The foreign-policy debate: Neoconservatism Goes Underground
WARMING up for last night’s foreign-policy debate, I was curious about what the neoconservative crowd was thinking these days, so I went to see what good old Bill Kristol had to say at the Weekly Standard. I got as far as the first half of the first sentence of Mr Kristol’s pre-debate piece: “On September 2, 1939, the day after Hitler invaded Poland…”
Serious question: does Mr Kristol have any idea how boring the forever-1939 schtick has become? Does he have even the slightest inkling? Or has he, by dint of long repetition, lost the ability to say anything about foreign policy that is not based on the World Book Encyclopedia summary of 1938-39 which he trots out on every occasion, no matter how inappropriate? He’s like Uncle Toby, the character in “Tristram Shandy” who turns every conversation back to artillery strategy at the Siege of Namur.
I ultimately managed to plough through, though, and it turned out that what Mr Kristol wanted to say was a bit surprising. He wanted Mitt Romney to avoid pressing a hard-line attack on Barack Obama’s foreign policy during the debate, “to rise above partisanship and gamesmanship” and “speak for America”.