Galt was tempted to comment on this gem, but fell asleep in the middle of the second sentence.Enemies, a GOP love story
Being fairly sure that the new found love for civil liberties among Republicans seeking the presidency is a tad opportunistic, I highlighted some delicious examples of GOP hypocrisy on presidential wartime powers during the Kosovo campaign. Now Perlstein takes them through the Wayback machine and it's a wild trip. He starts off by recounting this week's events and then asking:
Does all this mean the ancient (and even, sometimes, honorable) tradition of Republican "isolationism" (the word being more than a little bit of an epithet, its advocates prefer "non-interventionism”) is making a comeback? Or, alternately, did it never really go away at the conservative grassroots, save for those distracting moments when the Commander in Chief is a conservative Republican hero like in those heady first few years of W's Iraq War? Or is all this just another opportunity for Obama-bashing, and as such a perfect exemplar of the intellectual contentlessness and bottomless cynicism of that favorite Republican activity?(As I put it in the piece on the convention, "What they really love—shown by the way McCain and Condi were able to win back their audience by taking cheap shots at Obama—are enemies. And within their authoritarian mind-set [as George Orwell taught us with his talk about Eurasia, Eastasia and Oceania], enemies are fungible."
Do read on. It's quite a lesson in partisan opportunism.
This is why I don't truck too much in the hypocrisy argument on either side. Both parties are guilty of it, particularly in national security and foreign policy, which is interesting since the nation has been run on a bipartisan consensus on this pretty much for half a century. You see this playing out on both sides right now in which a few Democrats are tepidly speaking out against tactics in the covert war against terrorism, while some of the GOP's more aggressive, ambitious types are taking up the mantle of the ACLU. Meanwhile, John McCain (as he did during the Kosovo campaign) holds down the pro-military end on the right while the Democratic president and his allies in congress holds it down on the left. You'll see the same dynamic when a Republican is in the White House.
Perlstein's observation is more interesting: with the right, it's about the enemies and enemies are fungible. That's really the best way to understand them, I think.
But we are always interested in what "Pearlstine' thinks.