Good-bye to All That


The American Conservative: Good-bye to All That.

I seldom simply recommend an article on my blog. That I’m doing so should be taken as evidence that this essay by Austin Bramwell, formerly a trustee of the conservative mouthpiece National Review, totally blew my hair back. A few intellectually honest conservatives have recently begun attempts to dig themselves free of the conceptual wreckage that has been made of the conservative movement by conservative politicians. This is one of the best of that new breed of screeds that I have read in which an conservative divine declares conservatism intellectually bankrupt.

Like we didn’t already know that… but the question still remains, what now? Liberalism still has not poured a coherent intellectual foundation that antedates the New Deal and synthesizes the lessons learned since then and the vast chances in American life since the 1930s. Perhaps we don’t need any ideology beyond a salutory concern with the common welfare and hard-nosed pragmatism; but such values are harder to communicate to the electorate (such flexibility results in the laundry lists of complaints and projects the Democratic Party is notorious for, and often descends into simple interest group politics). Perhaps ideology is the scourge of American politics, not its savior.

Now that the conservatives are coming out and telling the truth about their paucity of intellectual consistency in their actual use of power, perhaps we liberals should draw inspiration from the example of these worthies and do the same. I defy anyone to frame the internally consistent premises upon which the DLC makes policy. Let’s hope that it doesn’t take a complete train-wreck such as the GOP has conducted over the past 6 years for us to wake up and realize that we too may lack the intellectual freight to keep our Democratic Majority Express on the rails.

P.S. Thanks for all the supportive and helpful comments and emails during my hiatus. It seems many of you feel that blogs like this one are the best source you have for much local and state level politics. While I’m sure to continue to comment and ask for your thoughts about national politics, I intend to refocus on local and state matters. With a greatly improved minority position in the state legislature and near complete control of Tucson government, there is a lot of interesting and, hopefully, empowering news to bring to readers. I hope some of you feel up to delivering on the promise of citizen journalism and activism as writers.


  1. We have a Democratic Majority????
    Howard Dean ran a Democrat AGAINST Joe Lieberman and he won!! Then Lieberman ran as an INDEPENDENT and BEAT HIM!! The Senate is 49 Democrats and 49 Republicans with TWO INDEPENDENTS!

    The Congress is UP FOR GRABS because of the 192 seat rule(any MINORITY who has 192 seats CAN win votes;Republicans have 205 seats!)A 19 seat Majority is nothing to crow about for the shape the Country is in!!

    Nancy polosi has tanked two of her first picks Murtha and Hastings; if this continues she is either the smartest Leader setting them up for a fall or one of the dumbest leaders letting them fall!!!!!

    Restoring the Draft is NUTS!!(Unless if really needed for a real War!!)This really went over great with the voting public!

    Killing the Border Security will destroy the Border States from healthcare to jobs to infastructure;schools;wages;etc; and anyone thinking open borders is good for us look at Tucsons South Side right now, killings every day and you ain’t seen anything yet!

    We as a Party need to get BACK TO THE BASICS AND TAKE CARE OF THE PEOPLES BUSINESS; forget about every Tom Dick and Janes personal problems;beliefs and religions!

  2. Hmmm…the guy got fired; why didn’t he leave NR in his own terms? shame!
    Never read NR, it seems to be vp’s mouthpiece (see “change of behavior”, etc)

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