Thursday, May 28, 2009

"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Populist and dissident conservatives have raised objections for years, indeed decades, that the party has never governed as they would wish it to, but over time the label conservative, emptied of meaning as it has become, has increasingly become a more common label for reliable Republican voters to apply to themselves.
-Daniel Larison
Daniel Larison has a post up from a few days ago in which he explains at great length that the conservative movement that's taken over the Republican party is not actually conservative, at least not in the way that he means it when he says that he's conservative.

Pardon me while I indulge myself with a Nelson Muntz-type moment.


While I do feel bad for those five or ten genuine old-school conservatives left out there who want to know what happened to their political representation, along with the genuine, if largely mistaken, principles for which it, and they, stood, I would like to take this moment to remind them that they are at least in part responsible for the dissolution of their brand. While they had some good points, they lost the big argument in the universe of discourse (the one they were having with liberalism), and had to resort to pandering to the cornucopian vein of American crazy in order to win elections. That the nutjobs staged a coup and took the steering wheel was, if not inevitable, then at least a very real possibility that was more than obvious at the time.

And so now Larison, last scion of the house Burke and Oakeshott et al, finds himself standing outside looking in, echoing the form, and indeed the content, of those on the inside who're busy purging their house of people like him, all of them saying, in unison, that they are the true conservatives, and that once they are shut of the unbelievers, all good things will come.

Sorry, man. You guys made your deal with the devil. Now the ride's over, and the bill's come due. Good luck out there in the wilderness. I hope your principles are still magnetized enough to provide you with a compass.

No comments: