How Ronald Reagan Used An 'Invisible Bridge' To Win Over Americans - "Rick Perlstein's new book describes how Reagan emerged as the leader of a potent political movement during the turbulent mid-'70s. He says the soul of Reagan's appeal was how he made people feel good." [more inside]
If mainstream conservatism is a “philosophically flabby movement,” and I won’t argue that it isn’t, this is not evidence of its success but simply of its exhaustion and lack of imagination. Perhaps conservatism should thrive on loss and defeat, but I see little evidence that the conservative movement in America understands that it has already lost on many fronts. There is an illusion of success that the most recent election has kept alive, but it is a temporary one.As the campaign for the Republican nomination for president gets weirder by the minute, what does it mean to be an American conservative? Daniel Larison and Corey Robin debate the changing nature of conservatism.
Bonus: A Liberal Reads the Great Conservative Works
What unites hardliners like Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, and Rush Limbaugh -- their uncompromisingly conservative take on politics? In a provocative blog post titled Do Bush followers have a political ideology?, Glenn Greenwald persuasively argues otherwise. He believes that the conservative movement -- traditionally against big government, excessive spending, and federal intrusion into the private lives of Americans -- has been hijacked by something much more dangerous: an authoritarian cult of personality, or as Greenwald puts it, "a form of highly emotional mass theater masquerading as political debate."
The Young Hipublicans. "Still searching for their identities, many of these kids are not yet prepared to declare a particular political affiliation. This is where the conservative campus activists come in. Having recognized the importance of conservativism to their own lives, they have committed themselves to the task of bringing out the unacknowledged conservatism in other students. The mission of today's activists involves less an act of persuading their peers to accept an ideology than in awakening them to the fact that they already embody it." Welcome to Room 101.
It's thoughtful, not angry or insulting. It appears to make sense and it doesn't upset me. Is this really how they think of themselves? Required reading for the liberal opposition: A Republican's View of George Bush, Compassionate Conservative. (NYTimes, free registration required)