Thursday, June 18, 2009

What happens when the neocons meet the theocons?

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Well, they made peace in the Republican Party, putting aside their differences for the sake of electoral success, the neocons and the theocons and the paleocons and the neo-libs, and that worked fairly well for them, largely because, for a long time, the desire to win overcame the obvious differences, and because the neocons, led by Krazy Bill Kristol, and the business-oriented, anti-tax-crazed neo-libs put up with the moralism and nativism of the theocons and paleocons in a quid pro quo to get what they wanted on foreign and economic policy, but it's nonetheless rather interesting that The Weekly Standard, neocon HQ, is moving from Rupert Murdoch, a neo-lib, more or less, to Clarity Media Group, a Christianist theocon media organization owned by Philip Anschutz, the right-wing billionaire and media/sports mogul, the conservative behind the various Examiner tabloids, parts of the Clarity empire.

And so, what now?

Kristol long ago put personal profit and prominence, as well as Republican partisanship, ahead of principle, not just agreeing to but actively promoting the uneasy alliance between and among the right's disparate factions. That isn't about to change, even if the new owner of TWS is an American theocon as opposed to an Australian neo-lib. Krisol will still play the Christianist in public, even as a Jew, and will continue to lobby for his warmongering foreign policy priorities even as he grits his teeth, if he grits at all these days, and puts himself, his magazine, and neoconservatism generally in the service, where necessary, of theocon, and, less so, paleocon, policy, all for the greater glorification of the Republican Party.

Who knows what Kristol actually thinks when he's being honest with himself, if he ever is, or if he ever can, but, with his move from Murdoch to Anschutz, we can expect more of the same incoherent blend of policy positions that has come to characterize not just neoconservatism but American conservatism more broadly.

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  • Conservative policy positions aren't hugely incoherent. They're all aimed at making sure that the people who have power keep it and get more.

    Neo-libs want to preserve and expand the power of the already wealthy.

    Neo-cons want to preserve and expand the power of the already imperial United States.

    Socio-cons want to preserve and expand the power of the already dominant straight, white, Christian, male, bigot.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:58 PM  

  • Caught this cross-posted on another blog and thought I'd hop to the source for a quick comment. Must admit this sounds like a bit of over-analysis to me. I wouldn't even be certain Kristol gives more than two thoughts for who he gets into bed with. At the end of the day it's the ends, not the means, which concern him.

    Such philosophy personifies ideological extremism in whichever category, after all, and I don't see why it would apply here as well.

    By Blogger Atheist Abomination, at 6:08 PM  

  • Very good point, Anonymous. I suppose what modern conservatism wants is Singapore, with a free market for the wealthy and moralistic oppression keeping everyone else in line. But I still think it's an uneasy alliance at times, especially when you throw the paleos in -- on issues like immigration, for example, as well as on foreign policy.

    And very good point, A.A. Perhaps it is over-analysis, of sorts. At this point, I doubt Kristol himself much cares, as long as he can continue to push his American hegemony agenda.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 10:34 PM  

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