The NYT and Conservatives

Another clunker from David Sanger:

"Mr. Bush was clearly seeking to manage expectations and answer a new group of critics — neoconservatives who have said that because Iraq is now liberated, it is up to the Iraqis themselves to defend the country and piece together a government acceptable to all factions. Among them have been William F. Buckley Jr. and Francis Fukuyama, who have expressed doubt about the speed with which the Iraqis will embrace democratic change."

Where do you start? You have a conflation of neocons who have criticized the conduct of the invasion, but still believe that democracy is ultimately the solution to our current predicament in the Middle East; and traditional cons who stress the cultural difficulty/impossibility of jump-starting democracy in Iraq; and paleo-cons ("to-hell-with-them" hawks) who want to pull out straight away. I don't know of any neocons in the "to-hell-with-them" category. I certainly don't think that's how Fukuyama would describe his current position. I know shorthand can be necessary in journalism, but anyone who doesn't know the big differences between Fukuyama's intellectual journey and William F. Buckley's really shouldn't be writing about them. Maybe if we could just persuade some on 43rd Street to stop writing about Buckley as a "neocon," it'd be a start.