As Daniel Larison so trenchantly points out, however, the ones most to blame are also the ones receiving the least condemnation.
As the cliché goes, there are three main factions in the conservative movement: social conservatives, economic conservatives and national security conservatives. Each faction has received blame for the right’s electoral troubles in inverse proportion to its responsibility. ...Check out the whole piece here.
The faction most responsible for the GOP’s political failure is national security conservatives. Yet within the party, they remain unscathed, their assumptions about the use of American power largely unquestioned, and their gross errors in judgment forgotten or readily forgiven. Among the mainstream right, the foreign policy of the Bush administration is barely a subject of debate. Rather than reorienting Republican foreign policy towards a political center defined by realism, humility and restraint, the GOP’s leadership and activists have redoubled their commitment to Bush and Cheney’s hawkish stances and to a lock-step defense of the Bush administration’s policies.