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October 11, 2013

Glenn Beck: The "Old Guard" Executed a Coup at FreedomWorks, Firing Matt Kibbe and Attempting to Drive Out Libertarian-Minded People

Interesting story.

I find the attacks on the "Old Guard" crude and reductivist. It seems a little too easy just to spout off angrily at the Old Guard. And my default belief is that if something is a little too easy, it's probably a little too wrong.

But I gotta tell you, crude and reductivist though it may be, I'm starting to think that in this case The Easy Thing to Say might in fact also be, like a broken clock, The Right Thing to Say.

Conservatives are not just conservative politically, but conservative by temperament, and it does seem that the Old Guard is very temperamentally conservative indeed as regards clinging to their old ways of doing business, their old priorities, and, most importantly of all, the old order in which they are always firmly positioned at the top.

I understand why they want to remain at the top. I understand how the ego has deceived them into thinking it's critical to the Good of the World that they remain at the top -- every human being has within him a massively powerful self-justification apparatus that will always tell him that What's Good For Me Personally Is Good For Everybody.

But what is their record? Many will cite the Reagan Years as a time when they were On Top. But the Reagan Years were a very, very long time ago at this point (almost before Meghan McCain was even born!!!), and the Reagan Years were a lot less perfect than nostalgia would have it (we didn't quite roll back the government; we instead managed a containment line and a temporary truce), and, in any event, a guy who once vaguely worked "for Reagan" (in as much as he drew a government check during the Reagan Years, or drew a think tank check in the Reagan Years) is not in fact Reagan.

Reagan's Magic is not viral, and it is not spread by contact.

So I am wondering why it is exactly we should continue the important extra-political apparatus of Conservatism, Inc. dominated by and run by people who really have not won much of anything at all since 1986.

Ted Danson was quite a big star in 1986. He's not such a star now. He gets work -- he's on CSI now -- but no one thinks of him as a big star, except possibly himself.

Bush barely won the election of 2000, and he was only very popular for three years based not upon the work of the permanent conservative political class but due to a terrible mass-slaughter by Al Qaeda. As the rally-round-the-President effect faded, so did Bush's popularity, and the permanent conservative political class was unable to, by its own efforts, inject any sort of major conservative initiative into the public debate.

We got a tax cut, yes (and was it wise to make so many people immune to the federal tax code?). But we also got Medicaid Part D and quite a bit of new spending.

So I guess I have to join my more radical/Tea Partyish commenters in asking the Old Guard, "If you're so vital to the movement, and your thinking is so clear and smart, how come you've pretty much gotten your asses kicked up and down the block since Iran-Contra?"

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posted by Ace at 02:07 PM

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