Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Michael Brendan Dougherty, "Neoconned again," The American Conserative, April 20, 2009.

[Even before Obama's election, I predicted, somewhat direly I thought, that "the neocons will be back. However, it seems that they will never be gone. -jlt]

After successive elections unseated the Republican majority and sent John McCain to defeat, neoconservatism seemed like a spent force. Francis Fukuyama wrote wistfully about life “After Neoconservatism” in 2006. Ian Buruma described the McCain campaign as the neocons’ “last stand” and harrumphed that they “will not be missed.”

One would expect neoconservatives to be friendless and circumspect, grumbling about Obama’s inevitable failure as they slump away from Washington. Instead, they are jubilant, palling around with liberals again, enjoying renewed respect. Obama is their hero.

On March 31, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, Washington Post columnist Robert Kagan, and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations Dan Senor launched the Foreign Policy Initiative, the latest neoconservative think tank. Its first conference, dedicated to “Planning for Success” in Afghanistan, had the spirit of a family reunion. Sounds of backslapping and gossip filled the hall at the Mayflower Hotel. The only interruption was a slight hush as Scooter Libby passed through. The man indicted for perjury while protecting Dick Cheney deserved a special kind of respect.

  Republicans balked at their suggestion of increased military spending as an alternative economic stimulus plan.

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