Robert Kagan…Self-Hater

As promised, I come here now to lay into Robert Kagan, doing his damndest to take the “Best Hack on an Op-Ed Page” award away from his very good friend Bill Kristol. In a Politico article highlighting the conservative foreign policy establishment’s disappointment with the Palin selection, Kagan offers up this opposing view:

Robert Kagan, a foreign policy adviser to McCain, derided criticisms of Palin as elitist.

“I don’t take this elite foreign policy view that only this anointed class knows everything about the world,” he said. “I’m not generally impressed that they are better judges of American foreign policy experience than those who have Palin’s experience.”

Now, you must keep in mind that Kagan doesn’t really believe this. If he did, he wouldn’t have spent almost 3 decades building a career around foreign policy thinking. He wouldn’t have worked so hard to cultivate respect in the field, and he wouldn’t have donated so much time to research, reading, writing, and thinking about serious matters of foreign policy. And the basic gist of the rest of the article is that people hace too much self-respect to suck up the party line. Condi Rice is a good Republican I’m sure. But she’s spent a life mastering the finer points of International Relations theory and geopolitical issues, amongst other things, in academia and the public sector. And she’s understandably rather proud of her accomplishments, and quite proud of her achievements in the field. So in that regard, when someone asks her if she thinks someone as manifestly unqualified as Sarah Palin has enough “foreign policy experience,” or whatever the question is, they just can’t do it out of respect to the field and respect for themselves.

So there’s two ways to look at this patently absurd declaration from Kagan. Either he has no self-respect, and maybe even hates himself, I don’t know, or he’s just not being serious in his answer. Considering that, a) he’s a McCain adviser and, b) he’s very good friends with Bill Kristol, the answer is pretty obviously b. Robert Kagan is one of those people who will just say absolutely anything, no matter how obviously dumb, to achieve an end. Which, on some level is fine, if a bit scary, but it begs at least one major question; why does this guy still get to write op-eds for the Washington Post?