Two items in the press today are worth noting for their confluence near the heart of the grand strategy of the VRWC: Peter Berkowitz muses in the Wall Street Journal about why the Left doesn’t exhibit much debate about fundamental political ideas any more, while the Right is constantly engaged in internal debate between its various factions. This is not a new theme--Jonah Goldberg has been reflecting on this for some time now--but Peter offers some hypotheses worth considering, namely, that Bush has, quite simply, driven the Left out of its mind. (In passing, I note that while Berkowitz discusses Russell Kirk, F.A.Hayek and Leo Strauss as providing the core teachings for the three mains strains of conservatism, the Wall Street Journal only includes a photo of Hayek with the article. Is this a not-so-subtle sign of where the WSJ editorial page aligns itself??)
Meanwhile, the WaPo’s Richard Cohen calls Bush a "neoliberal," noting that the apparent failure of the Iraq war "will be cited to smother any liberal impulse in American foreign policy" for years to come. Hmmm. Cohen is getting dangerously close to the heart of the matter, which is that Bush is secretly a liberal double-agent, designed to discredit what remains of liberalism by adopting some of its historical themes, while driving liberals out of their minds at the same time. Reagan got liberals to abhor deficit spending, which bequesthed us the relatively sensible economic policy of Clinton. Now Bush is killing Wilson-FDR-JFK liberal internationalism. And liberals don’t see it. Intellectual liberalism is unreflective, and in the post-Bush era political liberalism will likely be incoherent. Time for Cheney’s goons to. . .