Sunday, April 17, 2005


Michael Kinsley argues that the neocons have "evolved," moving from skeptics and even cynics during the Reagan years to optimists. Well, "evolution" may not be so bad; it beats feminists calling conservatives unevolved neanderthals. But Kinsley's unsubtle piece doesn't really do justice to Jeanne Kirkpatrick whom he describes unflatteringly as "an austere academic with a crooked scowl." He tries to embarrass today's neocons by reminding them that Kirkpatrick attacked Jimmy Carter's efforts to "'impose liberalization and democratization' on other countries." Of course, Kirkpatrick also favored thwarting communism wherever it was on the offensive in the world; and the big change from Nixon to Reagan was that detente was out. The US was now going to pursue a more aggressive policy and seek victory in the Cold War. Kinsley, of course, barely mentions this at all. Yes, that's right, Kinsley writes a piece on foreign policy and neoconservatism, but somehow forgets that the US went on the offensive with Kirkpatrick and Reagan. His only remark about the Cold War is that the neocons were wrong in thinking the Soviet Union was strong (and, therefore, by implication don't deserve credit for bringing it down). It was all just cynicism and a scowl against Democratic naivete for Kinsley.

Well, Michael Kinsley hasn't evolved. He still neglects to mention the most salient things pertaining to the subject matter in his columns. I wonder how he feels about being in agreement with Pat Buchanan about this evolution thesis....


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