Do the Neo Cons Own the GOP?

There is a  dust up over minor remarks by National Republican Committee Chairman Michael Steele in which he called the War in Afghanistan a war of Obama’s choosing (refering to the surge and refocus from Iraq).  He noted correctly that over the centuries not foreign power has conquered the land through a land war.  The Neo Con faction of the party is demanding that Steele resign.  Bill Crystal, Liz Cheney, and Charles Krauthammer are leading the charge.  Readers here know that I support the President’s resolve to winning this war so that we can come home and not go back latter when hundreds or thousands of Americans have died again.   General Petraeus put it well when he said that we are in this to win it.  On this I agree with the Neo Cons.  Where I am disagreeing with them is the idea that a little noted comment which was retracted by the RNC before the digital ink could dry is cause for resignation.  Even if the Chairman stuck by the remarks, it is not a cause for resignation. The Neo Con faction with its constant over reaching in the name of a robust national security has done great harm to the Republican Party.  The losses of the party in 2006 lie almost solely at the feet of the Neo Cons.  This faction  has condemned any voice which disagrees.  It is the new boy on the block but acts as if it owns the block. I believe that a robust discussion of our national security strategy is fair game.   Steele needs to stay put through these elections as any disruption would only be a major distraction at this point.  I especially do not think that anyone should resign for a statement that was reversed.    If we say that even mentioning the difficulties ahead is a “capital offence”then we are saying to our traditional base of people like Will and Buchanan that you no longer have a place in the party. We are saying to 60% of the people who share the war fatigue that your concerns are not even worth voicing. That is not wise. We are not talking about fundamental positions of the party. We are talking about a fluid strategy. He is still wrong. I do not fault the Neo Cons for differing and calling for a withdraw of the statement. I just think resignation calls 4 months before the election are arrogant and unreasonable.  It is like the Neo Cons think they own the GOP. The Neo Cons can get in line. There is going to be a robust debate next year over whether Chairman Steele is the man to guide us into 2012. That will be the appropriate time to make the case for change.

13 thoughts on “Do the Neo Cons Own the GOP?”

  1. Well David, I think both Michael Steele and the Neo-Cons are dragging down the GOP. I met Mr. Steele when he was the Md. Lieutenant Governor. I found him to be cordial, dynamic, and had a strong message of hope after being on a ticket that defeated a Kennedy in a strong “D” state. Unfortunately he has had almost as many gaffes as RNC chair as our own Joe Biden as VP. When do we ever see him carrying the GOP banner, as opposed to putting his foot in his mouth? It is a dicey time to replace him and I’m not sure that is the right move. “W” blindly gave his allegiance to the Neo-Cons and they drug both him and the country down. They have done a tremendous disservice to true conservatives and should be disavowed. Just as Jimmy Carter’s incompetence opened the door for Reagan, Bush and his Neo-Con cronies opened the door for our current nightmare in the White House. Flush the Neo-Cons and get Steele back on message.

  2. Real conservatives will be fine in November; the Neocons are reeling after the McCain debacle. Right now, people must concentrate on the congressional elections, and worry about a ’12 presidential candidate later.

    Steele’s the Bush yes-man; he’s the Neocon. And like I said here long, long ago- he’s also a moron. That should be obvious by now.

  3. To Chairman Steele-focus, focus, focus.
    Anything not related to building the GOP to maximize the expected good results in 2010 should be abandoned.

    Mike Protack

  4. Let me get this straight…Steele’s a neo con? McCain’s a neo con? Bush is a neo-con? Kristol, Cheney & Krauthammer are neo-cons?

    Seems to me that a neo-con is someone who bills themselves as a Republican, but disagrees with your point of view.

    The earliest use of the term appears in the liberal publication “Dissent” as early as 1973. There are some efforts to define the term that trace to the early Reagan years. But in reality, the term in fact was not extensively used in American political discourse until about 2002, when the liberal media, in an attempt to blunt the soaring popularlity of President Bush, invented the term to try a drive a divide between the Bush Administration’s more conservative members and Reagan conservatives. Liberals knew that if Bush were allowed to don Reagan’s cloak, he would become invincible. So he had to be made into something else that was not Reagan.

    Today, “neo-con” is simply a perjorative. Nobody on this page can even agree on what constitutes one. It is but a name to call someone you disagree with. RINO, neo-con?

    There’s an election coming. Most of us here would be well advised to remember the Democrats are the enemy, not each other.

  5. Yes, McCain is a neo con. That is beyond dispute. He is considered one of the leaders of the movement. Crystal’s father was one of the founders of the movement. http://www.opendemocracy.net/article/neo-conservatism-irving-kristol-s-living-legacy

    Neo-conservatives are national security hawks who have a softer line on Constitutional and domestic policy. Look at the leaders of the quasi-amnesty movement. They are strong on the war, but favor comprehensive reform. They favor federal involvement in education. It became a perjorative in recent years, but I do not use it as such. I like Cyrstal and company. They have much to add. I am just not a big government conservative.

