Columnist disses Rush while misreading Reagan and Lee Atwater.
One reads S.E. Cupp on Rush Limbaugh and the late Lee Atwater and has to wonder.
One reads her compatriot young conservative friends in the New York Times and has to wonder.
Do these conservatives even listen to themselves?
Are they really conservatives — or just the latest, newest incarnation of that age old 20th century invention: the GOP moderate? The newest sparkling edition of a wannabe Ruling Class? Making the rounds of the bar scene in Manhattan and New York and longing to be hip?
Or are we witnessing something else? Something simpler yet more troubling?
A lack of historical awareness of conservatism. Are we seeing young conservatives who seem not to have grasped conservatism whole? Who do not understand the seamless thread that binds conservative values as a way of life, from the Constitution to gay marriage and abortion to free market economics and dealing with Al Qaeda?
Young conservatives who have a lack of perspective of both conservatism’s intellectual foundation and in this case the ferocious politics that swirl constantly around its most prominent champions? With apologies to the late Allan Bloom and his 1987 bestseller (The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students), are we witnessing a freezing of the conservative mind? (Note: Ex-Bush aide Pete Wehner has conjured the freezing metaphor in a slightly different way over at Commentary.)
First, let’s deal with the Rush business.
In which we went through chapter and verse to document in detail how incredibly old and dated were the criticisms made by the gaggle of young techie and media conservatives once they strayed from tech — a subject, I might add, on which they are both incredibly well versed and understandably frustrated. We specifically cited, at length, the eerily identical nature of their criticisms to a book by liberal journalist Robert J. Donovan some 49 years ago, ominously titled “The Future of the Republican Party.” Written in the immediate aftermath of the Goldwater defeat in 1964, Donovan’s conclusion after detailed conversations with voters, pollsters, and both Republican and Democrat party elites around the country was that unless the GOP gave up conservatism and became a me-too moderate party with socially liberal candidates like then-New York Congressman and soon-to-be Mayor John Lindsay, the GOP was doomed.
The Times article was nothing more than an updating of the same-old, same-old complaint from 1964. Which in fact was nothing more than a book-length version of the twice-losing GOP moderate presidential nominee Thomas E. Dewey’s Princeton lectures warning that conservatism was a dead-end for the GOP — lectures delivered in 1950, a full fourteen years before Donovan’s book.
It appears in reading the Times article that Cupp and her friends were literally clueless about all of this.
But there is more to that Times article — and an update caused by columnist (and MSNBC co-host of The Cycle) Cupp’s swipe in the Times piece at Rush Limbaugh. The Cupp quote as written by the Times was this:
“And we can’t be afraid to call out Rush Limbaugh…. If we can get three Republicans on three different networks saying, ‘What Rush Limbaugh said is crazy and stupid and dangerous,’ maybe that’ll give other Republicans cover” to denounce the talk-show host as well.”
So let’s get back into the Times article and pick up where we left off on Tuesday.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?