Peter Berkowitz had a piece on The Conservative Mind in the Wall Street Journal editorial page in which he argued that "The American right is a cauldron of debate; the left isn't."
According to the Hoover Institute's scholar, unlike those on the left, "those to the right of center are engaged in an intense intra-party struggle to balance competing principles and goods." There is all the standard blah..blah..blah.. about the differences between libertarians and social conservatives, Hayek vs. Kirk, etc.
But then there is this:
But on non-standard issues--involving dramatic changes in national security and foreign affairs, the power of medicine and technology to intervene at the early stages of life, and the social meaning of marriage and family, the partisans show a clear difference: the left is more and more of one mind while divisions on the right deepen.
Consider Iraq. The split among conservatives has widened since Saddam was toppled in the spring of 2003. Traditional realists continue to put their trust in containment, and reject nation-building on the grounds that we lack both a moral obligation and the requisiteConsider Iraq. knowledge of Arabic, Iraqi culture and politics, and Islam. Supporters of the war still argue that, in an age of mega-terror, planting the seeds of liberty and democracy in the Muslim Middle East is a reasonable response to the poverty, illiteracy, authoritarianism, violence and religious fanaticism that plagues the region.
In contrast, Democrats today are nearly united in the belief that the invasion has been a fiasco and that we must withdraw promptly. Indeed, rare is the Democrat (Sen. Joe Lieberman was compelled to run as an Independent) who does not sound like a traditional realist denying both America's moral obligation to remain in Iraq and its capacity to bring order to the country.
Now...I do wonder why this lively debate on Iraq that Berkowitz is describing has not been evident in..where do we start...? The National Review? National Review Online? Fox News? The Weekly Standard? The Heritage Foundation? The American Enterprise Institute? The Wall Street Journal Editorial Page? Commentary? Just to name a few of the leading conservative outlets where any dissent on the war on Iraq has been silenced, and the only remaining debate is between those who want to nuke Iran and those who want to do a "regime change" there. And we can go on and on... as we focus our attention on the recent debate among Republican presidential candidates and the efforts to shut-up Dr. Ron Paul. There has certainly been more of a serious and lively debate on Iraq among Democrats and liberals. Count the number of Democratic senators who voted against the recent (modified) bill on Iraq and those Republicans who voted in favor of it. Thanks to The American Conservative and Chronicles, conservatives have been able to voice their views on Iraq and the Bush foreign policy. But please Dr. Berkowitz...there was no WMD in Iraq and there has been no conservative debate on Iraq.