Norman Podhoretz, Sarah Palin, and the Tea Parties

by Benjamin Domenech on 11:52 pm April 1, 2010


Norman Podhoretz has a perceptive piece on the Republican Party, the conservative movement and the reaction to the ever-divisive Sarah Palin:

When William F. Buckley Jr., then the editor of National Review, famously quipped that he would rather be ruled by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phone book than by the combined faculties of Harvard and MIT, most conservative intellectuals responded with a gleeful amen. But put to the test by the advent of Sarah Palin, along with the populist upsurge represented by the Tea Party movement, they have demonstrated that they never really meant it.

Podhoretz’s point hits home. Few political leaders today resemble those 2,000 names (both Palin and Obama have benefited from their base thanks to their unique backgrounds), and fewer still of the self-styled thought leaders of conservative policy. The tea parties are just the return of the Perotistas, and one wonders if such an unstable fire-breathing dragon of a movement would even exist if Republicans had avoided listening to obtuse young childless policy wonks who’ve never run a business or a household.

If the right is going to lead anything, they must reconnect. They can start by listening.

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