I have a headache. It might be forced-air related due to being entertained at three holiday celebrations in two days, feted by people who either heat their houses to 80º as a rule or turned the heat up to be thoughtful, not to mention driving with my wife, who sets the car heater to "Smelt". But it's probably from a couple day's worth of reading "conservatives" of all those factions David Brooks keeps insisting are regularly duking it out over every possible issue line up almost to a man behind their boy and whatever the latest excuse for spitting on the Constitution is.
So here, from Professor Bérubé's comments, the observations of rootlesscosmo (livejournal page here), which I couldn't have said any better anyway.
I think most of the nominal pillars of “conservative” faith were never more than packaging for their real beliefs. Opposition to “big government” was never a principle; it was a way of wrapping racism, anti-unionism, anti-regulation and vigilantism (the gun nut routine) in Jeffersonian drag. Simultaneously, government could never be too big as long as it was fortifying the Mexican border, silencing doctors and public health professionals on matters that might enhance women’s freedom, disrupting and spying on even the mildest, most pacific Left groups. In short what calls itself “conservatism” has been--at least since the Goldwater era--a piece of rotten hypocritical cant. That’s why, unfortunately, calling attention to its hypocrisy now, as Earnest does with regard to the NSA spying practices, is a wasted effort. I’m sorry he was deluded, but if he imagines the people responsible can be made to feel shame for deluding him, he’s liable to be disappointed as well.
Is there a "conservative" "principle" left standing?