Does opposition to neo-conservatism amount to anti-Semitism?

Right. Wesley Clark thinks that the prophets of a new Amerian empire (1) have a collective screw loose and (2) have too much influence in the Bush II administraiton. David Brooks thinks — or, at least, writes — that, therefore, Clark is a kook and an anti-Semite:

Do you ever get the sense the whole world is becoming unhinged from reality?


Theories about the tightly knit neocon cabal came in waves.


To hear these people describe it, PNAC is sort of a Yiddish Trilateral Commission, the nexus of the sprawling neocon tentacles.

We’d sit around [The Weekly Standard] guffawing at the ludicrous stories that kept sprouting, but belief in shadowy neocon influence has now hardened into common knowledge. Wesley Clark, among others, cannot go a week without bringing it up.

In truth, the people labeled neocons (con is short for “conservative” and neo is short for “Jewish”)…

[Actually, Brooks is wrong: The “con” in “neocon” is actually short for “con artist,” while “neo” seems to be a Latin prefix meaning “nasty.”]

Kevin Drum does an excellent take-down of Brooks, focusing on the absurdity of Brooks’s denying the existence of neo-conservatism as a political faction. Phil Carter offers a careful exegisis of the “opponents of neoconservatism are anti-Semites” meme. He controls his temper better than I could, but his disgust is as evident as it is justified.

Josh Marshall has more, with reflections on the ethics, pragmatics, and rhetoric of dealing with such contemptible lies.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

2 thoughts on “Does opposition to neo-conservatism amount to anti-Semitism?”

  1. Coffee Time

    A bit late to the David Brooks party, Josh Chafetz of OxBlog seems to be suffering from a clear case of jetlag. Daniel, Kevin Drum, Mark Kleiman, Matt Yglesias and Josh Marshall have more on this….

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