August 7, 2005


Bush’s neocon friends shocked as he backs the Darwin-doubters (Sarah Baxter, 8/07/05, Times of London)

While Bush’s conservative Christian fundamentalist base is delighted by his pronouncement, it has opened a split with neoconservatives and other secular allies on the right.

The poor neocons, the MSM thinks they're the riders when they're the ridden. Now, just when they'd used cloning to get in good with the Right, they realize, once again, that because they aren't religious they'll always be marginal.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 7, 2005 9:00 PM

What the hell kind of article is this? Baxter makes it sound like this is causing a gigantic fissiparous debate on the Right and her empirical evidence comes down solely to quoting Krauthammer?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at August 7, 2005 11:00 PM

Though libertarian or 'neo-con' righties might roll their eyes at the creationism types, at the end of the day it's small change. We'll hang with the Ned Flanders even if they do believe God zapped them into existence with magic, because the alternative is to cause a split in the grand conservative alliance and conceed power by default to people with vastly stupider and more dangerous ideas- leftists.

And, at the end of the day, we like the born-agains. You need to borrow a mower who you gonna ask? They're good folks.

Posted by: Amos at August 7, 2005 11:24 PM

The Neos remain important in the war of the words. Alienating both them and the libertarians is not the epitome of political acumen. And Charles is a Jewish, quadriplegic, psychiatrist fer crisakes. You expect him to be comfortable with creationists? (I know, I know.)

Posted by: ghostcat at August 7, 2005 11:38 PM


Remember the bit from New Republic where they asked all the neocons their own views on Darwinism and I.D.? The neocons were all obviously embarrassed that the Right denies Darwinism.

Posted by: oj at August 7, 2005 11:39 PM

BTW: You need to update the Outlasts Another One files.

Posted by: joe shropshire at August 7, 2005 11:52 PM

Isn't neocon another way of saying Catholic conservative? Catholic schools have been teaching Darwinism for decades.

Posted by: Vince at August 8, 2005 12:14 AM

No, neocons seem to be generally non-observant Jews.

Brother Cohen explored some of the issues implicated by that fact awhile ago:

Posted by: oj at August 8, 2005 12:26 AM


Yes, conservatives use neo and libertarians for their own purposes, not vice versa as is believed by many. Then you get stories where one or the other or both are stunned when they realize they were used. They always come back for more though--no where else to go....

Posted by: oj at August 8, 2005 12:28 AM

Teach (and expand) the consensus, oj.

Remember, too, that the public roughly equates Darwinism with evolution and ID with Creationism. We need public dialogue to clarify the nuances. Bush has started that, and bully for him, but the follow-up among conservatives has been pretty pathetic.

Posted by: ghostcat at August 8, 2005 12:47 AM


I always thought the term "neocon" rather ambiguous, but the following guys give rather squishy answers to the survey: David Brooks, Norman Podhoretz, David Frum, and William Kristol. Even libertarians like Stephen Moore and Grover Norquist seem sympathetic to ID. The only one who comes out foursquare against it (and even he calls it "interesting") is Krauthammer. It looks like you can throw Tierney into the skeptical column, too, although he didn't seem all that eager to discuss the issue.

Actually, my point wasn't to argue about Darwinism but just to point out how shoddy it is to breathlessly describe a huge disagreement on the Right and then quote just one guy.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at August 8, 2005 3:29 AM

Stephen Moore and Grover Norquist are fiscal conservatives who never deal with social issues. If they seem sypathetic about intelligent design, it is because they don't really care about it.

Posted by: Vince at August 8, 2005 3:57 AM


That's quite wrong. Evolution is a truism. The question is whether it is purely a function of Nature or of God and nature. On that question it's 13-87.

Posted by: oj at August 8, 2005 7:49 AM


Yes, the neocons are squishes.

Posted by: oj at August 8, 2005 8:03 AM


More or less apropos of that, and in no small part because of your glowing review, I am finally reading Annie Dillard's "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek".

Wonderful stuff. I keep nodding my head and saying "YES". When I'm not chuckling in amused recognition.

Posted by: ghostcat at August 8, 2005 1:44 PM