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My conservative crackup

In “Are we on the verge of a conservative crackup?” Paul Mirengoff articulates the concerns I have had roiling in the back of my mind about the divisions within the dissident movement against unlimited government. Paul itemizes the big issues fomenting the crackup as immigration, foreign policy and national security. I’m with him down the line on the points in issue. I only want to add a personal footnote.

In a recent column on Eric Holder a couple of weeks ago, Nick Gillespie referred in passing to “George W. Bush’s troika of torture apologists: John Ashcroft, Alberto Gonzales, and Michael Mukasey.” For a brief discussion of the issues that Gillespie evokes here, see John Yoo’s “Behind the ‘torture memos.’”

Ashcroft and Gonzales both served honorably as Attorneys General in the Bush administration under difficult circumstances. Mukasey may be in a class by himself. He is a man of sterling character and unimpeachable integrity whose tenure as Attorney General added luster to an already distinguished career.

Gillespie is of course a libertarian with a libertarian’s point of view on foreign policy and national security issues. Even in this context, Gillespie’s assault on these men seemed to me almost unbelievably crude. I find it frankly disgusting. It reminded me that, however valuable the contribution of libertarians in resisting the advent of the the universal homogeneous state (as Leo Strauss called it), this is where I get off.

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