Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Neocons for Hillary?
















They'll always be with us..."Are the Neocons Migrating Left?" asks The Washington Realist who posts an interesting op-ed by Jacob Heilbrunn who writes that:
DON'T LOOK now, but neoconservatism is making a comeback — and not among the Republicans who have made it famous but in the Democratic Party.
A host of pundits and young national security experts associated with the party are calling for a return to the Cold War precepts of President Truman to wage a war against terror that New Republic Editor Peter Beinart, in the title of his provocative new book, calls "The Good Fight."
The fledgling neocons of the left are based at places such as the Progressive Policy Institute, whose president, Will Marshall, has just released a volume of doctrine called "With All Our Might: A Progressive Strategy for Defeating Jihadism and Defending Liberty." Beinart's book is subtitled "Why Liberals — and Only Liberals — Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again." Their political champions include Connecticut Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman and such likely presidential candidates as former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner and Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, who is chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council. This new crop of liberal hawks calls for expanding the existing war against terrorism, beefing up the military and promoting democracy around the globe while avoiding the anti-civil liberties excesses of the Bush administration. They support a U.S. government that would seek multilateral consensus before acting abroad, but one that is not scared to use force when necessary.
These Democrats want to be seen as anything but the squishes who have led the party to defeat in the past. Interestingly, that's how the early neocons saw themselves too: as liberals fighting to reclaim their party's true heritage — before they decamped to the GOP in the 1980s.(read more of Neocons in the Democratic Party)

And The Washington Realist asks:
Is the stage being set so that the true "heirs" to the Bush Doctrine may end up being the liberal hawks?
In that case, there is a major hurdle they will have to overcome. It is easy to assert that Democrats, if in power, would have made Iraq a success and Osama bin Laden would be in custody. But what proof is being offered?
It is also going to be tough for Democrats to argue that they represent an "alternative" to Bush.
Republicans have the advantage, as Henry Nau wrote two years ago, of having competing but "organic" schools of thought. Can one argue that, right now, there is a distinctly Democratic approach to foreign policy?

Good points, Nick. But we're talking here not about a serious "war of ideas" but about the way the neocons, joining forces with the "liberal hawks" on the left are going to re-brand themselves in anticipation for jobs and influence with a new Democratic administration.

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