Neocon already has a meaning, so the Bear is bemused by its adoption by Traditionalists.
To be a neocon means to be a foreign policy conservative whose views are perceived to be aligned with Jewish interests. Real conservatives are suspicious of them because they are tainted with the original sin of liberalism.
In a Catholic context, the Bear is not sure what it is supposed to mean, other than Catholics who are neither Traditionalists nor unfaithful to Church teachings. Traditionalists are a subset of Catholics, as are those who are unfaithful to Church teaching, i.e. "liberals" (a distinction that does make sense because they are not normative). Of course, the Traditionalist minority are praiseworthy; the liberals are not.
All Traditionalists are Catholics; not all Catholics are Traditionalists.
What's left doesn't need a name, because they're just Catholics. When you have a steak, you can take a "bite," but there isn't a special word for the steak that's still there on your plate. It's just "steak." (Unless it's Friday. Then it's "fish.")
So why borrow a political term to describe Catholics who do not identify with the small, but significant Traditionalist minority?
Since Traditionalists have a "name," perhaps they feel it is necessary to give "the other side," a "name," too. Catholic would hardly work, so they use neocon. It has a vaguely sinister connotation that carries over from the political vocabulary. Assist at the Mass the Church prescribes on Sundays? You're nothing but a neocon.
That non-traditionalist blogger you don't care for? A neocon. The Bear would call that blogger Mark Shea. The Bear happens not to agree with Mark Shea sometimes (only when the Bear reads him), yet does not feel the need to call him anything but Mark Shea. Is he part of an identifiable minority or faction within the Church, like Traditionalists? Not to the Bear's knowledge.
Jimmy Aiken. Maybe not as bad as Mark Shea, but still a Catholic Answers neocon.
What are synonyms for neocon? Tool? Quisling? Weak sister? Probably not quite modernist. Neocons may not exactly be heretics, but there's something not quite right, you know. They're just not one of us.
If you detect that the Bear does not care for the term, you're right. It is imprecise, has a bad connotation, is needlessly divisive, and just plain needless. Traditionalists are what they are, and God bless them. That doesn't make everyone else some faction.
The Bear is more than happy to lend his combox to an explanation of just what a neocon is and why we need to identify them. He suspects the definition starts with, "not liberal, but..." In other words, someone who is in the way? A well-meaning boob? A Catholic who would be a Traditionalist if only... what? Are there good neocons? Are Bears neocons?
Seriously. The Bear would really like to know what it means, and why we need it.
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