Three weeks ago I observed that Bush sending Bolton to the U.N. and Wolfowitz to the Bank was, in effect, a way of kicking the neocons upstairs. Well, Democracy Arsenal makes the point more forcefully, observing that foreign policy managers of the second Bush term are no longer neocons, but rather folks who "believe in diplomacy and institutions and agree with progressive internationalist ideals more than they (and we) might like to admit.".
I think DA may be taking their optimism about Bush a bit far, but it's also clear that the maximalist moment of Bushist adventurism has disappeared into the Mesopotamian sands. At a minimum, the doctrine of preemption is in a dormant phase, and one suspects that the endless critiques of our intelligence apparatus may yet succeed in completely killing it off. Here's hoping.