I was struck by the first three sentences of David Brooks’ most recent New York Times column:
Modern conservatism began as a movement of dissident intellectuals. Richard Weaver wrote a book called, “Ideas Have Consequences.” Russell Kirk placed Edmund Burke in an American context.
Brooks then descends into a didactic history presuming to show that the problem with the modern Republican Party is that it doesn’t get enough votes in Georgetown, Hyde Park and Berkeley. The GOP, says Brooks, “has lost the educated class by sins of commission — by telling members of that class to go away.” That notion might deserve more examination, but let’s look at the two conservative thinkers Brooks name-checked in the opening of that column:
They were very different men, but they had something in common: Neither was a native of any metropolis and both got their undergraduate education at state universities. By contrast, David Brooks grew up in Greenwich Village and is a graduate of the University of Chicago (annual tuition: $35,000).
Beyond these biographical data, it is impossible to place Brooks within the intellectual stream that Weaver and Kirk represent. Weaver’s 1943 Ph.D. thesis is available as 1951 biography.
Both men were profound admirers of Southern agrarianism, and neither was an admirer of Brooks’ heroes, Alexander Hamilton and Teddy Roosevelt. Brooks, then, has accomplished the neat trick of denouncing Republicans for abandoning a conservative intellectual tradition to which Brooks himself has never belonged, dragooning Kirk and Weaver from the grave as posthumous allies of the apostle of “national greatness.”
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.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online