Ted Cruz Is Right to Attack the 'Neocons'

Hillary Clinton has no record to run on. Family income is lower and the world is more dangerous. Donald Trump nailed it when he told Chris Wallace, "Hillary calls me 'dangerous'? She's killed hundreds of thousands of people with her stupidity." Trump was referring to the Obama administration's campaign to overthrow Arab dictators like Libya's Qaddafi and Egypt's Mubarak, which contributed to the chaos in the Middle East after the so-called "Arab Spring." Marco Rubio can't attack Hillary's disastrous foreign policy record because--as Ted Cruz observes--Rubio supported all the same stupid policies. Picture a Cruz-Clinton presidential debate: Cruz denounces Hillary's incompetence in promoting chaos in the Middle East. Hillary remonstrates, "But most Republicans supported me!" Cruz counters: "That's right--I'm running against you and against the Establishment in my own party." Game, set, match.

Here's a word of consolation for my neocon friends: It's not personal, just business. I'm a neocon too, an ex-lefty who went rightward with Reagan and carried my spear in the final phase of the Cold War. I was chief economist at Jude Wanniski's supply-side consulting firm Polyconomics, which is as neocon as you can get, and I give the neocons all the credit for Reaganomics. I've published in Commentary Magazine and Irving Kristol's Public Interest.  I traveled the world promoting the Reagan model between 1988 and 1993--Mexico, Peru, Nicaragua, and most of all Russia--and learned firsthand how Quixotic was the conceit that our model could be exported.

Every ideology has a use-by date and you're long past yours. Henry Kissinger did great service to this country by opening relations to China, a necessary if not sufficient condition for winning the Cold War. But Kissinger couldn't see past the dull calculus of detente, while Reagan foresaw unconditional American victory over Communism--and without you neocons, he never could have done it. You made a Gargantuan error, though, when you assumed that the Reagan Revolution could be exported to the Middle East, Russia and China, and you misplayed the strongest hand that any world power ever held. America went from only-hyperpower status when George W. Bush took office to a playing second fiddle to Vladimir Putin today. No-one wants to hear your claim that we really won in Iraq in 2008 and lost it all because Obama wouldn't leave a few divisions there. And when the "Arab Spring" came along, you mistook the oncoming express for the light at the end of the tunnel. You and the Obama crowd played "Dumb and Dumber." You both bought into the idea that Muslim democracy would arise from Islamist opposition to the old dictatorships.