October 24, 2008

THE ELITE VS THE DEVOUT (via Kevin Whited):

Civil War on the Right (E. J. Dionne Jr., October 24, 2008, Washington Post)

For years, many of the elite conservatives were happy to harvest the votes of devout Christians and gun owners by waging a phony class war against "liberal elitists" and "leftist intellectuals." Suddenly, the conservative writers are discovering that the very anti-intellectualism their side courted and encouraged has begun to consume their movement.

The cause of Edmund Burke, Leo Strauss, Robert Nisbet and William F. Buckley Jr. is now in the hands of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity -- and Sarah Palin. Reason has been overwhelmed by propaganda, ideas by slogans, learned manifestoes by direct-mail hit pieces.

And then there is George W. Bush.


One doesn't look to Mr. Dionne for insight about much of anything, least of all conservatism, but you'd think even he'd recognize that what he's describing here are Rationalist intellectuals who don't believe in conservative principles, but were willing to latch on to the religious party when it served their purposes (pretty much the essential teaching of Leo Strauss). That's why they consistently back the most secular candidate in the Republican primaries--who always loses--and why they're always uncomfortable with the eventual nominee, who is routinely a social conservative.

In this election they just happen to be more at odds with the vice presidential pick--who is more devout--than the presidential and they're dong their best to make sure she doesn't get the nod in 2012.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at October 24, 2008 1:05 PM
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