Death of the Weekly Standard Signals …

2018 December 22
by bc3b


The term neoconservative is one of the greatest misnomers of all time. There is little, if anything, conservative about people like Bill Kristol, Stephen Hayes or Max Boot. They favor the elite, globalism and big government. They are not patriotic – at least toward the US. They want to fight wars half a world away (as long as other people’s children and grandchildren are the ones fighting and dying) but oppose defending our nation’s borders. They were successful in bambozeling Reagan and the Bushes and had far more influence than they deserved.

Chris Buskirk puts it in perspective:

Max Boot described the magazine as “a redoubt of neoconservatism” in 2002 and he was right. If the National Review of the 1970s and ’80s was the journal of Reaganism, The Weekly Standard carried the banner of Bushism. But the Bushes never carried the Reagan mantle and were never conservatives. They were always blithely unconstrained by any identifiable political philosophy other than the unwavering belief that they should run the country. They represented nothing so much as the mid-20th-century country club set that was content to see the size and scope of government expand as long as they got a piece of the action. And The Weekly Standard was there every step of the way, advocating so-called big-government conservatism at home and moral imperialism abroad. All of it failed. The Bush Administration was discredited by its failed policies and incompetence so it was just a matter of time before the chief organ of Bushism failed too.

But the life and death of The Weekly Standard is really the story of the death and rebirth of American conservatism, which is nothing more than the modern political expression of America’s founding principles.

As with other more virulent forms of Left-liberal politics, the neoconservatives maintain a sense of aristocratic entitlement to rule despite having killed almost everything they touched. It is their combination of titanic hubris and priggish moralism that is behind their aggressive advocacy of endless foreign wars and meddling in the internal affairs of other countries. For The Weekly Standard, it made sense to send thousands of Americans to their deaths defending Iraq’s borders, but they wouldn’t lift a finger to protect our own. As the real world results of their misadventures came home to roost, conservatives realized that The Weekly Standard didn’t represent them.

For years, neoconservatives undermined and discredited the work of conservatives from Lincoln to Reagan who held to a set of common principles and a common sense understanding that America is for Americans and it is the job of government to protect the rights and interests of the American people—and only the American people. But over the past few years, Bill Kristol became more transparent about his real beliefs. For example, he let us know in a tweet that he “Obviously strongly prefer(s) normal democratic and constitutional politics. But if it comes to it, prefer the deep state to the Trump state” and in another that, “The GOP tax bill’s bringing out my inner socialist.” The point is that Kristol and the Standard’s attachment to conservative principles was always provisional and transactional. The Republican Party and the conservative movement were a temporary vehicle for their personal and policy agendas. Now, Kristol and others have moved on in search of a new host organism.

That’s because the world of Beltway neoconservatism of which the Standard was the arch example is only partially about ideas, it’s also about power and more especially about privilege—and that means sinecures. That’s a nice way of saying that it’s what people hate about politics, that it often becomes self-serving and careerist rather than about the American ideal of building and maintaining the institutions of government that allow the individual, the family, and the church to thrive.

The reaction from supporters of The Weekly Standard, many of them former writers for the magazine, has been revealing. John Podhoretz, the editor of Commentary, hyperventilated in a quickly written post that the Standard had been “murdered” and called it’s closing “an intellectual and political crime.” Max Boot also decried, the “murder” of the magazine in the Washington Post describing it as “destructive, stupid, and cruel.” Worse, he infantilizes Phil Anschutz, The Weekly Standard’s longtime owner and one of the most successful American businessmen of his generation saying “there is nothing unusual in a rich owner losing interesting in one of his playthings.”

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10 Responses leave one →
  1. 2018 December 23 5:09 am
    drdog09 permalink

    Happy to say I never subscribed to that piece of pulp.

  2. 2018 December 23 5:21 am

    Nice pic, x marks the spot. 😉

    Shades of gray… hmm:

    Neither the mainstream left or the interventionist right is willing to admit that Trump is capable of cogent policy:

  3. 2018 December 23 6:35 am

    Would be nice if true – reminds me of something adams said a day or so ago, they’ve put the president in a position where he has nothing to lose by rocking the boat anymore.

    The clip it reminded me of ~5m mark to about ~10min mark

  4. 2018 December 23 7:27 am
    justrand permalink

    Good article that fits with my “Demolition” post the other day.

  5. 2018 December 23 8:09 am
    bc3b permalink

    JR #4 –

    Never before have countries tried to import people woose standards and capabilities are far below thse of its citizens (except as slaves),

  6. 2018 December 23 10:52 am
    JimNorCal permalink

    Gov shutdown. But roads open, Internet working.
    Life goes on!

  7. 2018 December 23 1:02 pm
    bc3b permalink

    JimNorCal #7 –

    You could fire 1/2 the federal employees and 1/3 of all state and local government employees without noticing any difference.

  8. 2018 December 23 1:33 pm
    bc3b permalink

  9. 2018 December 23 4:24 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    In TX I don’t even need to interface with the DMV. Go to a private concern for the inspection. Then go to another private concern, eg Kroger, for registration/sticker. Truly less government is better government. Better yet in 4 more years I have a truck that won’t even need the inspection, antique class.

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