The Corner

Joe Klein vs. Pete Wehner

Wehner has been criticizing Klein’s notion that liberalism is inherently more patriotic than conservatism because it has greater confidence in the ability of government to change American society for the better. Klein has been responding, in part by saying that Wehner is not worth paying attention to. Here’s Wehner’s latest; you can follow the links backward if you want to read the whole debate. I think Wehner has the better of the argument. To the extent Klein is getting at something real, that something has little to do with patriotism. It would be an odd concept of patriotism that holds that the more you want to change a country, the more you must love it.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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