Who are Christopher Buckley, Christopher Hitchens and Gregory Djerejian?

For $1000, I’ll take “people who are (or would be) no longer welcome in the tea party hell of modern conservatism”.

Also: James Joyner, Charles Johnson and John Cole.

cf.

[F]ew contemporary conservative writers are any fun to read. What accounts for the decay of a literary tradition that includes, in addition to Buckley, Kirk, Chambers, Eliot, Wolfe, and many others?

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46 replies
  1. 1
    thunderlizard says:

    Hitch was never acceptable to conservatives, except as an occasional issues-speaker on certain neocon foreign policy topics. Man was an unrepetant Trotsykist!

  2. 2
    liberal says:

    Hitchens isn’t a conservative. He just a quirky leftist who decided to support the criminal invasion of Iraq, and for that I hope he’s burning brightly in hell, even if neither he nor I believe in it.

  3. 3
    Misterpuff says:

    Atlas Strugged, Shut Up!

  4. 4

    Writin’ is ELITIST.

  5. 5
    c u n d gulag says:

    Mebbe kus dey iz stoopid ‘n ain’t gut nuffin gnu 2 sey know moor?

  6. 6
    eric says:

    @liberal: very few people could turn a phrase like Hitch and it was sad to see him side with Imperialism, but i guess you can take the man out of Britannia, but you cant take the Britannia out of the man. His brother is the conservative, though not in the term has come to mean here in the colonies.

  7. 7
    General Stuck says:

    The march of history in a working democracy is leaving the republican party and many of its deeply held beliefs behind. It is among other stuff, an organized group with a primary charge of preserving tradition and status quo, and has always had the dickens negotiating the fine line between that and reactionary dogma. The infusion of the old dixiecrats and their age old nihilistic resentments, isn’t exactly greasing the skids for smart changes in the party line. Who knows what kind of monster it morphs into, as it mostly feeds on its own brains?

  8. 8
    Hawes says:

    Who are people who have never been in my kitchen?

  9. 9
    jl says:

    Don’t worry, Fox has found a fake Thomas Jefferson to debt scold (which is OK I guess, Jefferson was a debt scold).

    Fox’s Bizarrest Segment Ever
    Josh Marchall, TPM
    So fake Thomas Jefferson showed up on Fox & Friends this morning to talk about budget cutting. Watch.
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/a.....t_ever.php

    Now, if they can find a good fake St. Jerome, they’ll be set.

    Edit: Sorry, can’t help wonkateering here. There is an interesting bit of correspondence between Jefferson and Madison about how to judge the equity of long term public investment and spending programs. They concluded that these would be OK if inter generational equity was preserved. So, at least on his good days, when some he didn’t need to ride some hobby horse, the real Jefferson and Madison would be pow-wowing to decide whether Dean Baker or Joe Scar had the right analysis of the intergenerational equity of social security. I won’t go where Tom Paine went, since he is a commie even by today’s standards.

    So, that is also a plug for reading Dean Bakers CEPR Beat the Press blog today.

  10. 10
    eric says:

    @Hawes: bravo

  11. 11
    the Conster says:

    30 years of FAIL has not been lost on anyone with two brain cells left to rub together. Economic conservatism was pronounced DOA the day Hank Paulson darkened Bush’s door with his request for a billion dollars to bail out the MotUs, and all that remained of conservatism were the nerve endings that twitched for Palin. The Village courtier class pretends otherwise because they’re paid to provide entertainment controversy for the 24/7 cable stations.

  12. 12
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Is that guy talking about Old Buckley, our Buckley Jr? I think the younger one is good in small doses, but overall has a smarmy, self-congratulatory quality. And as much as I despised the old man, and got a little bit of schadenfreude from the excerpts I read, I got a little squeamish about the book he wrote on his parents. Dude has some mommy issues, and even if she was the vicious, drunken, racist harridan he describes, he should’ve kept it between himself and his shrink.

    And Wolfe is Thomas Wolfe? I think even George Will made fun of his book about the naive young Xian girl who arrives at Snootyivee University and is traumatized by the existence of sex, when she is supposed to have read the entire canon of Western literature the summer she turned sixteen.

  13. 13
    srv says:

    Tim, I think rather than ponder these unfathomable questions, perhaps a FP’er of stature should begin the search for the next philosoflavor of the month. The burgeoning new Left-Libertarian Movement needs direction, why wait until Sully rediscovers one – think of the link bait!

    For example, an unremembered hero of the left and libertarians: Thomas Hodgskin

  14. 14
    liberal says:

    @jl:

    I won’t go where Tom Paine went, since he is a commie even by today’s standards.

    I don’t think that’s true. I haven’t read him much, but my impression is that Paine was basically a Georgist or close to that.

