--fiscal/libertarian versus activist/evangelical.
In the end, the worldview of a Scowcroft is still much closer to that of a Cheney than the left wing of the Democratic party. As the troops withdraw and the war ceases to be much of an issue after 2006, the old allegiances will reassert themselves.
------ [This is the end of the first comment]
Another comment--this one going back to one of the first things posted on this site, the "Taking Exception" column I co-authored responding to Charles Krauthammer, but also responding to later points made here--has been to argue that the Bush approach is essentially the correct one, and is the forward-looking one, even if mistakes have been made in execution; that preserving the status quo in the Middle East is untenable and that only a radical break with the past can not only promote American values but U.S. national security.
------ [This is based on a note sent directly to me, not my own views]
If I might comment here--"conservative realist"'s comments track those that have been advocating, in TNI's pages and other outlets, by GW professor Henry Nau, who has argued that conservatives of all stripes--realists, necons, nationalists, isolationists, multilateralists--in the end will also agree more than disagree. In other words, in the final analysis a Sam Brownback, Chuck Hagel, John McCain, Colin Powell and Richard Haass will find a way to keep the Republican "big tent" together, and that some sort of "old Republican/centrist Democrat" alliance against neocons is not likely to happen.
The second comment I think exposes the very real divide in thinking about foreign policy--"morality of intention" versus "morality of results". Is the status quo in the Middle East untenable? Yes it is. Is radical intervention the best solution? I don't think so. I think we always need to resist the impulse to "do something" for the sake of "doing something" and to consider all consequences.
A number of people were surprised when Israel's Ambassador to the U.S., Daniel Ayalon, speaking at the Nixon Center a few weeks back, said that Israel did not automatically want to see "regime change" in Damascus, that what concerned Israel was what a regime did, not its nature. This is a point Aluf Benn made in the summer 2005 issue of TNI about why Sharon has not signed on to Bush's democracy promotion strategy for the Middle East.
If you have problems with comments, please let me know.
There is another problem with the approach, which actually extends back to the Clinton administration too: focusing solely on the Middle East is mistaken, because the problem extends well beyond that region.
For example, projecting into the unknown unknown future the partisan idea that "America now revolves around what sort of conservatism will prevail--fiscal/libertarian versus activist/evangelical" as though conservative domination of American politics and government are a known and unchallengeable certainty, - is wildly visionary and obviously disconnected from the prevailing attitudes on the street here in the Homeland.
The conservative momvement including evidently "realist" factions, like the Bush government have no ears, and operate in an echo chamber, deaf to, and insulated from alternate opinion and failing or refusing to recognize the factbasedrealies that conflict with the partyline or partisan world view.
The gospel according to Fox fictions and myths exalting America as a conservative nation ignore the converse reality of the 51% math, and the turbulent winds of change whirling across the nation currently. The days a 51% referendum are over.
The faux veneer of invincibility, maturity, value based polity, and trustworthiness that once masked the Bush government and the conservative movement is torn, tattered, and fast unraveling.
The exposure and prolonged examination of a long and festering litany of Bush government deceptions, abuses, failures, dereliction of duty, acts of malfeasance and perfidy, cronyism, and profiteering effectively erased the false percepton management images concocted and pimped, - I mean mass marketed by the conservative movement and the complicit parrots in the socalled MSM that painted (FALSELY) the Bush government as smart, mature, valuebased, patriotic, valiant christian warriors combattiing evildoers and securing the homeland.
This false image no longer resonates with the "sheeple" or the cush middle, centrist voters the conservative movement formally mesmerized, manipulated, and duped over the last decade.
There will be a reckoning. America is not a fundamentalist christian nation. Nor is America a corporatist, or imperialist nation.
The fundamentalist evangelical element of America who are far more radical than any faction of theleft, enjoy disproportionate influence in the conservative movement. Their numbers are large but represent a minority view. Though they vote in lockstep unison, by the entire fundamentalist christian movement, like the Bush government, and the far right factions of the conservative movement, is based and dependent on the perpetuation of deceptions, lies, disinformation, and propaganda, sliming of oppositions, and cloaking of the actual corporatist, imperialist, and supremist ambitions and designs.
These deceptions, slime, and evasions were successfull so long as the 'sheeple", the cushy middle or centrist America pliantly believed in and trusted the socalled leaders, - but those uncontested beliefs, and that blind trust is drowning in the ruin, rubble, and blood of Iraq and New Orleans.
The point is, democrats and theleft though frayed and striving for a unified voice are increasing resonance and support within and from the "sheeple", the cushy middle, and centrist America, - while the conservative movements robopathic support of the Bush government is proving radioactive.
The conservative movement is indeed struggling to "find a way to keep the Republican "big tent" together," - but they are on the wrong side of a loosing argument supporting the "neocons" (neo-fascist cabals within the Bush government) and failing to hold the Bush government accountable, change course in Iraq, and open their eyes and ears the discontent of the "sheeple", the cushy middle, and centrist America.
The conservative movement is forced now to reach out to the "old Republican/centrist Democrat" alliance", or risk sinking into the pit of shame and disrepute tied to the coat tails of the Bush government.
Continued conservative domination of America is no certainty.
Plus people identify with aspirant class not with actual class. It was amazing that poor Blacks supported repeal of the estate tax not because they were affected but because they were sold on the idea that if they did have wealth they would want to pass it on (and it is no accident that Donald Trump's image graces lotto advertisements in Virginia).
Today's WaPo story on Democrats with no alternatives for Iraq make David Brook's point that the momentum for policy debate lies with Republicans while Democrat elites cherry-pick or propose "third ways" which are basically reformed conservative proposals with a bit of liberal coloring.