The Sunken City of R’lyeh is Where PNAC Is

Maybe I’m being a little overly optimistic, but when Jamelle says that the 2012 Republican nominee will be a neocon, I’m not quite so sure. As I said earlier, the party rising star types like Jindal, Pawlenty and Huckabee don’t seem to be particularly bomb-happy compared to, say, John McCain.

There’s always Sarah Palin, of course, but she has virtually no appeal outside of the hardcore GOP base. I think it’s fair to say that “electability” is going to be a pretty big issue in the 2012 primary where the candidates debate who’s best prepared to unseat the Obamamonster, and that suggests that someone with at least some moderate leanings would get nominated. Given what happened last time around, it would be really fucking weird if the guy they picked was moderate on social issues and batshit on foreign policy, but had to abruptly lurch to the right on social issues just to hold onto the base.

Really fucking weird, but not outside the realm of possibility, I suppose. But enough about 2012; we’ve got four years of other shit to worry about before that rears its ugly head.

I’m still wondering what the neocons are going to do in those intervening four years. I agree with Jamelle that they’re not going to go into hiding, or, as I facetiously suggested, “fall into a deep slumber miles beneath the deepest sea, in the lost city R’lyeh.” Instead, what seems most likely is that PNAC is going to wield its diminished but still considerable influence to try and sway the legislative branch, which is still full of Republican congresspeople who take the Kristol-approved “coked-up 10 year old” approach to foreign policy.

That’s not as worrisome as it would be if Bush were still going to be president. But it’s still worth some concern; after all, Republicans in Congress can still pontificate and do their best to obstruct a reasonable agenda. And even worse, they can lay the legislative groundwork ahead of time for another neoconservative White House, as they did in 1998 with the Iraq Liberation Act. Bills like that are just the sort of thing that might pass a majority Democratic Congress and get signed by a Democratic president who don’t see the problem with a resolution against a brutal dictatorship.

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