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Wednesday, March 19, 2003

National Review goes nuclear on the "paleoconservatives."

Apparently, David Frum's launch codes have been authenticated in this tour de force. The blast radius is substantial.

It's safe to say the grad student gaggle over at Lew Rockwell will be in a snit for years. Take a look-see at who the LR Catholics have been locking shields with lately:

Fed up as they were with the Second America, however, the paleos felt sure that they spoke for the First America with an integrity the traditional conservatives, let alone the neos, never had. [Sam] Francis in particular scolded NATIONAL REVIEW's conservatives for their isolation from America's "grassroots." He chose an interesting means of illustrating his point: "Of the twenty-five conservative intellectuals whose photographs appeared on the dust jacket of George H. Nash's The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945, published in 1976, four are Roman Catholic, seven are Jewish, another seven (including three Jews) are foreign-born, two are southern or western in origin, and only five are in any respect representative of the historically dominant Anglo-Saxon (or at least Anglo-Celtic) Protestant strain in American history and culture (three of the five later converted to Roman Catholicism)."

A forthright statement worthy of the Know-Nothings or the American Protective Association. For some reason, Francis is cited with much approval by contributors at LR. Keep that in mind should you be taken with the notion of linking to the site.

Then, Frum reports, there's the hatred of America, the conspiracy-theorizing, and (of course) standard-issue obsession with the Jeewwwwws. Yes, it's a concoction more potent than ipecac.

David Frum has a history of these blistering essays, having issued a similar declaration of war against Pat Buchanan and his Amen Corner in the pages of The American Spectator in the early 1990s (back when TAS was still tabloid-sized and sported brightly-colored covers--I miss those). I'll have to dig it out of storage in the attic. What struck me most were the angry letters to TAS in response, often bluntly anti-Semitic in content.

National Review has also not been reticent about smacking around "conservatives" who go beyond the pale, having started this process by breaking with the John Birch Society in the early Sixties, and dumping Joe Sobran in the late '80s.

This is another welcome example of the magazine's refusal to heed the motto "no enemies on the right."

Looks like it's time to subscribe.

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