    Ie, he actually understood justice and political economy. Unlike most commenters from any point of the political spectrum.

  15. 15
    General Stuck says:

    Tim, I think rather than ponder these unfathomable questions, perhaps a FP’er of stature should begin the search for the next philosoflavor of the month.

    I think Anne Laurie is taking a nap. Maybe later.

  16. 16
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Tom Wolfe =/= Thomas Wolfe.

  17. 17
    pamelabrown53 says:

    While I’m mainly a lurker, I’d like to make an observation: whenever there’s an interesting post to discuss, you frontpagers often step on each other. While there are hours of non content posting in the interim.

    Maybe it’s just me and I haven’t adapted to the rhythm of the blog. (OMG-I’m hearing a Gloria Esteban earworm).

  18. 18
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @pamelabrown53: They step on each other all the time. It’s discussed often.

    Scheduling posts seems to be a technological bridge too far.

  19. 19
    liberal says:

    @the Conster:

    Economic conservatism was pronounced DOA the day Hank Paulson darkened Bush’s door with his request for a billion dollars to bail out the MotUs, and all that remained of conservatism were the nerve endings that twitched for Palin.

    Depends how you define “economic conservatives”. A large fraction of the Clinton admin supported those ideas, including Larry Summers, who actually worked for the 11-dimensional chess guy for awhile.

  20. 20
    scav says:

    It is a truth universally acknowledged that one may only comment on the most recent of front pages.

    Oddly enough, there’s often a sweet spot where the front page has rolled on dragging along the realtime attention trolls and before the bottom-feeding “last word wins” trolls scuttle in where serious comment between interested parties can catch hold.

  21. 21
    srv says:

    @pamelabrown53: There’s a soap opera treatment if you scratch a little deeper.

  22. 22
    liberal says:

    @liberal:
    For example, here’s a quote from Agrarian Justice

    “[I]t is the value of the improvement, only, and not the earth itself, that is individual property. Every proprietor, therefore, of cultivated lands, owes the community a ground-rent (for I know of no better term to express the idea) for the land which he holds; and it is from this ground-rent that the fund proposed in this plan is to issue. …The plan I have to propose…is, To create a national fund, out of which there shall be paid to every person, when arrived at the age of twenty-one years…a compensation in part, for the loss of his or her natural inheritance, by the introduction of landed property….

    “Man did not make the earth, and though he had a natural right to occupy it, he had no right to locate as his property in perpetuity any part of it; neither did the Creator of the earth open a land-office, from whence the first title-deeds should issue.” (Agrarian Justice, 1797).

    Very similar to George, though writing more or less before Ricardo Paine couldn’t have gotten everything right.

  23. 23
    liberal says:

    @scav:
    I don’t think USENET had this annoying property of discussion timeouts.

  24. 24
    jl says:

    @Gin & Tonic: They both wrote thick books, though. So, kind of the same.

  25. 25
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @srv: The “soap opera treatment” sounds both ambiguous and interesting? Sorry, I’m not enough of a regular to understand “cryptology”. Can you help? Thanks.

  26. 26
    jl says:

    @liberal: I forgot the snark tag on Paine. The point was that he was in favor of early versions of public old age pensions, disability insurance and other public social insurance programs. As far as how those should be funded, there is where his George style thinking came in.

    The real (as opposed to fake) Jefferson took what Paine wrote seriously, and IIRC, it was Paine’s proposals that sparked the real (as opposed to cartoon Fox fake) Jefferson to discuss those ideas with Madison.

    Edit: edited for grammar and correct usage of all internet traditions acronyms.

  27. 27
    General Stuck says:

    @pamelabrown53:

    You don’t have to be a regular to not understand what srv is talking about. Just run it through the idiot cipher and maybe it will make sense.

  28. 28
    jl says:

    @pamelabrown53: This is a syncopated blog. It has a good beat, and you can dance to it, but it takes practice. At least that is my optimistic hopeful interpretation.

  29. 29

    [F]ew contemporary conservative writers are any fun to read. What accounts for the decay of a literary tradition that includes, in addition to Buckley, Kirk, Chambers, Eliot, Wolfe, and many others?

    Well, law of demand.

    You can sit down and write a long screed filled with research and facts that you use to try and build the best case you can for conservatism, and promptly watch your book collect dust on the Barnes and Noble shelf.

    Or you can sit down and type, “BENGHAZI, LIBRULs ARE REAL FASCIST!, TEH GHEY IZ COMING FOR YOUR CHILDREN!” and get featured on Hannity and have churches include a copy of your book with every bulletin and make lots of money.

    I like money.

  30. 30
    Joel says:

    Fuck that antisemite T.S. Eliot.

