The Only Good Conservative is a Really Old Conservative

Oh boy, I can hardly wait. ABC is producing a new series about a female conservative pundit, with Calista Flockhart slated to star. The perspective of the show’s producers is not hard to deduce:

Asked to describe the pundit, producer Ken Olin (formerly a star of “Thirty Something’) said, “She’s not Ann Coulter. She’s not insane.”

Right. Instead, this “conservative” pundit will be a “a thoughtful conservative. She’s ideologically, in some respects, very much in mind with the older parts of the party, the sort of Eisenhower Republican, the William Buckley conservative.” This is a common liberal theme: the old conservatives were OK, in contrast with present-day conservatives. Of course, at the time they hated those conservatives, too, especially if they won, like Reagan. Liberals can only be really fond of conservatives who got clobbered, like Barry Goldwater, or who remind them of the days when conservatives were a powerless minority, like Buckley.

The show’s producers sound like they’re embarking on an anthropological expedition:

[I]t’s very, very interesting and compelling to us to try and understand this, to leave behind some of the smug presuppositions of the two coasts, . . . to look at evolving patriotism and evolving traditionalism,” [writer Jon Robin Baitz] said.

I think the “understanding” process would go better if they didn’t start with the assumption that Ann Coulter is insane, and the last good conservative was William Buckley.


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