Burn, baby, burn

In an op-ed in the Washington Post, neocon Max Boot has taken the mask off and revealed that his pathological hatred of President Trump is a symptom of a wider dislike of the historic conservative movement.

The modern conservative movement, he wrote, "is permeated with racism, extremism, conspiracy-mongering, isolationism and know-nothingism."  He singles out Barry Goldwater and Phyllis Schlafly as exemplars of a "dark side" of conservatism that needs to be torn out root and branch.

Indeed, says Boot, "[o]nly if the GOP as it is currently constituted is burned to the ground will there be any chance to build a reasonable center-right party out of the ashes" (my emphasis).  And just so that he's not misunderstood, Boot adds, "But that will require undoing the work of decades, not just of the past two years."

This is the clearest indication yet, as if any more evidence was needed, that self-described "conservatives" like Boot and his compatriot Jennifer Rubin are ringers, out of touch with the philosophy they claim to represent.  Boot claims to champion "Reaganesque" conservatism, evidently unaware that Reagan got his start in politics by delivering a stemwinder in support of that dark old extremist, Barry Goldwater. 

One wonders exactly what this new "center-right" party that Boot longs for would look like in practice.  My guess is that it would resemble the ineffectual Tories in Great Britain (most of whose leadership opposed Brexit) or, even worse, the "center-right" parties in Germany and Sweden who differ from their left-wing parties only in degree.

What Boot wants is to deprive America of an authentic conservatism and move the political spectrum leftward.  This is standard MSNBC editorial opinion, recycled as "conservative" for the WaPo's readers.

Radio commentator Dennis Prager likes to say he "prefers clarity to agreement."  Boot's column was nothing if not clarifying.  In 2016, Trump gave voters, in the memorable phrase of Phyllis Schlafly, "a choice not an echo."  Boot prefers the echo.

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