The Corner

Foer On Paleos

I think he vastly overestimated their influence. He regards the popularity of the Republican put-down of Clinton’s foreign policy as “social work,” and the opposition of most Republicans to the war over Kosovo, to the party’s co-optation of Buchananism. But the party never embraced Buchanan’s views on trade, immigration, or NATO, and it supported the Iraq Liberation Act during the Clinton years. Influence is a hard thing to measure. But I don’t think Trent Lott opposed the Kosovo war either because he read Chronicles or knew people who do. Charles Krauthammer’s opposition to that war was more influential among congressional Republicans than the paleos’ was. (I assume that many paleos don’t even aspire to wield this kind of influence any time soon.)

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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