Crunchy Cons: Just Say No

Many people are talking about Rod Dreher and his book about Crunchy Cons. Dreher drives me nuts, so I will never read the book, but I forced myself to plow through a long interview he did with Angelo Matera at Godspy. Argh!
  • Like many Christians, Dreher does not understand politics. He looks for politics to do what it can't do, and gets disgusted with it when it doesn't carry his freight for him. I prescribe Deus Caritas Est for that ill.
  • Moreover he doesn't understand the American political system. Any Conservative who says America is a product of the Enlightenment a) doesn't get it and b) has unwittingly sold out to the Dark Side. Before he gives another interview, he needs to re-read the Federalist papers and better acquaint himself with the ideas of the Founders. This isn't France, and it doesn't help to act as if it is.
  • Frankly I find his denunciation of the Republican party tedious. Exists there a Conservative anywhere in the country who doesn't say he's more a Conservative than a Republican? How old is the joke about the evil party v. the stupid party? A party is by definition a coalition --it's going to be a big tent with all kinds of attitudes joined by a few broad themes. It's not an instrument of our salvation, but a means by which people who share certain attitudes broadly speaking can accomplish policy goals. I fail to see why it's news that the Republican Party is not the Catholic Church. And if you want it to think more like the Catholic Church you have to duke it out in the political arena like everyone else. See Deus Caritas Est.
  • Not to mention, it's pretty easy to denounce the wealth and materialism of the Republican party when your role as an editor has you lunching with those guys. By which I don't mean that Dreher is a hypocrite, just that I don't think he has a clue what the Party is like. Has he ever worked on a state campaign or worked a party poll? He'll find all across the heartland the most typical "Republican" in the trenches is a woman who thinks like Phyllis Schlafly. There are "country club Republicans" of the kind he finds distasteful, but they're not the bulk of the party, they're like 25% of it. Important, but not the whole story. The major streams of the party are Hawks, Social Conservatives & Libertarians/Fiscal Conservatives, and these groups often overlap.