To the People

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Monday, February 26, 2007

Curious George

I've been politically active longer than I've been sexually active, but I still have a hard time defining what it means to be a neoconservative. My best guess is that it means an economically left-leaning person who supports a hawkish foreign policy and a national identity that may or may not be socially conservative. According to wikipedia, the movement's founder (Irving Kristol) says the philosophy has three core tenants: 1) a belief that tax cuts can stimulate the economy; 2) a preference for big government and some degree of a welfare state, with a hatred for the counterculture; and 3) "patriotism" and a strong military. I guess I'm not that far off. Should I feel bad? Maybe. I guess in the same way that a hen should know more about the fox. But I'm not a president whose administration is being run by neoconservatives. So for President Bush to wait four years to ask his father "what's a neocon" says something about why this country has so many problems.
Near the end of his new book, Rumsfeld: His Rise, His Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy—an unfriendly but persuasive portrait of the former secretary of defense—journalist Andrew Cockburn relates a story about an encounter between Bush père et fils that I put in the category "remarkable if true."

[...]

notwithstanding this episode, Bush 43 still sometimes drew on his father's wide knowledge of the world. Though he refused to read newspapers, he was aware of criticism that his administration had been excessively beholden to a particular clique, and wanted to know more about them. One day during that holiday, according to friends of the family, 43 asked his father, "What's a neocon?"

"Do you want names, or a description?" answered 41.

"Description."

"Well," said the former president of the United States, "I'll give it to you in one word: Israel."
One can easily imagine such follow-up questions as "Daddy, what is FEMA?" and "Is Iran the past tense of Iraq?" ("No, Son. It's the future tense."

Full story here. (Via Lew Rockwell).

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