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Taranto on Populist Conservatism

8:02 AM, Feb 28, 2012 • By ​WILLIAM KRISTOL
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A brilliant essay by James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal on why Santorum might well be electable, on populist conservatism, and on a "clarifying sentence" by Clive Crook with commentary by Mickey Kaus and Jeffrey Bell. Here's a taste—but read the whole thing:

What actually caught our attention about the Crook essay, though, was what Mickey Kaus identified as a "clarifying sentence": "When prosperous liberals vote their values, not their interests, that's enlightened. When poor conservatives do it, it's dumb."

That's sarcasm. . . .

When we clicked through to Crook's piece, though, we were astounded to find this sentence qualifying his just-stated sympathy for pro-American populism: "Of course, not many black Americans and not many women long for the lives their parents led." A whole world of condescension and presumption are wrapped in those 17 words, and we'd like to unpack it.

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