It’s always been obvious that Hillary as president is just fine with the neocons. After all, she voted for the Iraq war and was instrumental in the disaster in Libya. She supported sending arms to Syrian rebels and likened Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, to Hitler. She wholeheartedly backs Israel, and has her own set of rabidly pro-Israel foreign policy advisers, especially Robert Kagan who advocates military intervention and democracy creation throughout the Middle East as a moral imperative—exactly the ideology that led the US into the disastrous Iraq war. Clinton’s main donor is Haim Saban, a rabid Zionist who has said that his only issue is Israel.
Obviously, Bill Kristol and the neocons would not lose any sleep if Hillary Clinton became president.
In fact, I suspect they would prefer Hillary to any Republican candidate except Marco Rubio who has the ideal blend of subservience to neocon foreign policy and support for liberal social policy on issues like immigration. Rubio is bought and paid for by the Israel Lobby (especially Paul Singer and Norman Braman) and is now the establishment favorite.
On the other hand, Donald Trump opposed the Iraq war, calling it a “complete disaster” and, even more amazingly, stating, “They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction and there were none. And they knew there were none. There were no weapons of mass destruction.” Trump has also supported Vladimir Putin’s policy of propping up the Assad government in Syria. As is well known, Assad and Putin are very high on the neocon hate list. He has told the Republican Jewish Coalition that he didn’t want their money because with their money comes control and he has pledged to be neutral on the Israel-Palestine issue.
Because of this blatant conflict with neocon foreign policy, neocons like Bill Kristol have been in the lead of floating third-party candidates to run against him should he get the GOP nomination.
Kristol’s efforts are starting to gel, the latest being a plan to deny Trump the nomination even if he has a plurality of delegates. In the aftermath of the Super Tuesday results, Kristol had this to say on the Morning Joe show with Joe Scarborough as reported by John Nolte at Breitbart:
JOE SCARBOROUGH: The fact of the matter is that you know there is no historical precedent with someone doing as well as Candidate Trump did yesterday — winning New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, [losing the nomination] has never happened before, and as you know there is a momentum, a forward progress–
BILL KRISTOL: Right, so we have to stop the momentum, I totally agree.
SCARBOROUGH: So that’s my question. There’s no cheering here. I am looking at facts.
KRISTOL: To your credit, you have correctly seen that this was not going to be the historically normal year, and it’s not, so maybe we go–
SCARBOROUGH: So how do you beat him?
KRISTOL: You have to beat him in Florida and Ohio, the first two winner-take-all states, which means there has to be a de facto agreement between the opposition candidates — between the resistance to Trump, which I am proud to be a part of, because I think he’d be a terrible nominee and a terrible president…
SCARBOROUGH: You have the authority to broker that deal right now?
KRISTOL: Well, they need to. They need to defer to Rubio in Florida and probably to Kasich in Ohio, and say, or imply, that if you are a Cruz voter in Ohio, and if you look up the day before the primary and it’s Trump 42%, Kasich 35% — vote for Kasich. And the truth is if Trump doesn’t win Florida and Ohio, it remains very much of an open race. …
Donald Trump [so far] has 35% of the popular vote and 47% of the delegates. That’s a lot better than having 24% of the popular vote and 25% of the delegates, granted. …
JOHN HEILEMANN: Just to go a little further on this topic of what Bill’s advocating: As you talk more and more to Republicans, who will say to you privately and sometimes publicly, that they would rather vote for Hillary Clinton than for Donald Trump, [these are the] people who are going to try to stop him — their attitude is: We know that would happen at a contested convention if we took the nomination away from a Donald Trump [who has won through] a plurality of delegates.
What would happen is that we would likely alienate his supporters and we would likely lose the presidential election. But their position is that it would be better for us to lose the [general] election than to have Donald Trump tear the Party in half as the nominee.
Now you can say that’s suicidal, but that is the posture of people [worried] about the negative effects down ballot.
KRISTOL: And [Trump] would still lose the election. And shouldn’t win the election, So, yeah, I agree.
So the main thing is to deny Trump the nomination, even if it costs the GOP the election and results in four more years of the left being in charge. Four more years of not sealing the border, and four more years of maximizing legal immigration and the numbers of “refugees.” Four more years of unbridled political correctness in the media and in universities, and aggressive BLM-type protests against the police.
And four more years of liberal Supreme Court appointments, which would likely result in a revolution in the law on the First and Second Amendments and in many other areas, starting with replacing Antonin Scalia with a liberal. Intellectual rationales for curtailing speech critical of the multicultural ideal are already common in liberal academic circles, awaiting only one more liberal appointment to the Supreme Court. Hillary Clinton would be only too happy to make that appointment.
Neocons like Kristol are proud to call themselves “principled conservatives” but what kind of principled conservative could open the gates to the disaster of a Hillary Clinton presidency? What conservative principles could possibly survive a Hillary Clinton presidency? Kristol is proposing a nuclear option of denying the most popular GOP candidate the nomination—an option that would destroy the GOP as millions of Trump supporters stay home seething in anger, waiting for the next populist moment. Or they would vote for Donald Trump running as a third party candidate because, as Trump would likely argue, the machinations of the GOP elites denied him a nomination that should rightfully have been his. In either case, Hillary Clinton is the next president.
