Home/Daniel Larison/Is Daily Kos The Progressive National Review? If So, I Feel Sorry For The Progressives

Is Daily Kos The Progressive National Review? If So, I Feel Sorry For The Progressives

Like the current Democratic insurgency, the conservative movement was driven by activists who combined journalism with partisanship. Just as today’s insurgents often post their analyses and self-described “rants” on Web sites like Daily Kos, so the conservative rebels of an earlier day poured forth their opinions in the National Review, the biweekly magazine founded in 1955 by the 29-year-old William F. Buckley, Jr. ~Sam Tanenhaus, The New York Times

That’s a cute comparison, and it works to the extent that the two share the characteristics of fighting against listless, pathetic party establishments.  The only minor differences between the old National Review contributors and the Kossacks being the vast difference in the profundity, learning and wisdom of the people involved.  If Moulitsas is Buckley, does that make Atrios into James Burnham?  No, please, don’t say any more–I won’t be able to stop laughing. 

There really are stunning, significant differences between the two, chief among which is that NR conservatism was, like the “movement” in its better, early years, something of a real intellectual enterprise as opposed to a collective exercise in party political infighting with the all the depth of a small puddle.  If NR took what appear now to your average middle of the road American to be hard-line or extreme positions on things, at the very least they took up positions and gave more or less coherent reasons for them.  Does anyone know, or care to know, what the Kossacks’ views are on anything besides Iraq and the competence of George Bush?  Do they have other views?

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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