Jonah Goldberg Calls It

Tuesday, July 25, 2006
The Corner on National Review Online: "[H]ere's a short rule of thumb for how to tell who is a 'respectable' conservative in the eyes of liberals: any conservative out of power or not seen as supportive of those in power. An even shorter rule of thumb would be: conservatives are respectable if they are useful to liberals. Pat Buchanan became respectable, even adorable, among a loose coalition of liberals leftists, from MSNBC's Chris Matthews to Ralph Nader, when he turned on the GOP establishment. Kevin Phillips, David Gergen and John Dean have been 'real' Republicans — though rarely conservatives — for decades because they are willing to confirm the assumptions of liberals. An even more telling example would be the 'neocons.' Before the Iraq war, neocons were the nice conservatives, the good conservatives, the idealistic conservatives the un-racist conservatives, according to academics, The New York Times and others. This is not to say that they aren't nice, good, idealistic and un-racist. Rather, it's to point up the way in which conservatives become evil as they become influential, relevant, or otherwise inconvenient to liberals. John McCain was touted as a good choice for president by The New Republic and other liberal voices. Today, McCain is increasingly villified by many of these same voices because, it turns out, he's actually a Republican. "

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