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Good Luck With That

For some reason, Richard has penned a glowing defense of the antics of Mark Levin and Robert Stacy McCain. Richard mentions near the end:

Republicans have a tendency to sound like Ron Paul when they’re out of office, and then act like LBJ once they get elected.

The two people he defends in that post epitomize the kind of conservative that makes this possible: tribalistic in partisan loyalties, provocative without being interesting, utterly lacking in imagination and completely conventional in their political enthusiasms for pseudo-populist Republican politicians. Furthermore, to the extent that their pugnacity trumps any actual policy arguments or ideas and they embrace political organization centered on politicians that are “one of us” (e.g., Palin), pro-life welfarism, which Richard finds so intolerable, is exactly what their sort of conservatism will get you. They have little or nothing of their own to offer policymakers when it comes time to govern. They will be able to sneer at the meliorists who end up advising on policy, but they will not be able to do much else. Even when they see a foreign war to be a mistake, they will not have the conviction to oppose it openly once the war begins because of ridiculous nationalistic attachments to “strength” and projecting power. Conservatives have been caricatured as substituting macho posturing for political thought, while McCain takes pride in doing that practically every day of the week.

Richard concludes:

Whatever our disagreements, I’d take “Levin and puerile Jacksonians like Stacy” over the Crunchies any day of the week.

He is welcome to them, but he might consider that in preferring them Richard is not going to be pushing the current GOP to its doom. On the contrary, by choosing the cheerleaders and enablers of that party, he is helping to sustain the very things that he and his alt-right colleagues claim to despise.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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