January 15, 2009
As Matthew alludes to, one of the big Drudge Report headlines from yesterday was “Obama Breaks Bread with Righties.” The meeting took place at the home of George Will, and the hardcore right-wing extremists involved were David Brooks (who all but endorsed Obama after saying that the GOP was inflicted with a Sarah Palin “cancer”) and Bill Kristol (who has counseled the GOP to tack leftward on social issues, hoped that John McCain might “save the economy” with a big financial bailout, and will, no doubt, back Obama’s “stimulus” package for similar reasoning). I’ve also heard the rumor that Rich Lowry was in attendance, which wouldn’t surprise me at all.
Obama could thank all his dinner guests for supporting?indeed, devising?the war that?s so unpopular it?s allowed the Democrats to retake Congress and the White House. But, of course, things don’t operate this way. While some have argued that the Right in general is in disarray and that neoconservatism is all but dead, meetings such as this one prove otherwise?that the neocons are as strong as ever, retraining both their perch atop the conservative movement and influence within government. The neocons are best at understanding the need for a division of labor?for a few to be Republican partisans, a few to lean left, others to act as ?independent? gadflys. What’s important is that they all hammer home the same foreign-policy message consistently and relentlessly.
Two nights ago, I had dinner with a fellow editor and friend who had the distinct displeasure of going to a cocktail party that had Norman Podhoretz and Midge Decter in attendance. My friend asked the loathsome couple, “Do you expect any major changes in U.S. foreign policy.” NPod’s answer, “No, absolutely none.”
The more things change…
UPDATE: Lowry was not there, but Charles Krauthammer, Larry Kudlow, and Peggy Noonan were.
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