Wednesday, April 6

Before I Realized What I Was Doing I'd Clicked The Link

David Brooks, you can find him if you really want to: A House Divided, And Strong.

That is, yes, The International House O' Republicans:

Conservatives have not triumphed because they have built a disciplined and efficient message machine. Conservatives have thrived because they are split into feuding factions that squabble incessantly.

And there is no better demonstration of this than David Brooks writing a column about the Schiavo Schism without ever mentioning it, or uttering a word about the religious radicals.

In the early days of National Review, many of the senior editors didn't even speak to one another.

Oooh, not to mention that bon mot the Earl of Beaconsfield got off on Lord Derby in 1867.

Whittaker Chambers declared that the writings of Ayn Rand, a hero of the more libertarian right, reeked of fascism and the gas chambers.

Yeah, I hear they had to separate those two in Hell twenty years ago.

And, look, don't get me wrong: you can have the old charlatan, and welcome to her, but the fact that a couple dozen people on the right like to pretend they're actually "libertarians" doesn't make that an internecine squabble.

It's been like that ever since - neocons arguing with theocons, the old right with the new right, internationalists versus isolationists, supply siders versus fiscal conservatives.

Cro Magnon vs. T.Rex...exactly where do those battles take place, Dave? Okay, there may be a few rightists who have awakened to the aroma of theocrat, but where in the Republican party is this furious debate taking place? The House? Senate cloak room?

As for the rest, Dave, what's left of the "old right" beyond a few old typists? Where does the isolationist wing of the party meet? When did fiscal conservatives oppose supply side snake oil? Is there a hue and cry about spiraling deficits? Now, maybe, when it's well beyond voting against tax cuts, but where was it when all the Bush giveaways were enacted? Cognitive dissonance is not debate. Neither is talking out of both sides of your mouth.

[out of power "conservatives"] argued about the order of the universe, and how the social order should reflect the moral order. Different factions looked back to different philosophers - Burke, Aquinas, Hayek, Hamilton, Jefferson - to define what a just society should look like.

Wait, he's got a point beyond "several of us memorized the syllabus fro Poly Sci 263 Foundations of Modern Conservatism":

A year ago I called the head of a prominent liberal think tank to ask him who his favorite philosopher was. If I'd asked about health care, he could have given me four hours of brilliant conversation, but on this subject he stumbled and said he'd call me back. He never did.

And if it wasn't for Burke's attitude about noblesse oblige he'd 'a named him, too.

We already caught you at this, David. Now come out of the bathroom and start talking to real people.

...liberal theorists are more influenced by post-modernism, multiculturalism, relativism, value pluralism and all the other influences that dissuade one from relying heavily on dead white guys.

Like Jesus?

As a result, liberals are good at talking about rights, but not as good at talking about a universal order.

Yeah, shit, an' that was #3 on my list of New Year's resolutions, too.

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