Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Narrow-minded Christian theocrat at play


Discussions - 9 Comments

What is this about exactly? I’m not sure I get it. Does the White House really have this Hanukkah event? I did’nt know Scott Johnson was Jewish. Or if this is a joke I do’nt get the angle. Help!

Yes, there was a Hannukah event at the White House. Here’s what the President had to say as he lit the Menorah.

This shouldn’t surprise anyone. If Bush were a religious bigot, would he have been listening to all those neo-conservatives around him (aka "Jews"). Bush respects all kinds of religious people (unless they kill others in the name of their god). Good for him!

Dain - Your whole neoconservatives = Jews (in the eyes of liberals) schtick really reminds me of the comments of Gerald Nye who - now miraculously resurrected apparently - makes ghostly appearances here at NLT from time to time to deliver the same tired and thoroughly debunked "message."

Aw, come on Craig, don’t confuse me with that neocon-lover Dain! You and I are on the same side! I know I tear up every time I hear about another white soldier getting killed in this war for Israel!

Serious question here: What IS the genesis of this bizarre association? I am truly uninformed about it. As I understand it, liberals are being accused of equating neocons with Jews? Where does this come from? Sorry to be obtuse.

Well, first of all it should be noted that "neoconservatism" is hardly a recent development. It really comes out of the 1970s, when a group of more or less New Deal Democrats began to argue that their party was beginning to sound more like isolationist Republicans from the 1930s than good Truman/Kennedy type Cold Warriors. They also had doubts about a lot of Great Society measures, claiming that they were counterproductive and contributing to urban decay.

There were plenty of non-Jews among these; the most prominent was probably Daniel Patrick Moynihan. But a lot of them were Jewish, and centered around the political journal Commentary.

The neoconservatives (and I’m not certain who coined the phrase, although others out there might know) played a significant role in bringing about the Reagan Revolution, although some (like Moynihan) remained loyal to the Democrats. It’s only during recent years that the conspiracy theory about "neocons" running the administration has pushed its way up through the muck. It’s worth noting, though, that the administration’s current Wilsonian goals have little to do with neoconservatism as originally formulated. Guys like Irving Kristol and the (distinctly non-Jewish) Jeanne Kirkpatrick were arguing for a hardheaded policy based strictly on national interest.

Hope that wasn’t too long-winded.

Michael Harrington is generally considered to be the one who coined the term "neconservative." I’m not sure exactly when or where he first used it. I read a claim that it was from his book The Other America, but that was published in ’62, so that sounds a few years too early. A great summary of neoconservatism’s history and small world incestuousness can be found here.

Choice quote:

"The economic determinist idea that liberal democracy is an epiphenomenon of capitalism, promoted by neocons like Michael Novak, is simply Marxism with entrepreneurs substituted for proletarians as the heroic subjects of history."

I don’t think a conspiracy theory is really necessary when considering this administration, unless one is trying to show that they have (or had) total control, rather than merely substantial influence.

Thanks to both of you, John and Jmont!

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