Which is more obnoxious: that Johnny-Come-Lately Andrew Sullivan deigns to welcome us, the paleocons, into his anti-Bush resistance (when we were the original anti-Bush resistance, if ever there was one) or that he assumes that The American Conservative‘s election editorial talking about punishing the proponents of neoconservative foreign policy has an “anti-Semitic undertow”? That’s a tough one, since the first requires incredible arrogance and the second requires incredible dishonesty. I suppose the latter must be worse, but it has become so predictable to throw the anti-Semite label at people who oppose the neocons that it somehow just doesn’t shock anymore (maybe because so few people believe the accusation, since it is now made against so many for no good reason except to silence and intimidate).
I voted for Buchanan in 2000 in recognition that Bush was not really all that conservative–where was the all-seeing, all-knowing Sullivan and his “conservatism of doubt” then? I opposed his calamitous and illegal war before it even began–where was the amazing dissident Andrew Sullivan then? Oh, that’s right, he was cheering on the invasion and backing the administration all the way. He then recoiled in shock when the administration ran things quite badly. He then suddenly discovered that he was a resistance fighter against the regime! It is exceedingly easy to be a conservative and be against Mr. Bush today; that requires all of the courage of Krushchev’s denunciation of Stalin after the man had died (note: this is just a for-instance, as I am not saying that Bush is as bad as Stalin was–I leave such desperately unhinged commentary to Sullivan). Try being conservative and anti-Bush in 2002 and early 2003–then you might have earned the right to claim some kind of serious dissident status when it actually might have cost you something or ended up alienating a lot more of your friends.
Let me clear about a few things. It is very good that a lot of conservatives have since come around and seen the administration for the frauds and crooks that they are, and I really don’t mean to say that people who have turned against the administration for various reasons since the invasion shouldn’t have done so or that their opposition isn’t worthwhile and important. It certainly is. I just cannot stand Andrew Sullivan’s presumption that he is some sort of De Gaulle figure leading the Resistance who gets to “welcome” in “new” recruits, when some have been at it a lot longer than Sullivan.
That is nonsense of course, any number of rightwingers are shilling for a Republican victory. As for TAC, if Sullivan would study that publication’s archives he would see that it was attacking the Bush administration and opposing the Iraq war from day one — back when Sullivan was one of its biggest cheerleaders.