A fine rant:
Daniel McCarthy How American Conservatism Lost Its Mind: Earlier this week the New Yorker’s John Cassidy asked, “Where are the real conservative intellectuals?” The short answer is that “conservative” once signified an intellectual tendency with partisan overtones, now it signifies a partisan tendency that would prefer not to have intellectual overtones — there are no votes in that…. [N]either a party nor a moneyed interest is going to be all that keen to promote thinking. Not beyond the minimal amount of thinking necessary to make rhetoric sound clever. Call me a cynic, but isn’t this an accurate, even complete, description of the GOP, Fox, National Review, and all the rest?… [M]ovement conservatives — perhaps that ought to be “professional conservatives” — say what they’re supposed to say and what everyone expects of them. Mild exceptions are allowed: the occasional op-ed about prison reform, for example. But that’s just frosting.
Conservatism always had its backers, but it wasn’t a career and wasn’t synonymous with the GOP until after the Reagan era…. Television and radio, though, had a homogenizing effect on the right, and the tension between class (with a high tone) and ideology (rabble rousing) worked itself out, with the millionaires learning how to sound angry and enjoy it, and the grassroots getting trained to accept anger as a substitute for policy results…. [N]ow there’s a politically and economically successful, if brain dead, fusion of the classes. The rich sound like the poor, and the poor angrily demand policies that favor the rich…
This is relevant to Adam Ozimek's complaint that:
Who Am I Carrying Water For?: Nowhere in my article do I praise Republicans or their policies. Nowhere do I argue, as Brad later claimed via Twitter that: "'True conservatives' support immigration, but no real conservatives do". The single mention of conservatives (there is no mention of Republicans) is this:
The takeaway from this is that conservatives more than anyone should support more high-skilled immigrants, since this is our best chance at preventing Larry Summers’ predicted unshrinkable government from coming true.
I do not see how anyone reads this and comes to the conclusion that: 1) I’m carrying water for Republicans, or 2) I am making a statement about what conservatives in actuality do support.
I believe that what I was thinking was that Adam Ozimek was carrying water for today's Republicans by making the background assumption that there are today American conservatives who care about policy outcomes or intellectual consistency. He was thus telling his readers that modern American conservatism has pieces that are more than either a lust for office, a lust for more boodle, or a free-floating ressentiment.
Whether it is Adam's assumption that there are such pieces that make him sadly deluded, or my belief that there are no such pieces that make me sadly deluded, is something I leave to the Tribunal of History to decide...