Unraveling the Remnant

"Whatever the road to power, that is
the road which will be trod."

—Edmund Burke

For years, or at least for that stretch of time between the heady days of Theodore Roosevelt and the hapless days of Jimmy Carter, something called the Eastern establishment benevolently ruled over America. For years, or at least between the demon days of Franklin Roosevelt and the dog days of Jimmy Carter, this behemoth pulled the country's strings, but never its own punches. If Americans wanted only to be left alone, the liberal establishment was there to plot them into unnecessary wars. If Americans wished to explain away any and all grievances, that same establishment was there to be conveniently whipped.

It was only a matter of time before there was something called a conservative counterestablishment. Enter Sidney Blumenthal. A card-carrying member of an embattled, almost endangered species, Blumenthal set out a few years ago to push what's left of the liberal establishment further leftward. In the face of the Reagan revolution he has tried to counter the counterestablishment from the pages of three publications. Starting out with the socialist In These Times, he moved upward to The (Cautiously Liberal) New Republic before finally establishing himself at the Washington Post.

For years, Blumenthal notes, conservatives...

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