Conservatism and Power

A reader writes:

I regularly take part on a discussion group that is dominated by intelligent conservatives in the engineering fields - particularly automotive. Their ability to put on the blinders is incredible. Imagine a guy with an amazing IQ. A guy who can design practically every part on a motorcycle or manufacturing robot while discussing upper division economics and the folly of the allied strategy at Galipoli. Now bring up Bush and/or Iraq, and this guy is reduced to being a mouthpiece for NRO. The biting wit and piercing insight displayed in so many other arenas goes by the wayside.

This is the intellectual disconnect in the conservative movement right now. Dogma and opportunism has supplanted integrity and critical thinking.

It cannot continue indefinitely. When people such as yourself  "have no conservative credibility" rifts are created that will only get larger. Conservatives must ask themselves: "Is it more important to support our leaders although they have gone astray, and thus present a united front against creeping liberalism? Or is it better to oppose those whose actions are insupportable, regardless of party affiliation?"

It's a difficult question, but one I'm familiar with. As probably the only regular reader of the National Review at Berkeley High School in the late 70s, I am drawn to certain aspects of each ideological camp - as you are. I would hope that there is enough  flexibility and integrity amongst the conservative intelligensia to adopt nuanced views and fight for what's right, regardless of the source. Unfortunately, I fear that is not the case, that voices such as your own will continue to operate from the fringes, and your "purity" will continue to be questioned by either side.