Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Trying to rescue conservatism

Here's a link to my review in Sunday's Register of former Congressman (OK) Mickey Edwards' new book, "Reclaiming Conservatism: How a Great American Political Movement Got Lost -- and How it Can Find its Way Back." I talked with Mickey on the phone -- he's teaching at Princeton after a decade at Harvard -- and he sounded remarkably upbeat considering his thesis is that conservatism got hijacked and twisted almost into its opposite by the religious right, the neocons and the allure of power. Has especially critical things to say in the book about George W. and Newt Gingrich. He didn't support Ron Paul but was glad he ran, wished he had spent more time on foreign policy and less on monetary policy.

It will be fascinating to see whether the kind of limited-government conservatism embodied by Barry Goldwater and (to a lesser extent) Ronald Reagan will make a comeback in the U.S. Will time in the wilderness (where such conservatives will be no matter who is elected in November) lead to renewal or diminishment?

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