Washington Monthly Blogger: So-Called Constitutional Conservatives 'Are Implicitly in the One-Party-Authoritarian-State Camp'

Piggybacking on Paul Waldman's "Who Do You Hate?" American Prospect post in which Waldman singled out Sarah Palin and Scott Walker for special scorn, another liberal blogger, the Washington Monthly's Ed Kilgore, reflected on the politicians ("usually, though not always, on the right side of the fence") who inspire in him "regular fear and loathing."

One of Kilgore's choices is an entire group, "the self-styled 'constitutional conservatives'...[who] don’t just want to beat progressives (and moderates) politically, they want to define us right out of existence."

From Kilgore's Friday post (emphasis added):

As a Christian, I try pretty hard not to hate anybody. But there are definitely those—usually, though not always, on the right side of the fence—that fill me with regular fear and loathing. I used to say it was a matter of instinctively knowing which Republicans regarded you as wrong but entitled to an opinion, and which ones you just knew would be perfectly happy helping run an authoritarian one-party state. And that’s a matter of attitude as much as ideology (Mitch McConnell strikes me as someone who’d have no problems with a situation where his critics could be jailed).

There are a few pols that just strike me as bad people. Waldman mentions Scott Walker. As regular readers know, I have special issues with Bobby Jindal, whose arrogance and cynicism are revealed by the especially casual way in which he flip-flops and panders and generally under-utilizes his formidable intellectual gifts. I feel bad for feeling that way about certain pols, since I don’t actually know most of them. But they do have a way of reinforcing my prejudices.


But what I’m realizing lately is that there is a whole band of conservatives who bug and scare me: the self-styled “constitutional conservatives.” If you listen to what they are saying all the time, they assert that the policies they favor are the only legitimate policies under our constitutional system, now and forever. Some go further by enshrining the original Constitution (filled out by the Declaration of Independence) as part of the woof and weave of the universe via divine (and/or natural) law. In any event, even if they are the nicest people on earth, they are implicitly in the one-party-authoritarian-state camp; they don’t just want to beat progressives (and moderates) politically, they want to define us right out of existence. Talk about epistemic closure!

Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson is a contributing writer for NewsBusters