On the one hand, Tucker Carlson and his oft-worthy guests make the case that America’s catastrophic institutional rot (MY EXTENSIVELY DEVELOPED TERM, no theirs) is a consequence of there being no adverse consequences attached to being dead-wrong all the time.
On the other hand, the show has a tendency to reward reformed neocons such as newcomer Sohrab Ahmari, who peddles retread banalities (or stuff the Old Right—myself included—had espoused decades ago, and from the get-go, in the case of the Globe and Mail commentary below: September 19, 2002).
Rewarding conveniently reformed, politically pleasing mediocrities makes the practitioner part of the institutional rot.
“PUNDITS, HEAL THYSELVES!” (Ilana Mercer, May 29, 2004) spoke to this repulsive specter:
… So why are insightful commentators whose observations have predictive power generally barred from the national discourse, while false neoconservative prophets are called back for encores?
I got to thinking about the neoconservative talking twits. They’ve been wrong all along about the invasion of Iraq. They’ve consistently dished out dollops of ahistoric, unintuitive, and reckless verbiage. Yet they’ve retained their status as philosopher-kings.
Thomas Friedman, Christopher Hitchens (undeniably a writer of considerable flair and originality), George Will and Tucker Carlson (both of whom seem to have conveniently recanted at the eleventh hour), Charles Krauthammer, William Kristol, Mark Steyn, Max Boot, John Podhoretz, Andrew Sullivan – they all grabbed the administration’s bluff and ran with it. Like the good Trotskyites many of them were, once they tasted blood, they writhed like sharks. Compounding their scent-impaired bloodhound act was their utter ignorance of geopolitical realities – they insisted our soldiers would be greeted with blooms and bonbons and that an Iraqi democracy would rise from the torrid sands of Mesopotamia.
Their innumerable errors and flagrant hubris did not prevent the neoconservatives from managing to marginalize their competitors on the Right: the intrepid Pat Buchanan and his American Conservative; the quixotic Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. of LewRockwell.com, and Antiwar.com. (Plus this column, of course). Unfortunately for America, there hasn’t been a horror in Iraq that these prescients did not foretell well in advance.
….the opportunity costs associated with consumption of toxic punditry are low or non-existent.
If you didn’t have the cerebral wherewithal to be against the war on Iraq in 2002, you don’t have anything original to contribute on foreign policy and anti-war or Just War thinking now.
Younger offenders can be found agitating against Iran, or scribbling inanities for the War Street Journal and other neoconservative outlets such as Commentary, the Weekly Standard, and Foreign Policy, where Sohrab Ahmari would put out irredeemable and unforgivable content such as “The Costs of Containment.”
It’s one thing to have made a mistake as Tucker Carlson had done regarding the Iraq war of aggression. Carlson apologized profusely and humbly about his Iraq error. Moreover, Carlson had never been the consummate philosophical neocon; which Sohrab Ahmari is. According to the Militarist Monitor,
“the neocons’ favorite Iranian,” Sohrab Ahmari has been a vocal advocate of U.S.-imposed regime change in his native Iran, which he left as a teenager. Rosenberg likened Ahmari to Ahmed Chalabi, the formerly exiled Iraqi politician who curried favor with U.S. neoconservatives ahead of the Iraq War and lent an Iraqi name to the list of those supporting the U.S. invasion.
I’ve watched the likes of Sohrab Ahmari work their magic in the malfunctioning media for decades. I also understand fully that Tucker Carlson has a producer, for he himself cannot research each such well-promoted phony who is resurrecting a career on the solid anti-war arguments of the dissident Old, paleolibertarian and paleoconservative Right.
* Image: Truth-teller on Twitter.
And in defense of The Tuck against mediocrity Claire Lehmann, who generated the non sequitur below: Tucker Carlson doesn’t support the Russian invasion! From the fact he argues unpopular truths–it doesn’t follow that Tucker is not a populist. Most immutable truth is unpopular. Popularity does not equal populism. This woman can’t even define the terms of debate.