Ponnuru Attacks!

Oh, joy. He hasn't read the book, of course. But, according to him, it can only be two things: "daft or dishonest". The insults these theocons are throwing my way is a sign of their real fear that the book Tcscover_6 exposes them for what they are: deeply alien to conservatism in its old, sane sense, theocratic hijackers of a great tradition of moderation and doubt. in the third chapter of the book, for example, "The Theoconservative Project," I carefully take every theocon argument about abortion, end-of-life issues and heterosexual sex and try to argue that they are completely incoherent on their own terms. I think it devastates the arguments of Ponnuru's mentor, Robert George. But make your own mind up. You can buy it here and here. I welcome all intelligent arguments against my position, and when the book club reading periods ends after the election, I hope to address the toughest with as much candor as I can.

Yes, I haven't read Ponnuru's book either. A book that describes anyone who disagrees with it as "The Party of Death" excludes itself from reasonable discussion. But I restricted myself to criticizing its Coulteresque title (and its front cover Coulter blurb) - designed to persuade no-one but to rally and sell to the fanatical base (the Rove technique applied to intellectual discourse) - and to a couple of emails from people who had read the book.

But I'm thrilled they're angry. They wouldn't be if they didn't know this book exposes them in ways few yet have. I'm not on the left. I've spent twenty-five years on the right. I know who these people are. And how far they have drifted from the principles they once might have held. And, along with growing numbers of real conservatives, I have no interest in going along with it any longer.