One item that made breaking news this week shouldn’t have surprised anyone – the possible selection of Hillary Clinton by Barack Obama as Secretary of State. And it’s a possible choice that has excited more than a few Republicans.
Neoconservatives afraid that a President Obama might even partially live up his promise to remove troops from Iraq have been warming up to the new administration and hedging their bets where they can. In his ongoing role as neocon concierge, Sen. Lindsey Graham’s arranged meeting between John McCain and Obama was one step, as was Graham’s blustering praise for Obama’s selection for Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, a man who few conservatives have a kind word about. “This is a wise choice by President-elect Obama” glowingly said Graham of Emanuel.
And one can only assume that if Clinton were to take over for Condoleezza Rice, Graham and his boss John McCain will have the same enthusiasm and for the same reason. Republican Senator John Kyl, who teamed up with Joe Lieberman to get Congress to declare the entire Iranian army a terrorist organization as a precursor to possible war, said of Clinton as possible Sec. of State “It seems to me she’s got the experience. She’s got the temperament for it.” The Weekly Standard’s Michael Goldfarb was just as praiseful and more explicit about his excitement, “On the issues, Clinton’s a hawk. Not only did she vote to authorize the war in Iraq, she… went so far as to connect Saddam to al Qaeda… She threatened to ‘obliterate’ Iran (and) on matters of diplomacy, Clinton’s views are not so different from those held by John McCain and most Republicans. Clinton would be a fine Secretary of State… And perhaps she could even present the case for war with Iran to an insubordinate United Nations.”
Not since Operation Chaos during the primaries have we seen some Republicans so anxious to jump off the “Stop-Hillary Express” and on the Clinton bandwagon. The sort of Republican who cheers for Hillary is the same sort who embraced Lieberman. No matter how many liberal positions either held, socialized healthcare, open borders, higher taxes, anti-2nd amendment, it didn’t matter. As with Lieberman, so long as Hillary is prepared to continue sending U.S. troops around the world to continue the neoconservative mission of American global empire, Clinton would be their gal.
The Atlantic Monthly’s Andrew Sullivan noticed the neocons seeming comfort with Hillary during the presidential primaries “Among the neoconservatives there is obviously sympathy for her (Clinton) against the most decisively anti-war candidates, Obama and Edwards. Many publicly prefer her to the insurgent anti-war candidate in their own ranks, Texas congressman Ron Paul. Privately some neocons see her as an important substantive successor to Bush, perpetuating and retroactively legitimizing the Iraq occupation. She did vote for it, after all, they tell themselves. And her constant attempt to stay to the right of her opponents in the primaries has led to the bizarre spectacle of some well known Republicans showering her with thinly veiled support on Fox News.”
The rise of the neoconservatives to prominence during the Bush administration and the decades old term finally becoming part of the popular lexicon has led many plain, old fashioned conservatives to wonder, “what is it about these ‘neoconservatives’ that is actually conservative?”
Absolutely nothing. Neoconservatism’s main premise, that drastically different cultures in some of the most contentious parts of the world can magically become democratic through sheer force of American will, is arguably the most radical policy ever put forth by any government, anywhere. And conservatives now concerned about “radicals taking over the White House,” need to take a good, hard look at not only the woman Obama might be trusting with foreign affairs, but the Republicans who adore her.
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