Hayden Nomination and Conservatives Allegedly Abandoning Bush
Glenn Greenwald is certainly correct:
Notwithstanding the fact that the Bush administration has violated every tenet of this strain of conservatism for the last five years, conservatives will not be permitted to distance themselves from this administration — as they are transparently and pitifully trying to do now that Bush’s presidency is failed and is dying a rapid death (see e.g., this characteristically dishonest attempt by Jonah Goldberg to characterize the two failed Republican Presidents – Nixon and Bush – as “liberals” in order to imply that their failure is not a failure of conservatives; funny how we never heard any of that when The Commander had approval ratings in the 60s). With rare and noble exception, conservatives did not repudiate Bush until very recently. To the contrary, they have vigorously supported and claimed him (while he was popular), and he is their creation. They are and should be stuck with him.
Notice in particular this passage from Jonah Goldberg:
I could argue that Nixon’s amoral foreign policy is today alive and well in many corners of the Left, but that’s a distraction from my central point. Bush is certainly to the right of Nixon on many issues. But at the philosophical level, he shares the Nixonians’ supreme confidence in the power of the state. Bush rejects limited government and many of the philosophical assumptions that underlie that position. He favors instead strong government.
While it would be tempting to slam Mr. Goldberg for that cheap shot at liberals where he suggests we are Nixonian, let me agree with his assertion that Bush is a lot like Nixon in advocating the supremacy of the Executive Branch even so far as to violate with impunity the civil rights of citizens and to trash the career of a CIA agent simply for partisan purposes. Oh wait, the National Review defends this White House in PlameGate.
But let me thank certain Republican leaders for having the same concern with the appointment of General Hayden to head the CIA as I do. But guess what – the National Review is supporting this nomination:
The reasons for Porter Goss’s abrupt departure as CIA director are shrouded in mystery. But its effect is not. It gives the impression that there has been a coup by the CIA insiders who have waged a covert policy war against the Bush administration for five years. The White House must act quickly to correct the impression that the renegades have won. The CIA is supposed to work for the president.
The NRO editors have the gall to suggest that the CIA has been working for the Democratic Party. When they say the CIA is supposed to work for the President – I guess they envision a CIA on par with their own partisan hackery. Too bad they cannot understand that some of us want a CIA to work for the American people.
Update: Matthew Yglesias has more, but neither he nor I went after this:
When the administration posed questions in 2002 about intelligence reports that Saddam Hussein had sought uranium yellowcake (a potential nuclear precursor) in Niger, Valerie Plame Wilson, a CIA analyst who thought these reports were “crazy,” helped arrange to have her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, sent on a CIA fact-finding mission. Though the assignment was classified, the CIA permitted Wilson to author a New York Times op-ed ripping the administration for purportedly misstating intelligence in the run-up to the war and suggesting—disingenuously, it turned out—that Joseph Wilson had found no evidence that Iraq had sought uranium from Niger. A coterie of current and former agency officers demanded the prosecution of administration officials when Plame’s status as a CIA employee—a matter that appears to have been widely known, and whose leak caused no damage to national security—was mentioned in the media.
Hopefully, FDL will rip into these liars at the National Review!