Paleoconservatives. The American Conservative has become one of the more dynamic spots on the political Web. Writers like Rod Dreher and Daniel Larison tend to be suspicious of bigness: big corporations, big government, a big military, concentrated power and concentrated wealth.Rod Dreher has told his readers that the Catholic Church child-raping scandals are really the fault of liberals ("One wonders if the leadership of the national Catholic churches... assimilated any of this so-called progressivism in the way they thought about sexuality"); that he keeps a gun in his house because he's afraid of gay people; that he thinks a bride who shows a tattoo on her wedding day is a slut; that "I probably have, re: fundamental morals, more in common with the first 500 people I'd meet in Cairo, Damascus or Tehran than the first 500 people I'd meet in Park City, UT, during festival time," etc.
Also, Dreher defines his visits to the gym as "living out a conservative principle of taking personal responsibility and making hard but necessary changes to live within my means." Here's Dreher on integration: "People -- black, white, brown, rich, middle-class, poor, Christian, secular, etc. -- naturally want to be around people like themselves." And Lord, how he hates gay people.
I've been covering this guy for years, and if there's a more miserable, small-minded God-botherer out there I hope I never come across him. This is Brooks' leadoff hitter.
Daniel Larison's all right. I assume Brooks included him as a red herring.
Lower-Middle Reformists. Reihan Salam, a writer for National Review, E21 and others, recently pointed out that there are two stories about where the Republican Party should go next. There is the upper-middle reform story: Republicans should soften their tone on the social issues to win over suburban voters along the coasts.This sounds more reasonable than the Salam I've read, who believes that to reform American culture the Right Sort must "outbreed the people you hate most"; compares the fining of BP for environmental crime to the slaughter of Native Americans; argues that flexible work arrangements for women in the workplace are the real tyranny, and woman-stay-home-take-care-of-baby the real freedom, etc. Plus he writes shit like this:
This leads me to my central fixation, which is the notion that most of our political and social conflicts are best understood as gang wars between people with different kinds of capital — people with cultural capital waging war on people with economic capital, or people with erotic capital deploying it to gain access to economic or cultural or social capital, and so forth.This guy deserves not a plug in the Times, but a wedgie.
Ramesh Ponnuru of National Review has argued for family-friendly tax credits and other measures that reinforce middle-class dignity.When it was pointed out to him that Red State family dysfunction was worse than Blue State family dysfunction, Ponnuru blamed it on black people. He is also the author of a book called The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life.
Soft Libertarians. Some of the most influential bloggers on the right, like Tyler Cowen, Alex Tabarrok and Megan McArdle...Aaaaagggh! I give up. This reminds me of that bit from Annie Hall: "They give awards for that kind of music? I thought just earplugs."
UPDATE. I guess I should point to some McArdle Greatest Hits for the out-of-town crowd. OK, here's McArdle on why helping is futile ("It's all too common for well-meaning middle-class people to think that if the poor just had the same stuff we do, they wouldn't be poor any more"); on who the real victim is between the riches and the poors ("I doubt Occupy Wall Street will be assuaged by learning that the top 0.1% now only receive 8% of the income earned in the US, even if that number is the lowest it's been since 2003"); on how the exportation of manufacturing jobs to Chinese slave labor camps and resulting loss of jobs in the U.S. is a great trade because we get cheap crap ("I say to people, 'Why are you upset that the Chinese want to give us excessively cheap goods?' This is like a free gift from them to us. And we should be like, thank you, happy birthday!"); why giving health care to geezers is a big rip-off ("Moreover, as a class, the old and sick have some culpability in their ill health"), etc.
UPDATE II. Commenter mortimer makes a point about Brooks' full list: "Heather Mac Donald is 56, Tyler Cowen is 50, Dreher is 45, and most of the rest of Brooks' "young writers and bloggers" are in their mid- to late 40's. Even little Janie Galt is about to turn 40. .. If these boys and their ideas get any longer in the tooth they'll have to be put down."
Yeah. Despite Brooks' guff about how "these diverse writers did not grow up in the age of Reagan and are not trying to recapture it," they all clearly proceed from Reaganite premises: The market is the ultimate good, the poor are poor due to cultural rather than economic factors, and you better be nice to the fundamentalists because they're loaded.
But what really young jacks could Brooks have included? There's always the Kids from McArdle, Jane Galt's replacement crew during her frequent vacations, including Courtney Knapp, author of "Let's Abolish Tipping" (though to be fair she just wants to social-engineer the restaurant world, not stiff waiters for thought crimes like the Go Galt crowd), Tim B. Lee, who thinks toll roads are slavery, Katherine Mangu-Ward, who applauds the "university" Wal-Mart created for its employees (she went to Yale) and wonders why we consider jobs in America better than jobs in China, et alia. Brooks wouldn't have to worry about them growing out of it -- as long as wingnut welfare exists, they'll have no motivation to do so.