Between the Lines

To Teach or To Sneer

Authentic conservatives and their libertarian allies have long been a small minority in a larger movement that, for the most part, rejected their radical critique of the managerial state.  The “paleos” were singled out for attack by the neoconservatives, that exotic sect of ex-leftists prophetically described by Russell Kirk as “this little Sacred Band—which had made itself exclusive, and now finds itself excluded.”

Today, the neoconservative stranglehold on the American right has been broken.  As the role of George W. Bush, their dauphin and dupe, in bringing us to our present predicament has been revealed, right-wing activists involved in the grassroots Tea Party movement have learned their lesson from those years of betrayal and “big-government conservatism.”  Speaking to CNN at the Utah GOP convention, where incumbent four-term Republican senator Bob Bennett was rejected as the party nominee, Tea Party leader David Kirkham averred,

I don’t think it’s a matter of “conservative.”  I think it’s a matter of fiscal or financial responsibility, what the Tea Party people are about and the vote for TARP and the vote for the bailout was, in our opinion, pretty fiscally irresponsible and that’s what’s raised the ire of most people. . . . That one vote affected a lot of things, changed the rules of the game.  President...

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