The Neocons: Exit Stage Left?
Before the current realignment but after the one Karl Rove tried to engineer, there was yet another attempt to realign American politics. A small crew of antiwar Republicans wanted to push the neoconservatives out of the party and maybe even over to the Democrats. It made sense in a way. The neocons had always been peripatetics, having migrated away from the left during the 1960s, and with Tea Partiers like Rand Paul questioning the Bush administration foreign policy, a shift in the political tectonics seemed like a real possibility.
Now, perhaps a decade later, have we finally reached that point? Here’s Bill Kristol writing at The Bulwark:
In discussions of the Never Trump future, President Biden is the invisible man.
But why? I suppose that if you’re committed to staying in the Republican party and fighting the forces of Trump for control, Joe Biden is kind of irrelevant to your challenges. And if you’re committed to founding a third party or some kind of trans-party alliance, Biden might not matter much.
But isn’t there another pretty obvious alternative? Mightn’t one consider allying oneself with the Biden wing of the Democratic party?
Donald Trump’s ascendance saw many neocons blanch and join up with the Never Trump movement. Yet most also didn’t go so far afield as to pledge themselves to the Democrats, flirting instead with noted improv comedian Evan McMullin or a possible David French presidential run. Now Kristol is suggesting he might abandon the GOP for good. In fairness, Kristol isn’t the entirety of the Never Trump movement, but he is an influential voice therein and this seems like a telling moment.
So why not Biden? Why not Bidenism? That may not turn out to be the end solution. But surely it’s too real a possibility to be ignored. Why shouldn’t anti-Trump Republicans at least consider becoming a kind-of-Old-Republican wing of Joe Biden’s Democratic party?
Why not indeed? Just a few reasons off the top of my head: Biden is pro-choice, pro-gun control, pro-climate action, pro-government-run health care, pro-government-mandated birth control, pro-amnesty, pro-tax hikes, pro-deficit, pro-debt. And fair enough: take your apostasies where you will. But for an ostensible Republican to flirt with long-term Biden support only makes sense if all of that pales in comparison to something else: Biden is an internationalist, while much of the GOP is tilting in a more nationalist direction. If internationalism is your only song, if that’s what gets you up in the morning, then maybe these days you are a Democrat.
As for the rest of us, there can be only one reaction: