You may have seen the excellent pair of articles at the New Republic revisiting the work of two heroes of post-war conservatism. Sam Tanenhaus writes about Whitaker Chambers, while Alan Wolfe takes on Russell Kirk.
In the liberal world there are only two kinds of good conservatives: those that attack other conservatives (see the New York Times editorial page) and those that are far enough removed from today’s troubles as to seem harmless and/or useful in carrying out the first point.Holtsberry is not wrong, but he demonstrates an odd lack of reflection in failing to note that conservatives act the very same way with regard to liberals. It's simply one of the most common habits of political writing, even among those who strive to achieve balance; it's a product of believing in the validity of one's own set of views.
In the world according to Peter Berkowitz, there are no right-wing bloggers calling the president's critics traitors, no Swift-boating of Democratic candidates, no violations of civil liberty associated with our Republican president, no authorized leaks of the names of CIA agents, no dramatic increase in the use of presidential signing statements, no use of torture, no suspension of habeas corpus, no breaks with our historic allies over such methods, no biased editorial pages and networks, no Rush Limbaughs, no vigilantes patrolling our borders, no invented quotations from Abraham Lincoln, no manipulations of intelligence, no appeals to racial and religious bigotry.I don't know whether the life of Whitaker Chambers is or is not an appropriate metaphor for, or critique of, the current conservative Manicheanism. But it's no use pretending that that Manicheanism is all a figment of fevered liberal imaginations.