“If one looks at the careers of 30 well-known neoconservatives, one notes that there are a number of stops that pop up on many of the resumes, a progression that might well be described as something like a cursus honorum whereby the neoconservative aspirant is afforded status and credibility before stepping out onto the national or international stage.”
“…starting out in elite academia and then bouncing from position to position inside and outside the government, aided at every step by others in the movement. The neoconservatives benefit particularly from their ownership of a number of foundations and institutes, the aforementioned alphabet soup, that provide resting places between university and government positions, complete with salaries and important-sounding titles. Many also are provided with lucrative opportunities in the private sector that free them to subsequently concentrate on the true task at hand, which is shaping U.S. foreign policy.”
In a fascinating juxtaposition, Jim Antle last week wrote about the declining power of the few remaining foreign policy realists in his Amconmag blogpost “Is James Baker Too Realist for the Republican Party?”:
“The GOP’s most hawkish national-security hands want to maintain a monopoly on foreign-policy advice for Republican presidents and other elected officials. As the James Bakers age out of government service, they don’t want any younger realists trying to replace him in the GOP.”
Meanwhile, we Paleoconservatives have been almost completely exiled from all spheres of political power. Now that the same is happening to those in the “realist” camp, the neoconservatives have nearly completed their chain of impregnable ziggurats from which they can hatch their plots in safety and comfort.
A major theme expressed here in the Conservative Heritage Times has been the necessity of building a Paleoconservative “bench team”, and several posts have decried the lack of Paleoconservatives with “plausible resumes” who can lead our movement.
I have been back and forth on Rand Paul, but this is the pro-Rand line of reasoning I find most compelling. His victory, or even a strong showing, holds back the day we are irrevocably exiled from all power. Again, Jim Antle:
“The bigger the Paul vote is, the more likely a Republican candidate not named Paul will covet it. This is especially true since there was a large presidential vote for the Libertarian Party in 2012. There are a few GOP candidates whose foreign-policy views are largely unformed, with Scott Walker and John Kasich being two of the best examples. Mitt Romney is a known panderer not bound by past positions who got along well socially with Ron Paul.
It’s also necessary to diversify the set of foreign-policy advisers available to future Republican presidents. Even if a Walker or Kasich gets elected, the qualified professionals they’ll have to choose from when gaining national-security counsel will be almost uniformly hawkish. A Rand campaign can bring more realists and libertarians into party circles.”
In fact, one realistic and attainable goal is the possibility I heard the other day…. a strong Rand Paul showing, coupled with an early primary exit, sets the stage for a Walker/Paul ticket.
If that could mean the gates are held open for a few of our favorite Paleoconservatives to get White House experience- quietly building a bench team, building plausible resumes- then it is well worth pursuing.