Civil War on the Right -- by E. J. Dionne, Jr.
For years, many of the elite conservatives were happy to harvest the votes of devout Christians and gun owners by waging a phony class war against "liberal elitists" and "leftist intellectuals." Suddenly, the conservative writers are discovering that the very anti-intellectualism their side courted and encouraged has begun to consume their movement.
The cause of Edmund Burke, Leo Strauss, Robert Nisbet and William F. Buckley Jr. is now in the hands of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity -- and Sarah Palin. Reason has been overwhelmed by propaganda, ideas by slogans, learned manifestoes by direct-mail hit pieces.
And then there is George W. Bush. Conservatives once hailed him as creating an enduring majority on behalf of their cause. Now, they cast him as the goat in their story of decline.
These days, Bush just looks like a stepping stone along the way. . . .
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