Here’s why Daniel is essential reading:
As someone with no sympathy for Obama’s domestic agenda, I find the backtracking on civil liberties to be especially worrisome, since it seems to confirm that we will have the worst of the welfare and security states under a President Obama. This just drives home for me how inexplicable small-government, constitutionalist conservative support for Obama is, since these supporters don’t have the excuse that they generally agree with the candidate’s domestic policies. It also makes it clear why a strong showing by Barr is very important, since neither major candidate seems particularly interested in defending the Constitution.
What is most compelling about Daniel, and the paleocons more broadly, is that he has no interest in politics as “the art of the possible.” I think of myself as closer in spirit to Will Wilkinson or Tyler Cowen, who are both more comfortable with incremental reform, though Will’s incrementalism is married to a worldview as radical and principled as Larison’s. Tylerish-ly, I’m more case by case.
I’m interested in how Andrew Sullivan fits into all of this. Andrew is a very idiosyncratic and quirky thinker, yet I sense that he prefers to have a rooting interest in the political scene.