Thursday, March 30, 2006

More on the Jacksonian insurgency

The old foreign policy axis?

The new foreign policy axis?

Daniel McCarthy, one of the original young thinkers in the conservative movement has an interesting analysis of the Jacksonian insurgency, that is, the populist-nationalist backlash against Bush's foreign policy agenda over Iraq and other issues. I've discussed this pheonomenon, most recently here and here. Daniel is placing the Jacksonian sentiments, that have become quite obvious during the Dubai/ports debate, including among many Republicans, in the a larger historical context. He argues the what we are seeing now is the breakup of the political axis between the Jacksonians and the Wilsonians that evolved after 9/11. He seems to think that the pro-business Hamiltonians are now history and sees some signs of an emergence of a new axis between the Jacksonians and the Jeffersonians (left- and right-libertarians). All this discussion is based on Walter Russell Mead’sdivision of American foreign-policy thought into four "schools" – Jacksonian, Wilsonian, Jeffersonian, Hamiltonian. As a political scientist I do find Mead's analysis very valuable. In the real world, however, things tend to get more complex, especially since political debates (and presidential elections) revolve not only around foreign policy. I always thought that the "Jacksonian" personality is probably more "real" than the other three "types" since nationalism and populism are still very powerful forces and tend quite often to intertwine with religion. "Hamiltonian" is just another way of describing someone who is committed to a Realpolitik or "realistic" foreign policy and who also tends to be a mercantilist. "Wilsonians" want to spread American ideals worldwide, including by force, while "Jeffersonians" just want to preserve these ideals at home. Now... most American presidents in the last 100 years have advacned foreign policy agendas that were a Wilsonian-Hamiltonian mish-mash. Wilsonians have played the role of critics and I doubt very much that that would change anytime soon (even if we get rid of the Patriot Act, which is very unlikely, we'll just be back in the pre-9//11 square one, which is certainly not a Jeffersonian utopia). I do hope that Daniel is right. But I'm afraid that it would be difficult to translate the Jacksonian insurgency into a political platform and action, and that the best we can hope for in the real world is that the balance of power in the U.S. foreign policy "community" will shift back towards the Hamiltonians. Indeed, it's a depressing thought, but in my wet foreign policy dreams I see Dr. Kissinger, Jim Baker and George Bush the First in charge once again. That's what four years of neocon/Wilsonian nightmares can do to you...

GREAT STUFF! and good stuff

GREAT STUFF: Check out (hear) released NSA intercepts on Leo Strauss Stiftung: Hear NSA defeat PNAC security and intercept an Emergency PNAC Board Meeting. Listen in as PNAC and its agents discuss Kadima. Learn about Bibi's Fighting Retreat, hear the debate over Krauthammer's demand for SMERSH assassins against Fukuyama and Mearsheimer.And discover PNAC's secret weapon to turn the tide when all seems lost! Forcing through ferocious PNAC electronic security defenses amid the chaos of political warfare, hear the NSA peer into the inner most workings of the Cabal. And the following is a NSA Intercept Transcript (Partial)




BEGIN TRANSCRIPT (signal distortion from target):

Weekly Standard Phone In: (inaudible, explosions) Kadima has smashed through our lines everwhere. The electoral casualities are complete. We are facing total electoral wipeout. Bibi is retreating trying to establish a new front but it does not look like he will be able to succeed . . . (inaudible, sirens)

New York Post Phone In: (On Cell Phone?) He must be allowed to retreat . . . He must !! According to today's reports, peace may break out any minute and we can not stop it !! He must be allowed to retreat . . . (inaudible, gunfire).

Pajama Media (via Skype): "No, no. This is just like Frederick the Great. . . Providence is testing us. We must hold on. The alliance between democracies and Patrick Buchanan is unnatural. It will fall apart . . .Just like in Frederick's time . .we must attack again and again . . . our enemies will drown in a sea of




New York Times Phone In (John Tierny?): I am sorry to interrupt. But we just got this fax in. It's from Charles Krauthammer. He's demanding that we do something about Fukuya(explosion) Here, look at what he says. He is demanding that we send a SMERSH team to take care of Fukuyama. (sirens) Of course, they are already on the Meirsheimer assignment . . . (snip).

And just good stuff: Read my latest on 'Democratizing' Iran:
A Case of Déjà Vu: The guys who brought you the liberation of Iraq are at it again