The very conservative political magazine American Spectator calls outs GOP House-members. The author confirms some of my complaint against my Congressman Mike Rogers when he chaffed at the concept of any defense cuts.
The disappointing response has come from the Republicans. On Capitol Hill, we now have reports of “conservative Congressmen” mobilizing against the skin-deep cuts proposed for the defense budget (even before the specific reductions are particularized by the so-called Super Committee). I don’t pretend to have interviewed these Pentagon hawks in depth, but a quick scan suggests that the operative word here is much more likely to be “Congressmen” than “conservative.” It is hard to find a conservative anywhere, either sitting in Congress or fretting at home, who thinks that the U.S. should continue to spend more on defense than all of the other almost-two hundred countries of the world combined. (The minor cuts suggested — what the Pentagon lobby describes as “gutting the military” — would impose a reduction in the rate of increase.) Do Republicans support a strong national defense? Absolutely. And they have no trouble whatsoever in separating Obama’s wars from our heroic warriors: virtually all conservatives and most libertarians support American servicemen and women without reservation. But legions of democracy imposing “Western values” on Muslims at the point of a bayonet? Trust me. There are reservations.
My sense of the Capitol Hill hawks, in other words, is that they are acting very much like Congressmen and not at all like conservatives. They want to keep the juice flowing to the military base back in the district, as also the grants to the research outfits, the contracts to the suppliers, and the fees to the lobbyists who keep the process running agreeably for all concerned. (For all of those directly concerned, to put it more carefully.) If any of these Congressmen are zealots fired by the neocon incubus, I haven’t spotted them. They seem to be nothing more than politicians doing what politicians do, which should be cause more for ongoing dismay than proximate alarm.
I disagree with the latter portion; neo-conservatism has infested into the worldview of many, if not, most GOP congressmen. It is no coincidence that every GOP presidential candidate, except Ron Paul, enunciates neo-conservativism’s global agenda. It has become a new litmus test for GOP politicians. Unfortunately, their is not much of an alternative philosophy, if any, presented by the President and the leading Democrats.