Daniel Larison on the neo-conservative attacks on possible Obama Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel:
John McCain denies that Hagel is a Republican:
McCain scoffed at claims that Hagel would be a Republican voice in a mostly Democratic Cabinet, saying to “allege that Hagel is somehow a Republican — that is a hard one to swallow.”
Some of this could be explained by McCain’s bitterness that Hagel didn’t support him in 2008, but this also happens to be representative of a lot of Republicans’ views of Hagel. Because Hagel rejected some of the failed and hard-line policies of more hawkish Republicans, and because he hasn’t been willing to adopt the party line on certain foreign policy issues, the people who helped wreck the party with their awful foreign policy ideas no longer consider him to be one of them.
Larison notes that "there is a Republican foreign policy tradition of prudence and restraint waiting to be revived. Unfortunately, some of the people most likely to revive it have been effectively exiled from the party, which has the effect of making things worse in the near term."
Which got me to thinking that "the people who helped wreck the party with their awful foreign policy ideas" would probably exile even such conservative icons as Russell Kirk if he were still alive today. After all, those folks are the same ones Kirk criticized for thinking that American hegemony imposed at gun point was a good idea (at least as long as somebody else's kid had to hold the gun).