But the more important overreaching point is that a number of significant figures within the movement conservative orbit are trending toward non-interventionism (Norquist, Vig, Weyrich [R.I.P.], Armey, Scarborough, etc.). Ideological non-interventionists are MUCH more in evidence among the base, not to mention nation building skeptic Jacksonians and the foreign policy disinterested. Non-interventionists such as Antle and Bandow are tolerated at former bastions of interventionism. Non-interventionists are all over the forums and blogs. The alarmist uber-hawks are a shrinking core of bitter-enders. There is no audience for their message outside the already converted.
I’m not sure how continually reaffirming that you believe we are arguing from a position of weakness does anything except perpetuate that weakness. The trends are going in our direction. The other side is weakening and losing their grip, and they know it. That is why their rhetoric gets shriller and more alarmist all the time. It seems to me a better strategy to emphasize the trend in our direction and the fragile hold of the opposition and to welcome the partially converted to our side. This is arguing from a position of strength.
The relentless message needs to be that non-interventionism is the authentic historic conservative position and that uber-hawk interventionism is the aberation. This needs to be asserted self-confidently.
I’m not naive. I recognize we are a small minority at present. But much of the hawkishness that remains strikes me as mindless repetition of conservative conventional wisdom and an effort not to offend the hawkish bitter-enders. The ideological hawks are flaking off and those that remain are increasingly insular.
Yet there is an extra note of hysteria in this latest hyperbolic tantrum, as if the prospect of facing a rebellion within what the neocons regard as their base is driving Boot over the edge of credibility. Because what’s laughable isn’t Norquist’s raising of this issue, but the efforts of Boot and his dwindling band of dead-enders to stamp out the rebellion before its gains enough momentum to have a real effect.
The problem for the neocons, however, is that the revolt has already spread far beyond the possibility of suppression. Bubbling up from the grassroots, this is a revolution on the right, and it portends a struggle that is truly existential as far as the neocons are concerned. Having attached themselves to the conservative movement in the 1980s, this mini-movement which traces its origins back to a schismatic variety of Trotskyism would be content to suck the very life out of its conservative host — but it looks like the host is finally waking up to the danger…
… Reality has finally caught up with the conservative movement, however, much to the neocons’ intense annoyance. Let Boot have hysterics:, and let the Huffington Post liberals throw their mudballs. As Chris Middleton, of the Ohio Liberty Council, a leading tea party group, put it the other day: it’s all about the math, and the numbers don’t lie. With military spending accounting for 56 percent of discretionary spending, and the US about to lose it’s triple-A credit rating, the inexorable logic of the budget-cutters leads to one and only one conclusion: it’s time to rein in the War Party, and abandon our foreign policy of imperialism — because empires are a luxury that no modern nation can afford any longer.
Mind you, I’m not suggesting that Raimondo has been pirating my ideas, just that great minds think alike.
Editor’s Note: The link above (comment #5 here) has been fixed. Before it wasn’t actually going to my comment.