The Neocons Just Don’t Care

Stephen Walt delivers a righteous screed:

One reason neoconservatism survives is that its members don’t care how wrong they’ve been, or even about right and wrong itself. True to their Trotskyite and Straussian roots, neoconservatives have always been willing to play fast and loose with the truth in order to advance political goals.

We know that they were willing to cook the books on intelligence and make outrageously false claims in order to sell the Iraq war, for example, and today they construct equally false narratives that deny their own responsibility for the current mess in Iraq and portray their war as a great success that was squandered by Obama. And the entire movement seems congenitally incapable of admitting error, or apologizing to the thousands of people whose lives they have squandered or damaged irreparably.

Like Richard Nixon or Silvio Berlusconi, in short, the neoconservatives keep staging comebacks because they simply don’t care how often they have been wrong, and because they remain willing to do or say anything to stay in the public eye. They also appear utterly indifferent to the tragic human consequences of their repeated policy failures. Being a neoconservative, it seems, means never having to say you’re sorry.

And never ever taking responsibility for the consequences of their actions. They are the post-modern nihilists they accuse the left of being. Only much more shameless. But it’s worth repeating that they only appear on cable news because the brain-dead producers and editors decide they will. The blame for treating these congenital fantasists, hysterics and war-mongers as experts lies in part with the sheer laziness and cynicism of cable news bookers.

Read my take on the neocons’ unique relationship with the truth here. Other recent Dish on their attempted renaissance here, here, and here.

(Cartoon by Matt Bors)