The triumph of the third-rate

It seems to me that the lightweights have all but taken over the conservative media. Set aside the historical absurdities of Malkin and the overt inanities of Shapiro, consider today’s National Review Online. There are a grand total of twelve articles cum columns on its homepage. Of these, one is dedicated to the Grand Theme of the present administration, the war. Two are dedicated to Katrina. There is one generally silly piece that appears to deal with media bias and one long stream of rumblings – including some eyebrow-raising praise for the Old Left – from the resident curmudgeon, John Derbyshire. Two columns on Tom Delay’s travails, one solid piece disemboweling the logic of static tax models and no less than four (4!) television and movie reviews.

Furthermore, The Corner is filled to the brim with a discourse that is not remarkably deeper than what one might expect at an MTV-related blog, minus the vulgarities and nUsp33k. I was almost embarrassed to be reading it, and I regularly write about fantasy football!

Now, there are several possibilities here. As the Fraters Libertas-nominated official columnist of the National Organization for Women, I would be remiss if I did not point out that NRO now has a woman editor, and as everyone knows by now, I expect female intellectuals to be rather more interested in the latest revelations from the idiot box and People Magazine than in such small and passing matters as death, war and taxes. (Knowing that this statement will cause some inadvertant panty-bunching, I went back to look at who wrote what and discovered that the only three pieces written by women are those focused on – hold your breath – the Oliver Twist movie, the Truman Capote movie and the Geena Davis TV show. If I’m such a stupid mysogynist, then why are my baseless suspicions always confirmed so readily?)

However, I suspect that the embrace of silliness on the part of NRO is more than the current editing-by-chick from which it suffers. The more insidious problem is that conservatives have been betrayed by their standard bearer, so they are in a period of doubt as to what conservatism even means these days. Hence the coining of new modifying adjectives, the appearance of neo-compassionate, strong government, pragma-conservatives and inevitable falling away of the true conservatives, such as Pat Buchanan and Ann Coulter.

I find it very interesting that while the three most popular WND writers – Pat, Ann and me – regularly excoriate the Bush administration, the “leading” conservative publication is largely silent on the negatives, preferring instead to focus on the rapidly decreasing number of positives when it’s possible and blathering on about ephemeral trivialities when it’s not.

Or perhaps it’s too many years of weak opposition, after all, successfully engaging the liberal Democratic line these days doesn’t exactly require a mind honed like a katana made by a Japanese swordmaster. All I know that I don’t regret giving up my NR Digital subscription last year. I didn’t do it out of anger or even annoyance, it was simply the realization that I’d accumulated twelve weeks worth without once feeling the desire to read one.

My mind may not be clean, but at least it’s not full of fluff. Forget the Lesser Evil… Cthulhu in 2008!

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