One might recall the remora from high school biology, a highly specialized fish that has a sucker on the top of its head that enables it to attach itself to sharks and feed on the leftovers after the host has dined. I don’t know if anyone has ever compared the neoconservatives to remoras, but their parasitic behavior has frequently been commented on. Unlike the relatively benign remora, however, they work assiduously to take over the host organism. Having destroyed the Republican Party, they are now engaged in becoming good Democrats, so it seems.
The neocon surge towards Hillary as Secretary of State, a position which she reportedly has accepted, has already begun. The current Weekly Standard features two puff pieces on her lauding her “conservative” credentials. One, describing her as a real hawk, is by Michael Goldfarb. Goldfarb is the former McCain campaign staffer who notoriously claimed on national television that there are a number of anti-Semitic associates of Barack Obama, though he declined to name them. Apparently Hillary, though a Democrat, passes the sniff test.
David Brooks, eager to help the cause in his own “I have a conscience and I’m being reasonable” fashion also jumped on the Hillary bandwagon, writing in today’s NYT “She has demonstrated in the Senate, her foreign-policy views are hardheaded and pragmatic… [and] there are many people on this team with practical creativity. Any think tanker can come up with broad doctrines, but it is rare to find people who can give the president a list of concrete steps he can do day by day to advance American interests. Dennis Ross, who advised Obama during the campaign, is the best I’ve ever seen at this, but Rahm Emanuel also has this capacity…”
Brooks understandably regards Hillary’s support of Kyl-Lieberman as well as every other piece of anti-Iran legislation as “pragmatic.” He also shared her enthusiastic support of war against Iraq. Nor is he disturbed that Ross was so pro-Israel in his lean during Israeli-Palestinian negotiations at Camp David that he was even criticized by a colleague Aaron Miller. Rahm’s tilt on the Middle East is also well documented, close to AIPAC, and presumably a comfortable fit for Brooks. All of Brooks’ endorsements are of hawks, all of whom are advocates of using a heavy hand when dealing with the Iranians and others. All are being provided cover by the neocon pundits at the Weekly Standard and New York Times.
Bill Kristol, who has praised Hillary in the past, took a slightly different tack in Monday’s NYT op-ed in an attempt to shift the debate away from any criticism of foreign policy. He proposed a Republican resurgence based on “developing an economic agenda moving forward,” though he did admit that he does not know how that will happen or what should be done. Conveniently, “Republicans and conservatives today face a similar challenge to that of 1976. A hawkish foreign policy, social conservatism and middle-American populism aren’t the problems.” Admittedly the economy trumps all currently, but Kristol is trying to shift the playing field to avoid looking at the policies that were crafted by him and his neocon friends.