There Is a Moderate Republican in this Race, but She’s Running as a Democrat
Tony Brasunas
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If you think neoconservatives and the Tea Party are the same thing… you know nothing, Jon Snow.

The original neocons were “Cold Warrior” Democrats who left their party when their guy, Henry Scoop Jackson lost the 1972 primary to the dovish McGovern. To make a long, painful story short, they achieved dominance of the Republican party only after, and because of, 9/11. In general, they have been socially liberal, caring more about maintaining a militarist foreign policy than either shrinking government or the “culture wars.” They still dominate the Republican Establishment.

The “Tea Party” is, essentially, a fusion between Ron Paul libertarians (who prefer a Jeffersonian foreign policy) and conservative populists (who fall into what historian Walter Russell Meade identifies as the Jacksonian school of American foreign policy: blustery, sometimes aggressive, but also skeptical about our ability to remake the world). Both wings hate the neocons, both for their foreign policy (invading Iraq, supporting Obama on Libya, wanting ground troops in Syria, etc) and for their domestic policies (No Child Left Behind, expanding Medicare, increased spending, etc).

There is no way to depict this welter of opposing forces, in all their confusion, on a simple line.

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