Defending the 12th century since the 14th; blogging since the 21st.

Catholicism, Conservatism, the Middle Ages, Opera, and Historical and Literary Objets d'Art blogged by a suburban dad who teaches law and writes stuff.

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Who was Cacciaguida? See Dante's PARADISO, Cantos XV, XVI, & XVII.

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Monday, December 17, 2007
"Heroic Conservatism" -- stuff and nonsense. Just a throwback to Peter Viereck's idea more than a half-century ago that "true conservatism" was embodied in New Deal paternalism, and if you didn't agree, you were just a social-atomist liberal. Conservatives laughed that message out of court back then; this time they're asking it to take the messsenger with it.

Think you have to be a paleocon to think conservatism's shrink-the-state message is still at it the core of the movement and its philosophy? Not unless The Weekly Standard is "paleocon": that magazine may have been born flirting with "national greatness conservatism," but Fred Barnes now says "It's not impossible to shrink the federal government."

The Wall Street Journal's Kimberly Strassel, in an article entitled "The Gospel of Paul" (meaning the obstetrician from Texas, not tentmaker from Tarsus), notes:
Former Bush speechwriter Michael's Gerson's new book, "Heroic Conservatism," calls on Republicans to give in to big government and co-opt the tools of state for their own purposes. "If Republicans run in future elections with a simplistic, anti-government message, ignoring the poor, the addicted, and children at risk, they will lose, and they will deserve to lose," he writes. Then again, Republicans have already been losing, and losing big, in no small part because they've taken Mr. Gerson's advice.