“Hood-draped Racists Turgid With Anticipation”

Perhaps I have been too hard on teabaggers.  

Perhaps my distaste for bone-headed, right-wing populist protests has clouded my vision and affected my objectivity.

Maybe the events in Nashville this weekend do represent a revival of Republicanism, injecting that party with a booster shot of bona-fide conservatism, provided by the likes of Tom Tancredo, who opened the National Tea Party Convention with remarks that, no doubt, made hood-draped racists turgid with anticipation. 

Maybe the Tea Party movement does portend a “counter-revolution” to come, sweeping away “big government,” including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other malevolent bastards of liberalism, replacing such things with free-market Darwinism.

Maybe I don’t know a darn thing about conservatism, despite spending most of my adult life claiming I was one. It’s possible that I don’t know the difference between genuine conservative thought, which I have contended has all but disappeared, and the current wave of reactionary populism being promoted by no-nothing right-wing broadcasters, who sell such nonsense as genuine “conservatism.”

That could all be true.

But having read, among other things, George Will’s Statecraft as Soulcraft a long time ago, I thought I had a handle on all this stuff.  In that book, he wrote:

Conservatives rightly defend the market as a marvelous mechanism for allocating resources. But when conservatives begin regarding the market less as an expedient than as an ultimate arbiter of all values, their conservatism degenerates to the least conservative impulse, which is populism. 

Maybe George Will doesn’t understand conservatism either.

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