If Mr. Douthat isn’t busy fussing/ fuming about the out of wedlock birth rate or just generally poking his nose into the unsupervised uterus’ of American women- I know! His penchant for patrolling the American female body and it’s morally clueless occupants, they are by Biblical writ lesser beings, in dire need of masculine tutelage, is irrepressible. Kant be dammed!
In today’s outing he focuses on The Reactionary Mind. Now, don’t let it bother you that this is the title of Corey Robin’s scholarly study with the same title. Mr. Douthat is a National Review Ironist which means he’s flatfooted, or just maladroit, you pick your favorite descriptor. The featured player in his essay is the Tenured Radical of 1990, Roger Kimball’s recycling of the political paranoia of Tail-Gunner Joe and Tricky Dick, reanimated by the political necromancy of Douthat assisted by Conservative scholars Shields& Dunn. The singular idea of the Shields &Dunn duo is the thesis of the seemingly inexplicable persistence of Left Wing scholars in the American Academy. Douthat essay is highlighted by an idea of Nicolás Gómez Dávila: “reactionary patchwork.” as the plausible answer to Left Intellectual Phalanx, in lieu of a codified holistic reactionary response . A riff on Bakhtin’s Canivalization/phantasmagoria? Gómez Dávila is the one with the intellectual breadth to answer that question. Mr. Douthat’s intellectual reach is, to be charitable, limited. Yet he excels at the demands of the fluent and nearly credible propagandist/apologist: he is the nearly perfect pundit for The New York Times readership. David Brooks is that perfect pundit!