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Libya And GOP Infighting

One interesting ramification of the intervention in Libya is that it's a rare issue that splits both sides straight down the middle. Liberals have been re-fighting the Iraq war debate. Meanwhile, conservatives have cracked a few chairs over each others' heads. Bill Kristol attacked Haley Barbour for endorsing defense budget cuts in at item entitled "T-Paw v. Hee Haw." Here's David Keene hitting back at Kristol. And here's the Wall Street Journal editorial page taking a slap at Barbour.

As a side note, Kristol is in the habit of vigorously policing the culture for any sign, usually imagined, of prejudice by coastal elites against "real Americans." Here, for instance, he is on Sarah Palin:

They will ridicule her and patronize her. They will distort her words and caricature her biography. They will appeal, sometimes explicitly, to anti-small town and anti-religious prejudice.

Imagine what Kristol could do with a Democrat referring to a Republican from the South as "Hee Haw." He'd still be quoting it ten years later.

Anyway, the underlying fault line on the right is this: Pretty much all conservatives agree with offensive military action against enemies of the United States, and pretty much all of them define the scope of acceptable action broadly. Then you have humanitarian military intervention, which neoconservatives will also support as a second-best alternative to non-humanitarian military intervention, but many other conservatives won't support. On top of that, the rising prominence of opposition to spending as a party creed has led some conservatives to put the defense budget on the table, which is anathema to neocons like Kristol. There's actually a lot of infighting to be done.