Something truly odd is happening in the political run up to the 2016 presidential campaign. The signs are everywhere that the classical right -left political alignments are falling apart.
First comes word that some of the key Neo Cons of the right are lining up behind Hillary Clinton, in hopes of a revival of their aggressive military policy.
Even as they castigate Mr. Obama, the neocons may be preparing a more brazen feat: aligning themselves with Hillary Rodham Clinton and her nascent presidential campaign, in a bid to return to the driver’s seat of American foreign policy.
The driver behind this “brazen” move is of course the potential candidacy of Rand Paul as the Republican nominee.
In response, Mark Salter, a former chief of staff to Senator McCain and a neocon fellow traveler, said that in the event of a Paul nomination, “Republican voters seriously concerned with national security would have no responsible recourse” but to support Mrs. Clinton for the presidency.
At the same time that Hillary is tacking to the right, Ralph Nader has released his latest book, Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State, which makes the case that an alliance of left liberals and right libertarians could unite in “opposition to the destruction of civil liberties, the economically draining corporate welfare state, the relentless perpetuation of America’s wars, the sovereignty-shredding trade agreements and the unpunished crimes of Wall Street against Main Street.”
In the face of this kind of rhetoric, Wall Street sees a potential ally in Mrs Clinton.
Mrs. Clinton was the industry’s home state senator, and the financial sector was the second-largest giver to her presidential campaign in 2008. In her post-State Department life, she has been showered with lucrative speaking fees from Goldman Sachs, J. P. Morgan and other financial firms. In her talks, she says it is unproductive to vilify the industry, and she avoids the kind of language that puts off financial executives, as when President Obama referred to “fat cat” bankers in 2009.
Imagine if you will a campaign of Hillary Clinton against Rand Paul in which Hillary and her Neo Con backers defend Wall Street, the NSA, crony capitalism and increasing defense budgets while Rand Paul fights the battle that Nader has laid out. I will be honest that I don’t know Paul’s real record that well, but I’ve got to say that I would think twice before voting for a President backed by the Neo Cons, who as Stephen Walt has pointed out have done untold damage.
From 2001 until sometime around 2006, the United States followed the core neoconservative foreign-policy program. The disastrous results of this vast social science experiment could not be clearer. The neoconservative program cost the United States several trillion dollars and thousands dead and wounded American soldiers, and it sowed carnage and chaos in Iraq and elsewhere
The greatest achievement of the Obama administration has been to remove the Neo Cons from the councils of government. A Clinton restoration of that foreign policy philosophy would be an unmitigated disaster for the country.