It's no wonder that they've dominated conservatism recently, though. We're talking about a cohort that can't or won't level with its base on what they can realistically achieve taxes or scope of government issues. They lie to them all the time, without any seeming punishment for doing it. The neocons are just doing the same thing.
Neoconservatives have always annoyed me in a way that paleoconservatives don’t. Sure, George Will says a lot of stupid and factually inaccurate things about global warming, but he’s openly agnostic (“too indecisive to be an atheist”). Yes, Kathleen Parker wastes a lot of columns on superficial cultural crap, but she often explicitly criticizes Republicans for cowing to the religious right. With these two, at least, it appears that they are writing things that they actually believe themselves.
There’s something unbelievably arrogant about taking public positions that you secretly don’t believe because you think that the hoi polloi needs to believe in order to keep our society going. It makes my skin crawl. The neocons are the worst offenders, but the Village also feels, as a rule, that the public shouldn’t know the truth about everything. I believe this attitude is toxic and is a big part of what turns out public discourse into nonsensical babble.
This does explain, though, why neocons still insist that Dick Cheney is a viable political leader. Even half of Republicans dislike the guy, but the neocons could care less what us sheep believe, because they know what's best for us. The neocons now are basically what the left was about thirty years ago, and I think it's no coincidence that most neocons were left-wingers thirty years ago. They combine everything that is loathsome in both political traditions. They are the sum of all sleaze.