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Joe Sobran, the longtime conservative columnist and former National Review senior editor, has died at age 64 after a long physical decline. Sobran was an immensely gifted and deeply tragic figure, filled with great talents and tormented by ugly demons. Sobran will always be remembered for his break with NR and the mainstream conservative movement, “In Search of Anti-Semitism,” and the neocon versus paleocon split.
Sobran wrote some truly indefensible things and would come to traffic in some very nasty stuff. But before succumbing to those demons, he was one of the finest writers in conservative circles and did some important work. He had a great eye for what was absurd in American life and was a savvy conservative critic of popular culture — this Sobran essay on Madonna is a personal favorite of mine. At his best, he was a defender of the constitutional conservatism that once fell out of fashion but is today embodied by the Tea Party movement.
UPDATE: Dan Flynn posted some of his Sobran memories.
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?