Julian Sanchez rejects the argument that conservatives like Brooks or Frum are "selling out their principles to win the approval of elite Beltway media types, who will henceforth invite them to posh cocktail parties and Sunday morning political talk shows." Money quote:

For all but the very, very few with a realistic shot at a Brooks slot, the cynical careerist calculus weighs strongly in favor of reflexive fealty. And certainly it’s got to be much easier, much more comfortable, to give your self-selecting audience precisely what they want to hear and bask in their accolades. I don’t know if I’ve named it here before, but I’ve long observed a phenomenon in the blogosphere I call “audience capture,” where a once-interesting writer becomes rather dull and predictable, each post another jab at the lever, predictably rewarded with a tasty pellet.

What requires explanation is not Frum's or Brooks's belated realization that Republicanism is no longer anything close to conservatism. What requires explanation is why it took them so long to say something that has been so gob-smackingly obvious for years.

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