Below is an almost poignant recent video of a man still clinging to the hope that, at some point, the GOP may be able to have a conversation about how to address the crisis in middle class mobility, security, and job growth:
How does the right react to a smart young writer trying patiently to bring its agenda back to what he thinks is a winning formula? Erick Erickson calls him a faggot. Not in those words, exactly, but by egregiously, pre-emptively dismissing Barro’s arguments in the following way:
Josh Barro is a late twenty-something gay male who hates conservatives, champions Obamacare, attacks Republicans for wanting to oppose it, supports the tax hikes that come with Obamacare, wants to rid the GOP of social conservatives, and gets fawning pieces of prattle composed by liberals who want everyone to know that their friend Josh Barro is a conservative reformer who wants less conservatism.
Josh is currently the Politics Editor at Business Insider, and used to write for Bloomberg View, after being a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute. He does not “hate” conservatives; he wants to rescue conservatism from its current nihilism, bile, anti-intellectualism and loathing of modern life. Josh defends himself better than I can. Erickson gets most of his facts wrong – but none of that matters past the “gay male” soubriquet.
I recall asking a leading conservative intellectual why he thought most of the rightwing press refused to review “The Conservative Soul.” His answer: if you weren’t a homosexual, they might. He didn’t seem shocked by this or offended. Just telling the truth. All I can say is that if the GOP wants to escape from its pseudo-conservative cultural and intellectual backwater, they’ll need more Barros and Frums and fewer Ericksons and Malkins. But I won’t be holding my breath. And I won’t wait for others in the Republican reformist camp to call out the homophobia either. They have a base they want to keep happy.
Previous Dish on Chait’s profile of Barro here and here. Our Ask Anything archive is here, and Josh will be back soon with other thoughts on the intellectual crisis on the right, and how to get past it.