David Brooks, "Where the Right Went Wrong," review of Andrew Sullivan's The Conservative Soul: How We Lost It, How to Get It Back,
New York Times October 22
The source of our amusement, this time: the man who's written three books which divine your political leanings according to the relative prevalence of crabgrass on your lawn now tries to tell us there's no such thing as the Religious Right:
As any number of historians, sociologists and pollsters can tell you, the evangelical Protestants who now exercise a major influence on the Republican Party are an infinitely diverse and contradictory group, and their relationship to these hyperpartisans is extremely ambivalent.
Free $28.95 Surf and Turf at the Chambersburg Red Lobster with equal or greater purchase (limit one) for:
If [Sullivan] had spent more time with the people he describes as fundamentalists, he would have found that this category has no meaning.
'Member when the non-existent Religious Right dragged Bush back from Crawford to express his ambivalence about the Schiavo case?
Many [evangelicals] disagree with him (and me) about gay marriage. Many people do believe that truth is revealed, and that one must work one’s way toward it. And yet to divide the world between fundamentalists and autonomous free thinkers is to create a dichotomy that distorts more than it reveals.
Red Stater, remove thy beer goggles:
As insular Democrats know little about what life is like in flyover country, so insular Republicans know little about how people think in the suburban Northeast, where blue New York Times delivery bags dot the driveways each morn.
Thanks for the 47th tour of your souvenir concert t-shirt drawer:
“The conservatism I grew up around” Sullivan writes on the second page of the book, “was a combination of lower taxes, less government spending, freer trade, freer markets, individual liberty, personal responsibility and a strong anti-Communist foreign policy.” His heroes were Thatcher, Reagan, Solzhenitsyn, Havel, Hayek and Orwell.
Solidarity with our oppressed furry brothers:
I know only two self-confessed Oakeshottians in Washington — Sullivan and me. And yet Oakeshott’s modesty can never be the main strain in one’s thinking, though it should always be the warning voice in the back of your mind.
Michael Moore, high caloric intake of:
The people who are most destructively closed-minded in America are people like Donald Rumsfeld ,Ann Coulter and Howard Dean , and they are not exactly religious nuts. [original punctuation preserved]
Humor, Most Unintentional from a man who got every detail wrong about Franklin County, PA and found a byline at the Times waiting for him as a result:
As Robert Lang, the superlative suburban specialist at Virginia Tech, notes, when people mess up a project in an office park, there are consequences. But Donald Rumsfeld never gets fired. Jerry Bremer and Tommy Franks get medals.
Obligatory Burke reference, (1600 words in):
Conservatives need to relearn the lessons of Burke and Hayek — that the world is complex, and efforts to transform it will have unintended consequences, most of them bad. But if American conservatives give up their optimism and their universal creed, they will once again be a small sect at the fringes of political life.