David Klinghoffer, who writes for National Review so you know he is a very smart public intellectual guy, takes to the pages of the LA Times to lament the devolution of the conservative mind in America:
Buckley’s National Review, where I was the literary editor through the 1990s, remains as vital and interesting as ever. But more characteristic of conservative leadership are figures on TV, radio and the Internet who make their money by stirring fears and resentments. With its descent to baiting blacks, Mexicans and Muslims, its accommodation of conspiracy theories and an increasing nastiness and vulgarity, the conservative movement has undergone a shift toward demagoguery and hucksterism. Once the talk was of “neocons” versus “paleocons.” Now we observe the rule of the crazy-cons.
Hey! What? Ho! This is the kinda treasonous talk that got Christopher Buckley unbarnacled from his dad’s desk and, under normal circumstances fellow conservatives would be running away from Klinghoffer screaming “Unclean! Unclean! Bad touch! Bad touch!” but, it would appear, these are not normal times and some conservatives have decided to take that “soul searching” thing out for a spin to see what happens.
Professor Bainbridge agrees with Klinghoffer and lists Ten Things He Hates About Youse Guys, which includes tea baggers, luddites, birthers, nativists, pundit liars, and the foam-flecked dogs standing in the middle of the cul de sac snapping at the air and howling while everyone cowers in their homes peeking through the windows; those hounds of howl being Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, and Rush Limbaugh. It is worth noting that Bainbridge leads off his list with America’s Official Cold Sore From The North That Won’t Heal Or Go Away:
A poorly educated ex-sportwriter who served half of one term of an minor state governorship is prominently featured as a — if not the — leading prospect for the GOP’s 2012 Presidential nomination.
Patterico disagrees and points out that, hey, those aren’t conservatives!, they’re …
Bainbridge’s complaints include: a lament that Palin is being considered a leading contender for the 2012 GOP nomination; complaints that the GOP is running candidates that are too extreme to take seats that should be ripe for the picking; complaints that certain Republicans have (in Bainbridge’s view) criticized Obama unfairly and too harshly; and criticism of birthers, “nativists,” and the “anti-science and anti-intellectualism that pervade the movement.”
Bainbridge also moans about “mouth-foaming, spittle-blasting, rabble-rousing talk radio” including . . . Hugh Hewitt (?!). (Really? When is the last time Bainbridge was on Hewitt’s show?)
In addition to the above nonsense, which has nothing to do with conservatism and everything to do with the shortcomings of the GOP, Bainbridge also has a perfectly legitimate complaint regarding the GOP’s lack of fiscal restraint during the Bush years. But, again, why should that GOP failure to act in line with true conservative principles make anyone ashamed to be a conservative??
I think Patterico is cherry-picking what he wants to be conservative while trying to ignore the naked feces-smeared crazy uncle who is dancing on the dinner table and pissing in the soup; a soup, I might add that the Republican party is currently soaking in.
I’ll let Donald Douglas, who used to be kind of a levelheaded conservative until he decided blogging fame and fortune lay in RS McCain-style link-bating bullshit hyperbole, have the final word on the future of conservative thought:
A lot of us became conservative because we saw society’s moral foundations in tatters, and it was the Democratic-left holding the shears. You can always hold up your hands and scream “clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right,” but you still have to choose. We have no viable third party movement, and the GOP at present is the best place to form a conservative-libertarian coalition for political victory. And as a party out of power, the most strident voices at the base are going to get a lot of play, especially when new media is driving most of the key political memes. I choose conservatism. It’s a no-brainer. But notwithstanding the citations above, I’m not wedded to any particular talking point. I think for myself, thank you. For example, is it crazy to call President Obama a socialist? I think he is (but on an intellectual level, e.g., see Jonah Goldberg, “What Kind of Socialist Is Barack Obama?“)….
Yes. By all means, let us turn to Jonah Goldberg discussing Barack Obama on an “intellectual level”.
(Update) Further proof that we are not dealing with people who are firing on all synapses:
I stand corrected.