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Ash Faulkner

Yeah I think Hillary is a bit of a hawk, and I'm relieved. I do hope she gets the Democratic nomination, and McCain gets the Republican one. That way, we can be sure America won't abandon it's crucial long term role for short term, misguided populism.

JF

Tim, a couple of points. First, Bush is not a neoconservative, even if he has been influenced by neocons. So his original justification for the invasion of Iraq was not the neocon one (spread democracy), but rather the straightforward national security one (stop WMD programs). Thus, Bush isn't retreating from the neocon program, because he never fully embraced it. And outside of a few discredited and spineless individuals (Francis Fukuyama comes to mind), most neocons have not retreated from their original agenda, either. The American Enterprise Institute and Weekly Standard are still going strong.

Also, the leftwing internet activists should be properly referred to as "nutroots" on right of center websites.

Steevo

I really don't believe the main incentive for Bush going into Iraq was WMD. I think he believed they most probably would be found as did I and many for that matter not willing to admit it now, and I'm not so sure they were not there and shipped by train to Syria as some in Israeli intelligence believed. Eventually tho Saddam would have aquired them for future use. He was also increasingly cosy with terrorists and their causes as has been proven in spite of media claims to the contrary. I really think Bush felt it was the strongest reason he could give to justify in the eyes of the UN and world community. But I think his main incentive was the hope of creating a form of democracy with inherent freedoms to counter the sick tyranny and fanaticism rampant in the region and increasingly becoming a global threat. In small part, he may also have wanted to avenge and complete what his father didn't.

I'm not completely sure what neocon means but it does seem Bush is as much as any I know of. His "compassionate conservatism" defines it as good as anything on the domestic front.

I think Hillary is a hawk as long as its popular at the moment. She didn't feel she could completely denounce her vote on going into Iraq because she felt it would be seen for what it would be: opportunist in an increasingly anti-war atmosphere. She is well aware many are aware of her double standards and hypocrisy. She always has her finger in the wind with her own power and prestige of primary concern. She may have blown it going only half way with this one.

John_R

I think GWB is most certainly a neo-con, rejecting the small government and isolationism of traditional conservatives.

Re Hillary, Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds has repeatedly said he believes Hillary could be our greatest wartime pres. I tend to agree with him, she has that "don't f*** with me" air about her. That doesn't mean I'd vote for her, I'm pulling for Thompson to run.

JF

Steevo, you and I have agreed on many things, but on this I must call you out. You say you don't know what a neocon is, but then say that surely Bush is one. I'm not sure how you can reconcile that sentence intellectually.

John R, Bush rejects small government and isolationism, but that doesn't make him a neocon. Clearly, you also have little idea what a neocon is. Allow me to help you.

Read this article by Irvin Kristol, the father of Neoconservatism.

The Neoconservative Persuasion

To summarize the three major planks of Neoconservatism:

1. Economics: Cutting tax rates in order to stimulate steady, wide-spread economic growth and acceptance of the necessity of the risks inherent in that growth, such as budget deficits.

2. Domestic Affairs: Preferring strong government but not intrusive government, slight acceptance of the welfare state, politically allied with religious conservatism, and disapproval of counterculture.

3. Foreign Policy: Patriotism is a necessity, world government is a terrible idea, statesmen should have the ability to accurately distinguish friend from foe, protect national interest both at home and abroad, and the necessity of a strong military.

You believe Bush is a neocon because he has followed some of these views, but clearly not all of them (for example, no neocon would have countenanced Medicare Part D, the largest expansion of government in 50 years).

Many people use "Neocon" as an epithet but have no idea what it means. When you use it in that way, you lose credibility.

Conservative Homer

Does it matter? She hasnt got much chance of getting in has she? (so ive heard)

Steevo

Well with a number of political terms I just don't judge them by their 'official' definitions. That's because I find more than one 'official' defining the terms as well as a variance of popular perception which usually defines usage. In other words, for practical intent there may be no way to ever assure a singular, even ideal definition. I said it does seem Bush is as much as any I know of (for what the conglomerate of opinions I hear have to say.)

It really has not become an important term for identity in my framework. I respect your feelings about this tho JF in that I wish we had more clarity with a lot of terms and how they are identified with. What is rather interesting to me with neocon now is its usage is gradually usurping the Left's typical "far Right" or just "right-wing" categorizations.

JF

Steevo, I am aware that the word "Neoconservative" is probably permanently damaged by the Bush administration. It's unfortunate, because I think a lot of Americans (especially conservatives) would agree with the basic tenets if they knew what it actually stood for, as opposed to the way it is caricatured as some war-mongering Zionist conspiracy.

