Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Thing That Couldn't Die.*

Crunchy Conservatism continues to make convivial, lovingly handmade waves on the web. In addition to Jonah Goldberg and Rod Dreher having an exchange in the pages of National Review (see previous blog entry below), other blogs are weighing in. The initial entries and the subsequent comment threads may be worth checking out.

Here is a blog entry by one Maxwell Goss, what Rod called a "mixed review" in an entry posted just before the Crunchy Con closed at the end of March. I show up in the comments thread, as does Daniel Larison, a contributor to the, um, really traditionalist, supposedly amusing, probably uninfluential webmagazine, The New Pantagruel. Jape shows up, too, but it is nevertheless worth reading.

Mr. Goss has a follow-up post, here, and the comments thread is beginning to grow. The <cough> esteemed Caleb Stegall has already contributed with a comment that I believe begs more questions than it answers.

And, on the Corner, Jonah referenced a blog entry where, in the comments our very own Pauli weighs in.

Between these entries and perhaps Rod's apparent presence on an upcoming blog at Beliefnet, I think crunchy conservatism isn't quite dead yet. And I guess that means we'll be here, too.

As long as Fozzie Bear is on stage, the world needs Statler and Waldorf.


* - The title of this blog entry was taken from a 1958 movie that was, um, honored on Mystery Science Theater 3000. Just a few episodes later, MST3K featured a movie whose title may aptly describe our crunchy friends.

"The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies."

7 Comments:

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9:14 AM  
Blogger Susan B. said...

I don't know if any of you guys has seen this yet, but Dreher's Crunchy Con Blog lives on...

5:57 PM  
Blogger Pauli said...

I've been following it. It's just as educational as the book. It turns out that we're "naive, not evil" if we supported the Iraq war. We're grateful for the general absolution, Rod.

This paragraph sums up his writing so far, if you don't want to read his recent entries: "I think–well, I hope–that my generation of religious conservatives will approach politics more soberly, and with less of a crusading spirit–and certainly with less faith in the Republican Party." What is Crunchy Conservatism if not a crusade? I think Dreher ought to work on a political campaign like the one on which I'm working so he can see the sobriety of those working on it - all generations united to improve the political landscape in our state by electing a religious and fiscal conservative.

Also noted that this is the more "fair and balanced" Dreher in that he's blasting away at the left a lot. Good for him.

6:16 AM  
Blogger Bubba said...

I haven't read the whole thing yet, but I simply don't like the blog's format: no permanent links to individual blog entries, no archives, etc.


I did read his lengthy two-part entry on the Catholic Church (April 13th, 4pm), and I think someone in the comments section may be right that the blog should be titled "Catholic and Hating It."

He doesn't seem happy being Catholic or conservative.


Anyway, in a later post today (Apr 14, 11:30 am), he wrote the most incredible thing:

Are there morons on the right who try to squelch political debate and dissent for the sake of reinforcing a party line? Absolutely, and I’ve had to deal with some of them in promoting my book. But I’ve also found a respectful hearing on conservative talk shows, even though I’m pretty hard on the groupthink among my own political tribe.

1) He claims that there have been morons who've tried to squelch this debate? I'd love to know who.

2) He admits that he's been "pretty hard" on his own tribe -- an recognition, perhaps, of Jonah Goldberg's central complaint of Rod's book -- but I have yet to see even the first half-hearted attempted on Rod's part to defend his controversial claims about non-crunchies.


As for his comments about Iraq, I think it's shameful for Rod to call it a "debacle" when, by any historical standards, the war and its aftermath have been quick and bloodless.

If Iraq is a debacle, then it's clear that his idea of a successful military campaign is truly what is naive.

9:54 AM  
Blogger kathleen said...

I think we see Rod scrambling to recover some of his conservative bona fides here. Calculating and self-interested as ever. and more than a bit boring. But I find him a fascinating personality to study. There are people -- sorry, "morons" -- behind every rock trying to foil him, in his church, in his political tribe, etc. As ever, it's all about ... you guessed it ... Rod!

and let me just say as the resident hysterical female that if i were married to someone who titled their blog post "Caitlin [i.e. some other woman], mon amour" i would be ticked. if nothing else, it shows Rod's lack of consideration for -- as Rod often refers to her -- "his bride". it's a small thing, but telling.

8:20 AM  
Blogger Pauli said...

All I can say is that Dreher doesn’t understand politics the way I do at all. If I let myself be scandalized by all the things I've seen people do that happened to be republicans then I might be a backwoods societal drop-out as well. But you can substitute a lot of words for "republicans" in that sentence and it holds true: Catholics, Christians, conservatives, liberals... humans.

But he certainly doesn't understand or appreciate the current conservative coalition and how it has succeeded in advancing a fairly Christian agenda. If he wants to change the Republican Party, or fine-tune it to be crunchier, that's fine with me, but he has to do it from the inside. That's the only way he going to have a chance of succeeding. And even then he's not going to change the individuals he disagrees with. What does he think a political party is? If he meets resistance he shouldn't take it personally. He should learn some tact; he shouldn't call people morons - even if they are. He should learn not to be so sensitive - if he's going to say provocative things then he's got to expect reaction.

However he's not doing that. He's calling his readers and disaffected followers to drop out of the party. It's between the lines of his book, his blogs, his articles - that is when it's not explicit. He doesn't have Ann Coulter's brains or Ronald Reagan’s charm or Rush Limbaugh’s wit so he's trying to substitute this esoteric cult of crunchiness which is merely manifesting itself in anger at the party. I'm afraid I foresee a melt-down for Rod Dreher in the not-so-distant future. He's an angry dude destined for the Pat Buchanan madhouse.

Remember, Dreher is the guy who publicly criticized Pope John Paul II's handling of the American clergy crisis back in 2002 (to Bubba's "Catholic and hating it" point) saying the Pope seemed to care so little about victims and that it represented his failure to govern the church. Then he had to back track and clarify his point "no, no, no I'm not saying this pope is a failure...." You can google "dreher pope failure" and read all the blogs that whooped him back then.

12:30 PM  
Blogger Pauli said...

Read Dreher's 4/17 entries. It's official: he was for the war before he was against it!

And of course he's joining the Rumsfield pile-on, complete with Vietnam references.

10:05 AM  

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