Friday, October 21, 2005


Conservative Crackup
How the neocons have developed a political exit strategy.
By Howard Fineman
Oct. 12, 2005

President George W. Bush may have no military exit strategy for Iraq, but the “neocons” who convinced him to go to war there have developed one of their own—a political one: Blame the Administration.

Their neo-Wilsonian theory is correct, they insist, but the execution was botched by a Bush team that has turned out to be incompetent, crony-filled, corrupt, unimaginative and weak over a wide range of issues.

The flight of the neocons—just read a recent Weekly Standard to see what I am talking about —is one of only many indications that the long-predicted “conservative crackup” is at hand.

The “movement” —that began 50 years ago with the founding of Bill Buckley’s National Review; that had its coming of age in the Reagan Years; that reached its zenith with Bush’s victory in 2000—is falling apart at the seams.

In 1973, Karl Rove met George W. Bush, and they became the R2D2 and Luke Skywalker of Republican politics. At first, neither was plugged into “The Force”—the conservative movement. But over the years they learned how to use its power.

By the time Bush was in his second term as governor, laying the groundwork for his presidential run, he and Rove had gathered all of the often competing and sometimes contradictory strains of conservatism into one light beam. You could tell by the people they brought to Austin.

To tie down the religious conservatives, they nudged John Ashcroft out of the race and conducted a literal laying on of hands at the governor’s mansion with leaders such as James Dobson.

For the libertarian anti-tax crowd, they brought in certified supply-sider Larry Lindsey as the top economic advisor.

For the traditional war hawks they brought in Paul Wolfowitz, among others, go get Bush up to speed on the world.

For the traditional corporate types—well, Bush had that taken care of on his own.
But now all the constituent parts are—for various reasons—going their own way. Here's a checklist:

For the rest of the article, go to . I think it's worth a read!


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