The biggest problem is that the Bush administration was the first one to install in positions of power both Evangelicals (who are really to blame for the big-government "compassionate conservatism" that you dislike) and neocons (who are responsible for Afghanistan and Iraq). The MSM and the general public have just lumped in everything they hate about both of these camps into the term "Neoconservative," and that's what bothers me. Most neoconservatives have been humbled by and take responsibility for Afghanistan and Iraq, even if they were never in control of the conduct of these wars. However, it is undeniably mistaken to blame neoconservatives for the massive expansion of government, as that is anathema to neocons, and is actually the responsibility of the Evangelicals. Don't forget the "con" in "neocon." There is no "con" in "Evangelical."

Just doing my part to educate. I would disagree with you about the popular definition being the correct one. After all, if I call myself a conservative and the left and MSM call me a fascist, that doesn't make me a fascist. The objective truth (and thus, the official definition) still has value in public debate.

Teddy Bear

I think the way many use the term today, it seems to be a way of saying "The Jews" without identifying them as such.

JF

Teddy Bear, I was hoping I didn't have to bring it up that explicitly.. but absolutely, yes.

Steevo

"I think the way many use the term today, it seems to be a way of saying "The Jews" without identifying them as such." I guess I shouldn't laugh...

Just wanna say JF I don't think the popular one is necessarily correct... it just depends ;)

Teddy Bear

Maybe NeoCohens would be a more apt description for the 'popular' term ;o)

John_R

Actually, JF, your the one that needs educating, Bush has done all three, he cut taxes as well. As far the Medicare you seem to have failed to read your own criteria, it is part of the acceptance of the welfare state, re your item #2.

Save your lectures.

John_R

While I'm in the mood, Irving Kristol's criteria was pre 9/11.

Frogg (USA)

Here's Hillary just today.....

-------------

Apr. 26, 2007 1:26

Clinton: US might have to confront Iran

Democratic presidential candidate and New York Senator Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that it might be necessary for America to confront Iran militarily, addressing that possibility more directly than any of the other presidential candidates who spoke this week to the National Jewish Democratic Council.

Clinton first said that the US should be engaging directly with Iran to foil any effort to gain nuclear weapons and faulted the Bush administration for "considerably narrowing" the options available to America in countering Iran.

Still, she said, all avenues should be explored, since "if we do have to take offensive military action against Iran, it would be far better if the rest of the world saw it as a position of last resort, not first resort, because the effect and consequences will be global."

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1177514487245&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
-------------------------

Is she a hawk? I don't know. I'm not sure she is a person of conviction. She is speaking to a Jewish group, here, and is known to change her 'talk' to tailor to what the audience would want to hear.

I don't think she is anywhere near the caliber of Joe Lieberman (he's the real deal). But, I would guess she would atleast try to gain support for military action if she felt it was a last resort necessity. I'm not sure I would trust her to follow through under pressure of her left base.

malcolm

I think you have it Frogg. If she's anything like her husband the only thing that matters is 'what the audience would want to hear'.
Would the Democrats really elect Hillary? The last time I saw polling figures (admittedly some time ago) her numbers looked poor against any of the republican contenders. Why would they allow someone who was likely to lose the Presidency to win their nomination?

JF

John R,

Actually, JF, your the one that needs educating, Bush has done all three, he cut taxes as well. As far the Medicare you seem to have failed to read your own criteria, it is part of the acceptance of the welfare state, re your item #2.

Hilarious, John. The educated among us know to use "you're" as a contraction for "you are" in your first sentence. Nice bit of irony, there.

1) Bush cut taxes, but that's about all he's done.

2) Otherwise, government spending under Bush has risen for the fastest rate in 30 years. That, my friend, is not a "slight" acceptance of a welfare state. His shameful actions with Terry Schiavo show that he is a champion of intrusive government. Also, he is not allied with religious conservatives, he is a religious conservative. He's an Evangelical Christian.

3) Bush went to the UN for approval to invade Afghanistan and Iraq. This is something a neocon never would have done, as neocons regard international organizations with suspicion and distrust.

In other words, as I said before, Bush has done some things in the neoconservative fashion, but not all. Bush is not a neocon, no matter how much the enemies of America (like you) want him to be. And keep in mind that I say this as a neoconservative.

Irving Kristol's criteria were pre-9/11, yes, and still in force after 9/11. You should note that the article was written on 8/25/03.

It's hard for you to accept that you've lost the debate because you aren't interested in facts, but rather, emotion. Your emotional nature will drive you to many other illogical conclusions, but rest assured, the truth will contradict you.

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