The title of Rick Perlstein’s recent piece says it all “There Are No More Honest Conservatives, So Stop Looking For One”:
“Who on the right does the best job of covering politics or the economy or anything else, for that matter, in a thoughtful, fair and accurate way?”
Maybe if I had a time machine and could travel back to the 1970s or 1980s, I could name names. Now, though, I can’t think of a single one.
Now, however, Buckley is dead—very, very dead. Will, meanwhile, is ensconced exactly where he belongs, with the haters, hustlers, haters, hacks and conspiratorial lunatics at Fox News—but also, unfortunately, still at The Washington Post, enjoying a handsome living by making up things about Barack Obama and Benghazi and calling climate change a hoax.
In a way, I’m not sure this is completely fair, in that there are very few honest people of any stripe in establishment punditry…but there’s no question that conservatives are much worse.
I think Bethesda 1971 is right to go back to conservatives’ embrace of supply side economics as the moment when the movement lost all intellectual credibility:
I suppose that before Reagan, there was a place for conservatives as a moderating influence on, e.g., spending.
Here’s Irving Kristol, always held up as some kind of an honest conservative superman:
This explains my own rather cavalier attitude toward the budget deficit and other monetary or fiscal problems. The task, as I saw it, was to create a new majority, which evidently would mean a conservative majority, which came to mean, in turn, a Republican majority – so political effectiveness was the priority, not the accounting deficiencies of government…
Math is hard, let’s go tea bagging.
Also too, why do people like Doug Mataconis (whom I would classify as a mostly honest conservative, even though I seldom agree with him) keep feigning surprise when one of their fellow travelers turns out to be a whack job:
Blackwell is a social conservative of long standing, so it isn’t at all surprising that he ended up at the Family Research Council, and this (blaming the UCSB shootings on teh they) is hardly different from anything else that one hears from people associated with that organization. Nonetheless, it is somewhat surprising that a state like Ohio would elect someone like this to statewide office.