The conservative movement began as farce and is ending in tragedy. Its origins were an incompatible blur of fiscal fantasies, military muscularism, alienating atomism and religious populism, all of which were conservatively farcical and essentially radical. Now its high priests of the guiding commentariat class--those who have tried with escalating desperation to keep their temple of ideological incoherence somehow tacked together--have been reduced to a tragic futility.
In just the past three days this spectre of neo-incoherence has haunted America. David Brooks launched the ghastly thing, writing in the New York Times that "The president hasn't actually come up with a proposal to avert sequestration," although one "do[es] exist." Red-faced italics original, as was his explanation that personal rage justifies disinformation.
Then, in the Wall Street Journal, came the sentimentally diseased Peggy Noonan, who alchemically converted her ample supply of saccharine into disorienting venom by charging that it is President Obama--not the GOP's recidivist bombthrowers of universal renown--who adores "cliffs, ceilings and looming catastrophes," "government by freakout," "chaos," "unsettled circumstances" and "an air of calamity."
And now comes the Washington Post's George Will--weary as always from hustling sophomoric sophistication as adult contemplation--indicting Obama for the sinister "manufacture of synthetic hysteria," even if his "promiscuous production of crises has made them boring."
Yes, the estimated 700,000 Americans who are about to be gratuitously unmoored from their livelihoods, as well as their savings and quite possibly their homes, are such a tedious, boring bunch. I say, Jeeves, can't we close the windows? All that tiresome moaning is disturbing my reading of the financial pages.
Contemporary conservatism has transmogrified beyond farce and collapsed into a tragedy of abject, futile indifference--which it no longer even tries to conceal.
Postscript, note, update, clarification, my very own red-faced italics: This post's title was meant satirically.