A reader from Stockholm writes:
I’ve been following the Corner feud with John Podhoretz with interest. It hits on something I’ve sensed, occasionally, as being the Achilles heel of a few of NR(O)’s writers. I hesitate to say this since I am a long-time subscriber, and a hundred-hits-daily major fan of the site and a true NR believer – but ever so often there’s a tendency toward what I’d call “ivory tower conservatism” there. Meaning, a kind of “as intellectuals, we know better than those actually sitting in office doing the dirty work” attitude. You know what I mean. It’s not often, but once in a while we out in the bush do have to wince a little.
John Podhoretz, whatever the debate over the details, is making an important point about overall attitude, I believe.
And listening to the buzz from all sides since the SOTU, I’d say this is an especially important subject now, since the Bush administration does indeed seem to have hit some kind of internal snag or off-kilter moment. The loosening of the glue among conservatives these last weeks has been most worrisome, and the utmost focus on the big picture is needed.