This article would have been more appropriate in some neocon journal. It is somewhat jarring to have it in the same issue as one with an article on David Schindler, the philosopher of love. It seems that conservatism, even at The American Conservative, is still searching for what, precisely, it should conserve. Apparently, marriage isn't one of those things.How does McCarthy publish something like this with a straight face:
Today we have an opportunity to do more: conservatives should start to lead again and push their states to join the nine others that allow all their citizens to marry. I’ve been married for 29 years. My marriage has been the greatest joy of my life. There is nothing conservative about denying other Americans the ability to forge that same relationship with the person they love.Shouldn't the constant recourse to "right side of history" rhetoric in the comments section be giving our intrepid not-too-Catholic editor pause? It's almost enough to turn one into a mainstream K-Lo-style conservative. The reduction of Larison to a foreign policy wonk, Bacevich's all-too-familiar concessions to irreversibility, and McCarthy's faux-outsiderish "modernism" have made TAC almost unreadable. The sanctimony is obnoxious. More Jacobs, Antle, Beer, Dougherty, and Buchanan; less McCarthy, Bacevich, Huntsman, Bloom, McConnell.
Dreher again offers his newly-trademarked concession to the TAC -- and right side of history -- line:
Though I am fine with the position being stated at TAC — I support expanding the conversation on the Right, not keeping it restricted — I think that Huntsman's view is not at all conservative, except in a limited, but important, sense: at this point, it's probably prudent.And, as is his wont, Dreher reserves his most vehement objections for Joe Carter, who criticizes TAC's tendency to re-articulate conservatism wherever it most offends culturally liberal sensibilities:
Politics is the art of the possible, Bismarck said. If those who still want to man the barricades against same-sex marriage can make a case for why succeeding is still possible, I wish they would. Seriously, I'm eager to hear it. But if not, then I wish they would grant that Huntsman probably has the politics for the GOP right on this issue. I don't like it, but I’d rather deal with the world as it is.
Why should we fight for any conservative issues at all? We seem to have been losing the economic argument for 70+ years. We seemed to have been losing the abortion argument (until recently). Why don't we just adopt TAC's position that anything can be a "conservative" position (except, of course, being pro-war). Why don't we just give up and all become liberals since we're likely to lose anyway?Joe's mistake, of course, was not to criticize TAC; rather, it was to question the "street cred" of Dreher's pet surrender on same-sex "marriage."
[Note from Rod: Leaving aside your snide remark about "TAC's position" (it's not TAC's; it's Jon Huntsman's), you're completely avoiding my question. If you want to fight a losing battle on this issue, you're going to have to make a case for why the rest of us should join you. You don't even have a majority of your own people -- born-again Evangelicals, I mean -- under the age of 36 on your side. Hey, I wish they were! How do you propose to change their minds? Give me a strategy, not just insults. -- RD]