An Elegy For Strangers

An Elegy For Strangers

by digby

I was going to write something on this LA Times op-ed, but my friend Tom Sullivan got right to the heart of it and I don't have anything to add:
In the wake of the latest Breitbart “hucksterism,” National Review veteran, David Klinghoffer, weighs in with an elegy for conservatism in the Sunday L.A. Times:

Buckley’s National Review, where I was the literary editor through the 1990s, remains as vital and interesting as ever. But more characteristic of conservative leadership are figures on TV, radio and the Internet who make their money by stirring fears and resentments. With its descent to baiting blacks, Mexicans and Muslims, its accommodation of conspiracy theories and an increasing nastiness and vulgarity, the conservative movement has undergone a shift toward demagoguery and hucksterism. Once the talk was of “neocons” versus “paleocons.” Now we observe the rule of the crazy-cons.

It is a sad, elegant read....

Klinghoffer’s “elegy” cites Richard M. Weaver’s 1948 “Ideas Have Consequences,” a diagnosis of the “disease” that had led to “our demoralized, dispirited culture.” What American conservatives had to be demoralized and dispirited about in 1948 escapes me. With the Depression a memory and Roosevelt’s New Deal established, after America defeated the Axis and emerged as a military and economic superpower, and with the Baby Boom underway and an expanding middle class, conservatives like Weaver felt dispirited. Their world was going to hell in a handbasket.

It suggests a more muted sense of victimhood of the kind expressed by evangelicals who see themselves beset on all sides, permanently at odds with the world — strangers in a strange land.
And regardless of how much power they actually have, it never goes away. At the height of the Imperial Cheney era, (and the lowest ebb of liberalism during this decade) here were the paranoid ramblings of TIME Magazine's "blogger of the year"

By "the left" I'm including almost the entire Democratic Party, you can count the exceptions on your fingers, you can name them, Zell Miller, Joe Lieberman...The whole mainstream of the party is engaged in an effort that is a betrayal of America, what they care about is not winning the war on terror...I don't think they care about the danger to us as Americans or the danger to people in other countries. They care about power.

It's in the DNA.