Much has been written about the fate of the conservative movement in the months since last I corresponded with you. I won't belabor the barrels of ink expended in the printing of its obituary, nor will I bore you with further reading of its entrails. Suffice it to say the grand old ship is in the doldrums, adrift in the electoral currents, with nary a harbor on the horizon. But it is time we leave such map room mopery aside and navigate a bold new course for the conservative armada.. . .Read the whole thing.
But there remains a daunting obstacle -- namely, the benighted rubes who constitute so much of our so-called "base," and whose existence make it nigh on impossible to recruit their social betters.
That conundrum of electoral calculus was the topic of much discussion two weeks ago, when my Nassau confreres and I were summoned to the White House for an intimate repast with the new President and his inner circle. Mr. Obama was radiant as ever, still basking in the afterglow of his historic victory. I admit to a recent wobble or two in my faith in him, as the severe beatings suffered by my various family trusts have necessitated some unanticipated cutbacks in my household staff. But that easy, commanding elegance was a bracing reminder of why I endorsed Mr. Obama as the true conservative presidential choice. After dessert (black walnut dacquoise with sections of quince) we retired to the Blue Room where chief of staff Rahm Emanuel entertained us with some droll tales of his days as terpsichorean with the Mossad ballet auxiliary, even treating us to a few thrilling, if f-bomb laced, arabesques. He was followed by Vice President Joe Biden, who put on a fine display of his famed wit and penchant for unpredictable cerebral infarctions. Amid the sparkling bonhomie the President solicited our views on the causes of -- and solutions to -- conservatism's sad state. Seizing the opportunity for a tete-a-tete with the world's most powerful, popular, and beautiful man, I explained the tragic plague of rubes who stand athwart our modernization program.
"Why not just drive them out?" asked the President, elegantly French inhaling his Marlboro Light 100. "Under the old bus, so to speak." . . .
"We've tried, Mr. President," I explained. "But there are unsavory elements within the party who keep bringing them back in."
My reference, obviously, was to the self-styled luminaries of "populism" who hang like a millstone around the Republican neck -- the Sarah Palins, the Plumbing Joes, the Bobby Jindals, the Rush Limbaughs, the motley middlebrow state college pretenders to the conservative throne. A shared contempt for these arriviste oafs unites the Nassau summitteers perhaps even more than our shared fondness for a snifter of well-behaved armagnac VSOP. I have made no secret of my feelings about la Palin and her grim brood of ill-mannered snowbillies, as well that horrid toilet tinkerer from Toledo whose fifteen minutes have somehow refused to expire. . .
Yes, I know there remain some conservatives of the better sort who have been shaken by the recent distressing market turns as our gallant young admiral struggles to find his sea legs and a coherent bank nationalization strategy. I confess to such quiet misgivings myself, which I brought up in our conversation. In response the President assured me that he would keep my portfolio in mind in the next round of corporate bailouts. Let us conservatives take comfort in that assurance, and in the fact that no matter what new taxes he proposes, Mr. Obama has at least assembled a cabinet with no personal enthusiasm for paying them. We must maintain our faith that the President's inner conservative will eventually emerge, and remain firm in the conviction that He works in mysterious ways.
Saturday, March 07, 2009
Must-Read of the Week
Obama's conservative champion-- T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII, as envisioned by Iowahawk--returns to "deal with the mutineers aboard the S.S. Conservatism" still resisting the leader: