February 14, 2008

Listening to the talking heads on FOX at 6:45 PM on Wednesday night, I was struck by a conversation among Mort Kondracke, Bill Kristol and Mara Liasson, concerning a beau geste that had been carried out in the Senate chamber by presumptive Republican nominee John McCain. McCain had walked over to his colleague and likely opponent in the presidential race Barack Obama, had shaken his hand vigorously, and then engaged in exceedingly friendly conversation. All three FOX pundits smiled broadly as they commented on this cheery scene. They were full of praise for both candidates, and of course they were justified in their outpouring of affection. Our country in this situation did not have to deal with Taft Republicans and other rightwing extremists. The race was to be between “€œa liberal and a centrist,”€ and the moderate centrist McCain would wage a “€œdignified ideological battle”€ for his centrism.
For anyone who doubts what the media power of the neoconservatives has contributed to, the FOXites have much to teach. The neoconservatives”€™ control over the “€œconservative movement”€ and their access to the media, assets that no one on the real right presently enjoys, has allowed them to help reshape political debate in the US. They have now brought about, with the help of Republican hacks and their docile voters, everything they had hoped to achieve for decades, that is, to shove the political spectrum toward the left while focusing on armed crusades for democracy in the Middle East.  If our side doesn”€™t like this course of events, then we had better come up with resources to fight back. We are now combating our enemies”€™ atomic weapons and left-liberal allies with sling shots. It need hardly be said that the “€œevil ones”€ could happily live with President Obama, providing he allows them a free hand to “€œfight terror.”€ McCain, however, might give them even more goodies, since he is itching for a confrontation with the “€œundemocratic”€ Putin. Next to the supposedly warlike, anti-Semitic Germans, the neocons may hate the Russians more than they do the other continental European peoples. (Perhaps it is memories of tsarist pogroms that fuel this aversion.) In any case the neocons are not likely to be out of work or counseling opportunities under the “€œmoderate, centrist”€ McCain.


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