Kathryn I would have missed that piece if you hadn’t linked to it. I agree with you that the silence of the Buckley and National Review omission is deafening. If I had more time I’d be interested in seeing the book — there was a time when I reviewed books about conservatives more regularly, sigh. Obviously, the authors are focusing much more on organizational history than intellectual history — “political brawn” not “brains” as they put it — which probably explains the omission of pretty much any major conservative thinkers from the piece (and the inflation of the ACU into the right’s Third International).
I don’t think that’s a bad approach necessarily and I really don’t disagree with anything in the piece. But I can’t shake the feeling that the Times’ reasons for running it are quite contrary to the authors’ reason for writing it. The Times certainly believes that conservative ascendancy is a trick, the product of the right’s dishonesty at framing the public debate, using “wedge issues” etc. And, yeah, maybe the right is better at organization than the left — though I think that’s a muchless settled question than these guys do. But I’m sure most Times’ readers, and editors, see this op-ed as proof that the right doesn’t have better ideas, it’s just more effective at hawking them.