Friday, March 11, 2011


From James Joyner a conservative writer, beginning with a quote from another political writer, Kevin Drum:

I still read some conservative blogs, but I read a lot fewer than I used to. The problem is sort of a Catch-22: reading the loony tunes blogs isn’t worthwhile except for entertainment value, so I mostly don’t bother. Conversely, the more moderate types have interesting things to say, but they’re so out of touch with mainstream conservatism that they often don’t seem worthwhile engaging with either. I mean, what’s the point in arguing over some technocratic point that’s a million light years away from the views of actual, existing conservatism, which doesn’t yet admit that cutting taxes reduces revenues or spewing carbon into the air heats the globe? It all has a very ivory tower feel to it.

This is a recurring theme and, while I certainly read plenty of conservative pundits–and, indeed, still consider myself one–like Kevin, I read fewer than I used to. I prefer rational, facts-based analysis and find more of it across the aisle than on my own side.

Partly, it’s a function of the fact that academics and policy wonks with strong academic backgrounds are more likely to produce the kind of writing I find interesting and those groups tilt to the leeward side. But I’m not the only conservative who has noticed that even mainstream journals on the right have gone crazy. And the David Frums, Bruce Bartletts, and Daniel Larisons have largely been written off as RINOs angling for invites to liberal cocktail parties.

Are the rational conservatives simply being outshouted? Out-promoted? Or are there just too few to matter anymore?

I mention this only because it's exactly what I've been saying here, pleading. It seems self-evident that a movement so disconnected from reality can't forever prevail. And yet whereas it's nice to know there are still thoughtful conservatives out there, I see no evidence of decline of teabaggerism any time soon.

If the comments I get on this blog are any sort of nanocosm of right-wing thought, we've got a hell of a long trek back to rationality. Almost exclusively, my negative commenters are unable to provide any meaningful arguments to support their disagreements; in fact, I detect a sort of smug self-satisfaction that suggests they actually think they are being cogent.

And that's the most depressing fact of all.


  1. I guess it depends on your definition of conservative. I'm not exactly clear what labels like this mean when those claiming to be conservative have spent decades being anything but. I would suggest that if you are looking for a rational conservative, you look at the current President. I think he would be best defined as a moderate conservative if we have to use labels.


  2. I don't disagree, and have said as much here before. Which makes the railings of the RWS™ who, as you say, are anything but true conservatives, all the more laughable (if that's the word for something so damaging.)


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