Kristol is just fine with a Hillary Clinton presidency because fundamentally the neocons do not have any conservative principles at all. It’s always been a sham and a masquerade. Since their origins in the Democratic Party, they have always been on the left at heart when it comes to social policy, and any deviation from that is only the result of strategic decisions, not principle. They are completely unprincipled, and the Trump candidacy has brought this to the fore. This is from my review of Jacob Heilbrunn’s book on the neocons, The Knew They Were Right:
It is noteworthy that neoconservatism produced no revolutions in domestic policy, only in foreign policy. Heilbrunn’s book reflects this, since he spends a tiny percentage of the book on domestic issues, the rest on foreign policy. There is little question that from its beginning, foreign policy was the area that excited the passion of the neocons, with domestic policy pretty much an afterthought. And it’s quite clear that Heilbrunn doesn’t even believe that the neocons are sincere about many of their stated beliefs on domestic issues.
Indeed, the general impression one gets is that the neocons adopted positions on domestic policies in order to win influence within the Republican Party and then used their influence to further their foreign policy agenda. As a result, domestic policies were never the focus of the intense pressure that neocons were able to muster for their foreign policy initiatives.
For example, Heilbrunn notes that Bill Kristol “made it a particular point to attack homosexuality, even participating in a conference at Georgetown University about ‘curing’ gays of their supposed pathology. It is hard to imagine that Kristol himself harbors any real prejudice against gays. Politically, however, it remained a highly effective wedge issue” (p. 213).
Similarly, although not mentioned by Heilbrunn, the neocons jumped on the bandwagon when illegal immigration became an issue, although they certainly did not originate this issue. As John O’Sullivan noted regarding Kristol’s activism on an amnesty bill, “Kristol, representing many neoconservatives disposed to favor the bill, came out against it. He did so in part because it had serious drafting defects but, more importantly, because it was creating a bitter gulf between rank-and-file Republicans and the party leadership. That in turn was imperiling Republican objectives in other areas, notably Iraq.” Peter Brimelow says it best: “Kristol will return to immigration enthusiasm once he has helped persuade Bush to attack Iran.
Obviously there is a similar situation here. The GOP rank and file are worried about immigration first and foremost, as well as trade policy and political correctness generally. Kristol might be willing to hold his nose on at least some of this, just as he did with homosexuality and some of the times when illegal immigration became an issue. But he would only do that if Trump was absolutely solid when it comes to neocon foreign policy.
But Trump is most definitely not in solid on neocon foreign policy. So Kristol is willing to jump ship and get what he really wants all along — a president who is somewhere between radical left/liberal to cuckservative right on social policy, but gung-ho on Israel and the rest of the neocon foreign policy agenda. What he wants is a race between Hillary and Marco Rubio, and if he gets it, the only downside of Hillary compared to Rubio is that fewer of his Republican friends would get top policy positions.
I suspect that, without saying it explicitly, Kristol has the fear of so many Jewish writers that Trump might turn out to be a fascist — i.e., specifically Jewish fears about Trump arising from his statements on Muslim immigration and refugee policy. Recent Tweets have confirmed this:
What’s depressing is how many conservatives are behaving like Austria. https://t.co/S7P9a53W9r
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) February 27, 2016
This tweet was in response to another neocon comparing Trump to Hitler, by none other than National Review editor Jonah Goldberg:
Funny how @hughhewitt keeps insisting he’s Switzerland, but Trump keeps treating him like Poland.
— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) February 27, 2016
To which yet another famous neocon, Jennifer Rubin, responds:
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) February 28, 2016
Comparisons with the 1930s and World War II are psychological reflexes with neocons. Kristol condemns conservatives for passively accepting Trump, as Austria accepted Anschluss, while Goldberg emphasizes Trump=Hitler=invader of Poland, and Rubin compares Joe Scarborough to the collaborationist Vichy regime. A trifecta of National Socialist imagery.
No question about it, Trump elicits images of National Socialism for neocons, and many other Jews. With attitudes like that, for the neocons, literally anyone in the Republican or Democrat field would be preferable to Trump.
But this is a dangerous game. If Trump is denied the nomination and the presidency as a result of third party runs or manipulation of the convention, the anger against the establishment that Trump is tapping into will just continue to become worse — more immigration, more disastrous trade policy, more restrictions on free speech, not to mention the rest of the agenda of the radical left. And there will be more fear and anger among Whites about their future as a minority in a society dominated by other ethnic groups — an anger that no matter what their legitimate grievances, the oligarchy always wins.
There is a morally righteous anger in much of White America that Trump is tapping into, and sooner or later this will have cataclysmic consequences. As this anger builds, Republican voters may begin to realize that the Jewish identities and interests of the neocons were the fundamental problem that destroyed the Republican Party and their chances at deliverance. And they will understand that the people who accomplished this were not at all motivated by allegiance to sacred principles of freedom and the Constitution. They will understand that their best hope to achieve their very real, very legitimate interests has been shattered by very powerful people with strong Jewish identities and a sense of specifically Jewish interests. Neoconservatism is, after all, a Jewish movement.
This is how revolutions begin.