The New York Times has an article about “new-generation conservative” intellectuals, apparently anointing David Frum an elder statesman of the new wave:
Mr. Frum’s transformation has caused him to rethink the role of government. Not only does he now promote an idea that has long been conservative heresy — that tax rates have gone as low as they can — he also calls for new taxes on consumption and energy. . . .
Mr. Frum also departs from the smaller-government-is-always-better-government dogma and concedes that there are some areas where government has to step in – for instance, prison reform. . .
Many of Mr. Frum’s allies in this debate come from a group of younger conservatives who were born more than 15 years after he was and came of age after Reagan. . . .
Another new-generation conservative, Ross Douthat, argues that “Reagan was right for his time, but now it’s a different time.” Mr. Douthat, 28, and Reihan Salam are the authors of a new book, “The Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream.” Mr. Douthat says that social conservatives have gotten stuck and need to move beyond their focus on gay marriage and abortion — a focus, he said, that does nothing to help a single African-American mother trying to raise a family.
Uh, wait a minute: Prison reform? David Frum’s big departure from rigid right-wing dogma is prison reform? Excuse my scoffing, but this all strikes me as National Greatness II, a second dose of the same medicine that’s already put the patient into intensive care.
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