The New Liberalism: Conservatism


The same Cohen column that inveighed against Bush-bashers contained an endorsement of what he called “an expression of moderate sanity,” a document titled “American Liberalism and the Euston Manifesto,” which, he explained, “precisely because of its sanity…has received too little attention.” Cohen celebrates this manifesto–which, naturally, embraces the incompetence dodge–as an alternative to “sterile screaming in the wilderness, tired of the comfortably ensconced ‘hindsighters’ poring over every American error in Iraq, tired of facile anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism masquerading as anti-Zionism.”

Again, on the identities of these “hindsighters,” “screamers,” anti-Americans and anI ti-Semites “masquerading as anti-Zionists,” Cohen was silent. Had he taken a look at the 232 manifesto signatories, meanwhile, he’d have had trouble identifying more than three, counting generously, actual liberals. The roll is dominated by the likes of Walter Laqueur, Martin Peretz, Ronald Radosh and, I kid you not, Iran/contra adventurer Michael Ledeen.

I think three is an undercount, but the point stands. It’s very strange for a manifesto calling for a new American liberalism to include so many people whose primary emotional focus is hatred of liberals.