Given that two neocons in particular are the Vice President and Secretary of Defense, I have to wonder what world you have to live on to believe that they aren't influential. Given the reality that Cheney effectively runs America's foreign policy with Rumsfeld, I find it really, profoundly disturbing that there isn't a wider debate and condemnation of these people and their ideology.
Anyway, Digby writes:
When are Americans going to take the neocons seriously?That last bit, more than anything, probably explains Bush's statement a few days ago that Russia could do with some Iraqi-style democracy.
I'm not talking about the Republican party here or the movement conservatives. I'm speaking specifically of the group that can be called the true neocons of the era: The PNAC signatories and their supporters throughout the rightwing think tank intelligensia.
I've been writing about these guys online from practically the first moment I went online back in the 90's. My friends thought I was a tin-foil nutter and at times, I thought I was too. The sheer grandiosity of their scheme was awesome.
Despite a reputation for Straussian opacity, the truth is that they have always made their plans known. There is no mystery about what they are about. To a shocking degree they have successfully promoted their agenda within the Republican establishment for the last two decades. And in the last six years we have seen them act without hesitation to opportunistically advance their strategic goals, regardless of the price....
It's tempting to write them off as a bunch of kooks, but it is their kooky vision that is right now playing out in the mid-east. It's not that they are necessarily directing it, to be sure. But they are always prepared to take advantage of circumstances that advance it. And like all historical leaders of a March of Folly they believe, despite all evidence to the contrary, that everything will turn out ok in the end.
Speaking of which, this is a simply bizarre editorial by the Washington Post:
President Bush raised the subject of Russian politics deferentially. "There will be a Russian-style democracy," he conceded, borrowing from the Kremlin's talking points; "I don't expect Russia to look like the United States." British Prime Minister Tony Blair took the same approach, saying he would raise the question of democracy "without wrecking the hotel room." But this gentlemanly style did not appeal to Mr. Putin. When Mr. Bush recommended democratic reform for Russia, Mr. Putin went for the jugular: "We certainly would not want to have the same kind of democracy as they have in Iraq," he said.Nowhere in the editorial does it mention that Bush raised Iraq as an example. No, the story has to be made to fit the existing narrative: Bush good, Putin bad. Russia bad, America (and Britain!) good.
It's doubly hillarious that the WaPo considers George "...cut this shit out" Bush 'gentlemanly.'