Meanwhile, over at First Things . . .
July 25th, 2013

Rusty Reno has an . . . extraordinary essay about the magazine’s future.

And Eric Cohen has an equally extraordinary response.

To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an exchange like this in a magazine of letters. And I’m not quite sure what to make of it.

  1. Jack July 26, 2013 at 11:25 am

    “I don’t think I’ve ever seen an exchange like this in a magazine of letters. And I’m not quite sure what to make of it.”

    I would say that it shows that First Things and movement conservatism in general in the United States is still reeling from Romney’s decisive defeat last year. Conservatives are understandably upset that a large number of Americans don’t see things as they do. Conservatives are now fighting among themselves as to which course to follow.

    There is an uneasy balance to be struck between being true to one’s values and being relevant. The First Things debate shows that there is strong disagreement on how that balance might be achieved.

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  3. Jason O. July 26, 2013 at 11:42 am

    I’d like to see Cohen elaborate on his secular/religious coalition vs. radical Islam point. It’s interesting that this is his first suggestion to cure what ails the conservative movement.

    Tend to agree with Jack above (also JVL’s ongoing theme) that it would be nice to at least see the GOP nominate a candidate that runs a campaign that’s not embarrassing from day 1. (see 2008 and 2012)

    Obviously the WH is trying to blunt/mollify the really unfortunate aspects of O-care from being felt in the next 2 years so HRC can’t be doomed with guilt by association. If this strategy works, I’m afraid it will be difficult to envision a scenario where HRC does not win…but then again in 1998 it looked like Gore was going to win at a canter in 2000.

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  5. Nedward July 29, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Cohen had the better of it (though surprised me by trinitizing Kristol, Michael Novak, and… Yuval Levin). Dreher is right, the world’s repaganizing and it’s all over but the shouting. Of course the God-botherers are opportunistically sharpening their spears for “capitalism,” who’d’ve thunk it had so many flaws, yet it does provide a handy sacralized indestructible adversary, for blogging-fundraising purposes at least. As usual there are Brits who fathom reality a bit more clearly