Now the neocons are whining that the very term “neocon” has become “a curseword”! Poor Jamie Kirchick, fresh from smearing Ron Paul as a “racist” whilst ignoring or sharing the well-known anti-Arab racism of his own boss, is complaining of a new “McCarthyism.”

“Today, no other political label gets thrown around as frequently, or with as much reckless abandon, as ‘neocon.’ The most popular liberal blogs name and shame neocons, real or imagined, on a daily basis. The term is used in a fashion similar to the way ‘communist’ was during the 1950s—an all-encompassing indictment—this time indicating an imperialistic and ‘warmongering,’ even an ‘insane,’ worldview. The anti-neocon fervor has reached truly McCarthyite proportions: just a few months ago, Steve Clemons of the left-wing New America Foundation argued in favor of ‘Purging the Neocons from the American Soul.’”

In bemoaning this indisputably good news, Kirchick never asks why? Why does virtually everyone, from the paleo-right to the wide-spectrum left, hate the neocons’ guts? Could it be because of the Iraq war they spent a decade agitating for, their twisting of the intelligence-gathering process, their characteristic viciousness when dealing with their political opponents? Perhaps it has something to do with their unapologetic arrogance in the face of the unfolding disaster.

But no, Kirchick never entertains any of these and many other possibilities: instead, he avers it must have something to do with anti-Semitism. Yet here — staring us in the face —  is the answer to his contention that “no other political label gets thrown around as frequently, or with as much reckless abandon, as ‘neocon.’” Rubbish! Surely “anti-Semite” gets bandied about far more often, and with far deadlier effect.

Among the major political and liteary figures unmasked as alleged “anti-Semites” include Jimmy Carter, professors John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, Ron Paul (according to Kirchick), Barack Obama (via Rev. Wright), Tony Judt, Pat Buchanan (of course), and now a whole contingent of Jewish-American scholars and writers deemed “objectively” anti-Semitic on account of their hostility to the policies of the Israeli state. And that’s just recently!

On the other hand, I don’t recall anyone going after, say, John McCain on the grounds that he harbors too many neocons on his staff, although perhaps we should start. I’m all for a witch-hunt: let’s have some accountability for the policies of the past eight years, and the outright betrayal of the national interest. Let’s find out who passed off the Niger uranium forgeries as authentic “intelligence,” how Chalabi passed vital US secrets to Iran, and how we were lied into this war that has cost us so much more than the sum total of all the death and devastation.

Kirchick, who wonders why the neocons are especially hated, instantly answered his own question. It is this bafflement, itself — this wide-eyed innocence in the shadow of such crimes — that unites left and right in mutual contempt for neocons of every denomination.