Dover Bitch

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The squawk of the hawks

Glenn Greenwald observed last May (and again, here) that as it becomes clearer and clearer that the Bush administration's policies are failures, more and more right-wingers will come out and bemoan the fact that Bush is actually... wait for it... a liberal.

Yesterday, I referenced an article in National Review by Jonah Goldberg in which Goldberg argued that the two most glaring examples of failed Republican presidents -- Richard Nixon and George Bush -- weren't conservatives at all, but were actually liberals. I characterized this claim as "dishonest" because, as I pointed out, virtually no conservatives were claiming that Bush was a "liberal" when his popularity ratings were in the 60s and he was perceived as some sort of heroic, beloved political figure. It is only now that his approval ratings are reaching historically low levels, and it is becoming unavoidably apparent that his presidency is dying and failed, that conservatives are seeking to claim that Bush's failure is not a failure of conservatism because -- as it turns out -- Bush was really a liberal all along. Alas, Bush's failure is simply the latest instance of the failure of liberalism.

Let's hear it for Glenn. He spotted it early and that tree is bearing a sour fruit in today's Washington Post:

Kenneth Adelman, a Reagan administration arms-control official who is close to Vice President Cheney, said he believes foreign policy innovation for White House ended with Bush's second inaugural address, a call to spread democracy throughout the world.

"What they are doing on North Korea or Iran is what [Sen. John F.] Kerry would do, what a normal middle-of-the-road president would do," he said. "This administration prided itself on molding history, not just reacting to events. Its a normal foreign policy right now. It's the triumph of Kerryism."

The only thing DB will add to what Glenn wrote is that in addition to statements like this being a clear case of denial with an added layer of projection, in this case it also appears to have an added and dire motivation behind it.

It seems unmistakable that the neocons and hawks are worried that Bush won't fulfill their bloodlust and hope to goad him into a global war by calling him a chicken. Or worse, a liberal.

Labels: ,