May 19, 2009
Right Thinkers

From Paul Krugman’s blog:

So I see Richard Posner has decided that modern conservatism is intellectually bankrupt. And Bruce Bartlett has a new book saying it’s time to let go of Reagan.

At one level it’s good to see decent people showing some intellectual flexibility (Bartlett, in particular, has always come across as someone with whom one can have honest disagreements.) And yet — why, exactly, should we listen to people who by their own admission completely missed the story? I mean, anyone who actually listened to what Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey were saying in 1994, let alone what passed for thought in the Bush administration, should have realized long ago that if there ever was an intellectual basis for modern conservatism, it was long gone.

And the truth is that the Reaganauts were a pretty grotesque bunch too. Look for the golden age of conservative intellectualism in America, and you keep going back, and back, and back — and eventually you run up against William Buckley in the 1950s declaring that blacks weren’t advanced enough to vote, and that Franco was the savior of Spanish civilization.


buckley1.jpg

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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at May 19, 2009 04:20 PM
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One risks anaphylactic shock by reading Posner.

His bloviations have benefited from the Buckley Effect. For their own, generally reprehensible, reasons political opponents grant these vicious pseudo-intellectual wingnuts a measure of respectability. That's how liberals wind up with dipshits like George "cruise missiles of love" Packer carrying the banner for liberalism. The pundits all have the same basic set of premises, with a little agitating, fatuously adversarial middle brow brand management tossed on to give the otherwise unemployable a paycheck.

Great picture of Buckley. I thought for a minute that I'd visited on snake blogging day.

Posted by: Jim on May 20, 2009 7:17 AM

Years ago Doonesbury had a character who was George Will's "quote boy." I always wondered whether Buckley had a polysyllabic "word boy." Amazing how many people equate a large vocabulary with high intelligence. It would make just as much sense to assume that good spellers must be good writers.

Posted by: PSymbol on May 20, 2009 9:10 AM
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