  6. As someone who has met Mr. Steele and supported him in his run for RNC chairman I have been disappointed by his performance. Mr. Steele needs to either quitthe job or shut up as he appears to be unable to open his mouth without saying something stupid. Unfortunately, One of the reasons for my support of him was his ability to generate positive media for the GOP. As a regular on the cable shows he did a more than credible job prior to his getting the job at RNC. Since then he has failed. I don’t even consider his most recent gaff the worst.

    I don’t buy the theory that there is some Neo Con Conspiracy to get Steele. In addition I refuse to use what has become a liberal epithet to label fellow conservatives. The fact is had Steele not become a walking talking gaff machine, this discussion would never be happenning.

    The idea that a cabal is plotting against Steele due to a foreign policy difference is laughable on its face. The RNC Chairman has never had a role in crafting foreign policy. Candidates for President make this decision and the RNC focuses on fund raising and supporting potentially successful candidates. Steele’s job is not to select a candidate based on Steele’s view of foreign policy. If Steele believes this is so then he really does need to resign pronto. If Steele wants this kind of role he needs to run for U. S. Senate again and take his case to the people.

  7. I don’t think what Steele said THIS time was all that off the mark.

    Obamer did say, along with the rest of the lily-livered lying Dems, that Afghanistan was the REAL war. Not that they believed it or anything. They just hated for Bush to win in Iraq and don’t forget the Dems voted against the surge.

    Now that Obamer has a chance to oversee the REAL war, well he should freaking have at it.

    At least that’s what I think Steele was trying to say but hey, we shouldn’t have to be guessing what the man means.

    However,…hey, I’ll not lose any sleep should Steele resign. He’s been a gaffe a minute and he’s hardly run the financial end of things all that well.

  8. I don’t know it is some neo con conspiracy either. I doubt they had time to get in a room and decide to get him. They could use the technology and coordinate so it is possible, but that is hardly what we are claiming. The news accounts say that neo conservative leaders are calling for his ouster.

    The people who are calling for it like Lynn Cheney and Bill Kristol among others are in fact neo conservative leaders. The reason is that he made a statement on their issue that they didn’t agree with. The reaction was to call for his ouster.

    The man has been very successful in building a small donor base and taking advantage of missteps in the Democrat party. He has done a credible enough job to help us be on the path to victory. I do not know that he is the right person for 2012. For every success there seems to be a miscue. Some where of his making. Some where not his fault directly, such as the poor funds management. They were his fault that it was not corrected immediately when brought to his attention and caused embarrassment to the party. I will wait and see. Like you, I am expected more.

    The chairman bothered me as a pro-lifer when he allowed himself to be misquoted that it was a woman’s choice. In context, we know that he is pro-life. In current law, it is a woman’s choice. This is wrong. Some innocent’s life should not be at the whim of one person’s choice. Now the quote upset pro-lifer’s but he clarified and we did not remove him. Would it be a pro-life conspiracy if we decide after the elections to replace a chairman?

  9. David, the perjorative “neo-con” as used in current context is intended to apply to pro-war conservatives within the Bush national security team circa 2002. Once the term had taken on perjorative status, it was attached by liberals and Rockefeller Republicans to anyone who was still pro-Bush. The tactic allowed Rockefeller Republicans to discard Bush, while continuing to cloak themselves in Reagan. But especially on the Terror Wars, Bush tread in places Reagan would never have dared.

  10. Today, “neo-con” is simply a perjorative. Nobody on this page can even agree on what constitutes one.

    Probably true. To me, it is an elitist posing as a conservative, cherry-picking convienent slivers of the philosophy of Leo Strauss (the so-called ‘father’ of neo-conservatism) as a means of legitimizing (and, as a pretext) for furthering their internationalist agenda. They are, essentially, every bit as dangerous as the hard left- wannabe totalitarians.

  11. Bill Kristol was the featured speaker at the Philadelphia Tea Party on July 4th. By all accounts He was well received and well spoken. I guess this makes the Philly tea party folks neo cons!!????! 🙂 🙂 🙂
    The fact is Steele, has had a series of foot in mouth adventures that would have killed any other Republican (Trent Lott anyone?) His continued lack of discipline as a speaker distracts from Republican Candidates and this cannot continue. So far no one here has told me who cares a whit what the RNC Chair has to say about foreign policy.

    The previous RNC Chairman, Mike Duncan, was an effecient manager. a competent fundraiser, and he didn’t say stupid things. Steele is not performing to that standard. For someone to say that Steele has not lived up to the standards of the job and to subsequently demand action is no proof of some so called Neo-Con Agenda. One thing I am tired of is unproven conspiracy theories. This conspiracy theory doesn’t make it to first base.

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