Yglesias Award Nominee

"I've become less conservative since the Republican Party started becoming goofy," – Richard Posner.

One of the less observed features of the last few years has, in fact, been the intellectual honesty of conservatives like Posner or Greenspan or Bartlett or Frum. Each one of them, unlike so many who pass for conservative intellectuals these days, has his own view of the world, formed by independent thinking and study – often in the face of institutional liberal disdain. And they have shrewdly concluded that the last few years have shown that unregulated capitalism can be a serious problem, that markets do not automatically govern themselves, that the ideology of three decades ago might need revisiting in the face of the catastrophe of the Bush-Cheney years, which all but exploded the logic of neoconservatism and its domestic partner-in-crime, supply side economics. One was voodoo foreign policy, the other voodoo economics. Reality – simple empirical reality – exposed their glaring flaws.

An actual conservative will learn from this and adjust. The raving loons in the GOP base – precisely because they have no serious thinking behind them – will double-down on their fantasies, empowered by partisan hatred. And that's why the GOP needs to be defeated this fall. For the sake of an honest conservatism.