Sisyphus concludes, with a “I schooled them” air…
Work with me, Mr. Kinsley.
Ms. Kirkpatrick thought we should prop up the oligarchs (many of whom we hand-picked and foisted on the people to begin with) and let the people fend for themselves.
The current crop, as a response to a wave of democratization, thinks we should foist hand-picked oligarchs on the people (by force of arms, if necessary) and then prop them up.
Where in this you see a switch in actual practice rather than in figleaf rhetoric (swooning over ideas indeed. “Carter sucks” is not an ideology. Nor is “It sucks if Carter does it”) eludes me. It’s all neo realpolitik, and what neo realpolitik meant then and means now is that Republicans make up grand, lofty lies about their goals to get elected so they can do pretty much what they want to do with no reference to all the pretty rhetoric.
Hint: When political leaders in the Middle East refer to the Iraqi elections as a seminal event, you may want to reconsider your partisan rhetoric.
That is if you ever want to see a liberal elected in your lifetime.
I would, just as a hint.