Thursday, April 12, 2007

The problem with paleos

"Koz says that “being paleo means never having to say you’re sorry,” which I might be inclined to spin as a compliment meaning that paleos never have anything for which they should be sorry. But obviously that is not his meaning. It means that paleos should feel bad that they keep more or less accurately pointing out the grievous dangers to this country long before these evils become obvious to everyone else, while no one pays any attention to the paleos and instead listens to the impressive frauds who continue to bungle everything and fail their country on a regular basis. Daniel Larison

No, It's actually simpler than that. It means that for an intellectual movement like paleonconservatism (or even for individuals in some circumstances), it's not sufficient to be right. We are not judged just on what we think, but also what we do, and paleoconservatism has done very little. I'm sympathetic to paleos in other ways, but in on this score we must judge them harshly.

The paleo v. mainstream conservative battle has been going on for a while, though the Bush Administration has exacerbated it a great deal. The paleos have a long list of complaints against mainstream conservatives, neoconservatives, and the world in general for that matter. Some of these complaints were justified, but most of them have been forgotten by everybody except the paleos. All of their pissing matches and refusals to compromise bear a real cost, and this is theirs. A tree that falls in an empy forest doesn't make a noise.

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