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Brain Waves

I can see it's going to be a long weekend.  My Washington Post Outlook piece running this Sunday is on the topic, "Is Conservatism Brain-Dead?"  But the Post has put it up early on their website right here, and a few early links to it in the blogosphere have already generated an avalanche of e-mail, some supportive, but many very very angry.  I reply to one particular criticism (my omission of Mark Levin) on The Corner this morning.  Surely more to come.

UPDATE:  I see David Brooks takes up some of the same territory in his NY Times column today.  Oh boy: I think his e-mail will be worse than mine.
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Discussions - 6 Comments

Good piece!

I hope Rush picks up on your essay, which is superb. (I would dissent from your placing Fukuyama among the conservatives, a fine a scholar as he is; that is not a patriotic book.) BTW, we should recall that the Weekly Standard published a condescending review of Levin's book by someone who should know better. That might have heightened some sensitivities in the Levin camp. I found Mark's book to be sophisticated and politically effective. Jonah's book is a better example for your purposes in the essay.

Although I disagree profoundly with a great deal of what you say, Steven - the tea bagging phenomenon isn't "authentic and laudatory," for example, there is plenty that's "intrinsically wrong" with the less than half-truths and deliberate fallacies that populate the pages of Malkin, Beck and Coulter, Goldberg's work is just awful, relying on what most serious historians see as an inaccurate account of fascism, and it's surely not enough simply to say that the "premises" of "liberals" are "problematic" and assume that's enough - I thought it was a really good piece. Really good.

So, basically, Sarah Palin didn't go to Harvard. Whatever.

Steve's WaPo article is very good and does capture the dilemma. Of course, this is one of the reasons folks look longingly back to Reagan, that as exemplar of an era, as he represented a conjunction between those two camps. Many encountered Buckley, et al, through Reagan who offered the ideas in a most appealling way, though that common and simpler explanation struck lots of people as merely simple and they called him simpleton. Those of us who had been reading his (and Nofziger's) newsletter for years before were primed with ideas.

Couldn't we think that the radio guys are trying to do the same thing? I am not saying that they are doing it well, but they are out there as cheerleaders and it is up to the team, or somebody, to do the real political work. They can get the crowd worked up, but with no one effective on the field, they are hooting and hollering and usually look silly.

However, you guys who prefer a conservativism of ideas as well as ideals well-served really have to remember that the problem with the hoi-polloi of liberty is that they vote -- or do not -- as they engage or do not engage with campaigning politicians. Aren't elections won with such as those - I mean, us?

I miss the edit feature.

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