Happy New Year. And as this is largely a political blog, let's open 2013 by citing, with approval, this post by Bret Stephens in a Commentary symposium on "What Is the Future of Conservatism?" Excerpt:
I know it’s a small thing in the scheme of the universe that Ashcroft should have been offended by a piece of statuary. It’s probably no big deal that Senator Marco Rubio professes agnosticism as to whether the Earth is thousands or billions of years old. Had Todd Akin of Missouri been elected to the Senate, his notions of reproductive biology would have had scant bearing on, say, his votes on defense. The fact that a considerable percentage of Republican voters believe Barack Obama’s college transcripts are the Da Vinci Code of his presidency is of slight consequence to the future of Western civilization. It makes little practical political difference that so many Republicans consider the theory of evolution to be a piece of quackery on par with, say, the teachings of Madame Blavatsky. The mysterious inability or unwillingness of so many Republicans to use the adjectival form when speaking of the “Democrat Party” is not an issue on which the fate of the Republic hinges.
But it adds up. To a greater degree than some readers of this magazine may care to admit, the conservative movement has grown prudish, crotchety, God-obsessed, conspiratorial, retrograde, and insipid. Somebody needs to stand athwart and yell “stop.”