  31. 31
    gogol's wife says:

    @scav:

    Ha, ha, great description of “the rhythm of the blog.”

  32. 32
    Joel says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Tom Wolfe was pretty good through the “Right Stuff” became kind of a yelling-at-clouds oldster during the Bonfire of the Vanities and has been abysmally horrible ever since. Of course, white aggrievance has always permeated through his writing, never missing the opportunity to wander off topic and disparage black people.

  33. 33
    scav says:

    @gogol’s wife: I think @jl: deserves your praise so transfer it immediately to intended recipient.

  34. 34
    gogol's wife says:

    @scav:

    No, I meant your comment about the sweet spot.

  35. 35
    scav says:

    @gogol’s wife: ! shock! Well thank you!

  36. 36
    eemom says:

    @scav:

    Oddly enough, there’s often a sweet spot where the front page has rolled on dragging along the realtime attention trolls and before the bottom-feeding “last word wins” trolls scuttle in where serious comment between interested parties can catch hold.

    Agree with Mrs. Gogol, this is well said, and true.

    I confess to being actually disappointed sometimes when a good discussion fizzles out because new posts pile up on top of it.

    Conversely, when they all go galt at once, it is invariably some dumbass technotrivia or such that sits up top for 16 hours.

  37. 37
    Sly says:

    David Limbaugh, Rush Limbaugh’s even dumber brother, had an unintentionally hilarious column a few years ago lamenting the fact that Christopher Hitchens’s hostility toward Evangelicals prohibited any kind of “ideological conversion” from liberalism (though Hitchens was never a liberal, and repeatedly took umbrage at being called one) despite his hostility towards Islam that the right loved.

    And this was before Hitchens noted that the Tea Party proved that “All politics was yokel.”

    There was always some social distance between the know-nothing reactionaries and their fellow travelers; the latter would occasionally speak to the issues and concerns of the former, but always take pains to put themselves in a position to disclaim them when it jeopardized some other political project. That distance is practically gone now, to such an extent that people who held themselves to the most basic standard of literacy (and don’t need to run in Republican primaries) no longer feel the sense of political community that such a coalition needs.

  38. 38
    Loviatar says:

    Who are Christopher Buckley, Christopher Hitchens and Gregory Djerejian?
    .
    For $1000, I’ll take “people who are (or would be) no longer welcome in the tea party hell of modern conservatism”.
    .
    Also: James Joyner, Charles Johnson and John Cole.

    .
    They may not be welcome in today’s Conservative movement, yet they all still are Republicans in their ideals. We call them authoritarian Democrats today.

  39. 39
    Pooh says:

    Larison too also

  40. 40
    Svensker says:

    @pamelabrown53:

    I haven’t adapted to the rhythm of the blog. (OMG-I’m hearing a Gloria Esteban earworm).

    Kurtis Blow.

  41. 41
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @pamelabrown53:

    Maybe it’s just me and I haven’t adapted to the rhythm of the blog. (OMG-I’m hearing a Gloria Esteban earworm).

    Don’t you mean De Barge?

  42. 42
    Elizabelle says:

    @Sly:

    All politics is yokel.

    Kinky Friedman used that title for an April 2001 article in Texas Monthly.

    Whoever came up with it first, it’s clever.

    Enjoyed the HItchens clip. Good to see him looking healthy, sounding plummy, and making sense. On that topic.

  43. 43
    danielx says:

    What accounts for the decay of a literary tradition that includes, in addition to Buckley, Kirk, Chambers, Eliot, Wolfe, and many others?

    Ummm…the absence of writers with the ability to breathe through their nostrils and speak without foaming at the mouth?

  44. 44
    Evolving Deep Southerner says:

    @Pooh: I love Daniel Larison, and I’m glad to see his place getting a lot more traffic than it used to. (His commentariat is a pretty good bunch, too.) I’ve seen some here dog him out because of some kind of Confederate-apologist something in his past (I’ll Google it in a bit, but I just got home from work) but as much as I ridicule Confederate apologists, I’ve never seen anything like that in his writings on foreign policy. (Which is just about all he writes about except for some Orthodox church shit around Easter-time and other holidays that are apparently important to that sect.)

    As far as I know, he’s about the only sane conservative working in the blogosphere today.

  45. 45
    Bruce Baugh says:

    I could imagine myself feeling any compassion for adrift conservative intellectuals if they hadn’t devoted their lives to making it possible for Tea Party billionaires and their rubes to triumph in the face of any remaining opposition from facts, logic, or basic human decency. They’re Moses facing the Promised Land, as played by Ernst Blofeld.

  46. 46
    David Koch says:

    So they cancelled the Hitchens hologram?

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