The Corner

A Leading Light of the Pro-Republican Commentariat Speaks

Matt Welch finds occasion to unearth something I wrote six years ago; he took me, and apparently still takes me, to be calling small-government conservatives “dumb.” Welch seems innocent of two distinctions. There’s a difference between, on the one hand, rejoicing in the death of small-government conservatism and, on the other, urging small-government conservatives to assess political reality more accurately and devise strategies accordingly. There’s also a difference between saying that some small-government conservatives sometimes make dumb arguments and saying that all small-government conservatives are dumb. But apparently some people can’t tell the difference. There’s an adjective for that — let me think for a second. . .

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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