The Corner

The Never-Ending Story

I’ve got to get work on my syndicated column, but I’ll be saving this piece for my thick liberal wishful-thinking file. Mark Schmitt, who was supposed to write a regular column about the intellectual roots of liberalism (prompted by some Corner comments by yours truly) but never managed to follow-through, has written a nearly giddy obituary of conservatism based upon four sets of tea-leaves: Robert George’s cover story in the New Republic; Marshall Wittman’s latest volte-face for the DLC; Benjamin Wallace-Wells’ Schmittian obit; and — get this — the blog-quarrels between Andrew Sullivan and Dan Drezner.

Is it me or is this is a bit like tracking the internal Communist party struggles in Bulgaria in 1959 and concluding that they spell the doom of the Soviets in Moscow?

I think Schmitt makes some perfectly fine points (and some real howlers) and I respect all of these guys (though I don’t know anything about Wallace-Wells save that the article in question was underwhelming). But the title of the article — American Conservatism, RIP — reminds me of Lionel Hutz’s declaration “Mr. Simpson, this is the most blatant case of fraudulent advertising since my suit against the film “The Neverending Story.” Though since liberals like Schmitt have been writing this sort of piece for forty years, it really is a neverending story.

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