Please note: Rod did not write a political tract. That is one reason why the political right does not know what to make of this book, which is about faith and culture over politics. ~Terry Mattingly, GetReligion

Here Mr. Mattingly is referring to a remark in the Post‘s Style article on Rod Dreher and Crunchy Cons. The article was basically fair but, as Mr. Mattingly notes, it was preoccupied with a fairly limited appreciation of the reasons behind the food and housing aspects of crunchiness.

Mattingly’s correction of the Post artice is right, provided that we are thinking of politics in a narrow, conventional sense of policy issues and winning elections. What Rod has to say is not entirely disconnected from that sort of political questions, but it is in many respects broadening a criticism found in Bruce Bartlett’s recent column: “Both Hart and Carey are disappointed by the younger generation of conservatives who run National Review and other conservative journals for subordinating conservatism to transitory politics.” Rod might say, and I will say, that quite a lot of conservatives throughout the “movement” have been subordinating the Permanent Things to transitory politics and transitory pursuits in general. Which is nothing that John Lukacs, for example, didn’t already say over 20 years ago.

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