Damon Linker is not a pluralist

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4 Responses

  1. Geoff Arnold says:

    Is there a real argument here, or is your gut feeling of “wrongness” all you’re offering?Report

  2. Damon Linker says:

    Wow, that’s a really thoughtful post. I don’t even know how to begin a response.Report

  3. Kolohe says:

    It was a throwaway comment, but the religious right wasn’t the reason Rudy didn’t get the nomination – Rudy is the reason Rudy didn’t get the nomination. If anything, the religious right is what kept Romney from breaking through, but you state that Romney is one in the pantheon of theocon champions and you have the Mormons with the (plurality) right wing Catholics and (majority) Evangelical Protestants as a single bloc in your analysis.

    Which is true as far as it goes, but I would submit has *always* been a bloc like this of cyclic waxing and waning influence in American politics (and pre-American politics i.e. the first iteration of the Great Awakening)

    So, with the stated assumption that this bloc has always existed, the case to be proved is that it is somehow today a unique threat and/or ‘clear and present danger’. My quick dashed off opinion (to be sure from just the Economist interview and without reading the book) is that it has not. Not if their high water mark (and Waterloo) was Terry Schiavo. If that’s all they got, the Republic is safe from any particular danger from that avenue. They are, in other quarters, blamed for the Iraq war*, but for one, they had a lot of help from other factions, for two the iraq war wasn’t unpopular until it was turning into an intractable stalemate after a year and a half in, and for three, all the way back to the effigies of Jay lit at the signing of the eponymous treaty, we Americans have rarely encountered a war they didn’t like. (and have rarely liked a war we’ve had to endure)

    One thing you could say that is unique about today’s religiously minded culturally conservative (and for the most part ex-urban) voters is that their political alliance with ‘wall street’ that started with the Buckley fusion and achieved the presidency of Ronald Reagan (and Bush II) is ahistoric and unprecedented in American history. In other eras, this demographic were the core of Jackson Democrats and William Jennings Bryan’s acolytes. But this alliance is starting to signs of cracking up (i.e. Huckabee) and another round of banking shenanigans could provide the tipping point to finally fracture it (which in turn would greatly reduce, if not eliminate, the risk you assert)

    *as part of a general pattern of millennial dispensationalism and as a consequence normally has Israel as its focus, but any port in the storm working in mysterious ways and all thatReport

  4. Kolohe says:

    Shorter me: we have always had these ‘religious nutjobs’. They have even done some real damage in the past (e.g. 18th amendment). But America abides.Report