In the last 20 years we've watched conservatism--as reformulated by the Republican Party--focus-group and popularly poll its way to a "contractual" and thus transactional "philosophy"; shut down the government in chaotic fits of pique; impeach a democratically elected president only because the president was a Democrat; declare that its deficits don't matter but that others' deficits are the Devil's work; slash government revenue because the economy was good--no--because the economy was bad; hype and let loose a senseless, self-perilous, unprovoked war as a foreign adventure; adopt universally condemned brutality as official "intelligence" policy; defenestrate empiricism and science; nominate for the nation's second-highest office (thus merely one cardiac episode away from the nation's highest) a ghastly hayseed of indescribable ignorance; repeatedly hold a knife at the country's throat; and in general react to the incumbent, dispositionally conservative Democratic president as though he's a Trotskyite madman.
Those are but a few of the ignominious themes and abysmal highlights of a chronic pseudoconservatism, which only blind fools have persisted in characterizing as "conservatism" itself. In it there is nothing, really, that is temperamentally new, and to call this demented amalgamation of adolescent Sturm und Drang a "philosophy" may be a liberty-taking of some tongues, but not serviceable minds.
Yet the NY Post's John Podhoretz announces in "Conservatives gone wild" that "over the past week, that is exactly what many conservatives have done. They have violated fundamental conservative precepts"; they have abruptly repudiated conservatism's "worldview dedicated to order and tradition and the proposition that disorder is dangerous and deadly." (Italics mine.)
Only in the dark, shadowy, spidery cave of a profound pseudoconservatism could this aging and otherwise ubiquitous observation come as fresh enlightenment.