The American Conservative Strikes Out on Petraeus
The American Conservative blog has a snide, snarky post on their “Post Right” blog by Jack Ross arguing Joe Scarborough — not Gen. David Petraeus — is the better and more probable candidate of the two. If you recall, a recent Politico article featured both as potential 2012 candidates.
Ross argues that Petraeus was once favored by neo-cons, but no longer,
[T]hey also talk up the tragic David Petraeus, not even as a sop to the neocons, who are totally over him, but to one-foot-in-the-graver Bob Dole.
To substantiate his point that the “tragic” Petraeus was a candidate favored by the neocons, Ross links to an old American Conservative article, “Sycophant Savior,” that looks rather shabby in retrospect.
Essentially, Andrew Bacevich argues in “Sycophant Savior” that not only was the situation in Iraq (in October 2007) not improving, but that Petraeus had squandered a major chance to build on any political momentum there was at the time to ask for more troops, who could have successfully pacified Iraq.
We know now that Petraeus largely did pacify Iraq. We know now that Petraeus is the Ben Bernanke of the Iraq war — the perfect man for the job who was able to rely on his unique training to turn the situation around. It’s not that Petraeus turned Iraq into a glistening modern liberal democracy — that was always a pipe dream. But he took his counterinsurgency training — which he literally wrote the book for — and dramatically decreased sectarian violence in that country.
Not only did Petraeus pacify Iraq — he took the strategy of the war from the hands of pinhead neocons like Paul Wolfowitz and Paul Bremer and turned it into a largely realist mission. At least, insofar as he could, given that his country, the world’s most powerful and successful liberal democracy, had invaded that country to make it anew in its own image.
So I am missing from Ross any information that substantiates Petraeus’ “neocon” credentials, in reputation or in deed. We are left to laugh at the wrongheaded 2007 predictions of the American Conservative vintage 2007.
But as Billy Mays would say, but wait, there’s more!
Ross goes on to argue that Scarborough — Joe Scarborough, the MSNBC host — is the hope of ‘true’ conservatives.
But let’s just hope that Scarborough isn’t pushed into 2012 by those who want it to be principled conservatism that takes the fall.
Lets put this up front — the author is sympathetic to the idea that there are persons within the Republican camp who wish principled conservatives — Burkean conservatives — to take the fall for the pre-Obama administration debacle that was the GOP.
But the other is mystified at Ross’s argument that Scarborough — Scarborough! – is the hope of these principled conservatives.
Granted, I understand he had a fairly consistently conservative voting record as a congressman. However, the divorced and remarried Scarborough has proven himself prone to crude outbursts while on-air. Further, the man is a consummate D.C. insider who’s set a moderate tack ever since becoming a MSNBC host.
If anyone wants to make the case for Scarborough as the hope of true conservatives, the author is all ears.