The Timorous Intellectuals

How the West Was Lost

David Brock, scourge of Anita Hill and Bill Clinton, the young man who gave new meaning and currency to the phrase “Arkansas state trooper,” has made a second career of repenting of his years in the conservative movement.  He has now retold the story of his disaffection from the movement in Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative (Crown Publishing Group).  Liberals are glad to publicize his account, but it would be stretching a point to say that they admire him.  He has not undergone a genuine conversion, since he had no discernible principles to begin with; he is essentially just a gossip who has switched sides.  He naturally describes his change of sides as a change of heart, a seizure of conscience.

Brock has even apologized to Clinton for delving into his private life, though it is hard to see why he should.  After all, he revealed what nobody doubts: that as governor of Arkansas, Clinton used those troopers to procure girls and stand sentry over his amours, a clear abuse of office that foreshadowed events that occurred after Brock’s famous article appeared in the American Spectator.  It was, in fact, the scoop of the decade.  Brock’s remorse seems more opportunistic than the supposed offense.

Still, Brock’s early successes in sexual muckraking illustrate something important about the conservative movement: its descent...

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