joe Biden Misses the Point...
Robert Shiller, Jeff Madrick, Teresa Ghilarducci, Brad DeLong: Animal Spirits

Who the "Friends of the People" Are and Why We Bash the Neoconservatives

Matthew Yglesias explains:

Matthew Yglesias: In Defense of Neo-Con Bashing: Greg Djerejian offers up something of a mea culpa and something of a defense against Jeff Weintraub’s charge of “rather tiresome ritual ‘neocon’-bashing which is becoming too much of a reflex in some quarters.”

It’s actually true that neocon bashing is a bit on the tiresome side. That said, I think it really has to be understood as a vital social necessity. Adherents of a deranged and sociopoathic “neocon” conception of America’s role in the world continue to be tremendously influential in our society. They have columns at The Washington Post and dominate the foreign policy coverage on Fox News. They have The Weekly Standard and Commentary and a healthy slice of The New Republic. And most important, as best as anyone can tell their ideas remain utterly dominant in the Republican Party. Their intra-party critics like Colin Powell, rather than winning intra-party arguments seem to be simply drifting out of the GOP coalition.

This is a dangerous situation. In the United States, the opposition party is always one ill-timed recession or political scandal from taking power. So a set of ideas that dominates one such party is something you need to keep a watchful eye on, no matter how marginalized that party may seem at any particular moment.

In other words, if we don't bash them at every opportunity they will be back--more stupid and more destructive than ever. (If we do bash them they will probably be back too, but at least we have a chance...)