David Roberts+ Your Authors @drvox Seattleite transplanted from Tennessee; now blogging for vox.com/ about energy politics. Climate hawk, deficit dove. Not a doctor. Jun. 05, 2019 2 min read + Your Authors

So, I read @cjane87's explainer on the internal fighting on the right ...  https://www.vox.com/2019/6/5/18637391/david-french-sohrab-ahmari-conservatism-libertarians-divide 

... and I also read this (very different) @JVLast piece on it ...  https://www.vox.com/2019/6/5/18637391/david-french-sohrab-ahmari-conservatism-libertarians-divide 

... and, well ... if I were less exhausted & grumpy I'd think of a nicer way to say this, but ... basically everyone involved is ridiculous. The whole thing is ridiculous. The level of denial & wishful thinking, on all sides, is ridiculous.

The US conservative movement is not run by libertarians concerned with individual liberty. It's not run by religious people concerned with morality & social stability. It's run by avaricious, dimwitted grifters & powered by atavistic ethnonationalism.

It is, in every possible respect -- intellectually, morally, politically -- a dumpster fire. It has centered itself on what is effectively a crime family run by a guy with NO principles, religious or libertarian, beyond his own advantage.

It has no policy agenda whatsoever beyond cutting taxes for rich people & inflicting theatrical cruelty on various Others, for the sick satisfaction of its bloodthirsty base. All higher aspirations have fallen away and it is now defined purely by its resentments.

These guys are surrounded by this dumpster fire -- they are *supporting* it -- and they're having abstruse debates over the limits of libertarianism? Clutching pearls over boobs on TV? They're pretending like this debate is what animates conservatives? F'ing please. Look around.

The only principle left in US conservatism is tribal: defending white hegemony. If these navel-gazing moralists in conservative think tanks & magazines want a principled movement or party, they should have the courage to leave wingnut welfare behind & start over.

Acting on principle -- ANY principle, libertarian, religious, what have you -- would mean repudiating the moral monstrosity that is the contemporary GOP. As long as these guys find ways to rationalize their ongoing participation in it, their talk of principle is hollow.

For a long time, a lot of people in US politics & media played along with the pretense that arguments among the few dozen DC conservative think-tank types represented something bigger. But think tank conservatism is epiphenomenal. It has no influence, no presence beyond DC.

On the ground, US conservatism has become reactionary tribalism, full stop. That's the reality this country has to deal with. The debates among these puffed up wannabe intellectuals are neither here nor there. </fin>

Gah. That link in the second tweet is supposed to go here:  https://thebulwark.com/sohrab-ahmaris-culture-war-is-really-just-about-donald-trump/ 

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