Prodigal intellectuals

Krugman looks back and wonders:

…why, exactly, should we listen to people who by their own admission completely missed the story? I mean, anyone who actually listened to what Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey were saying in 1994, let alone what passed for thought in the Bush administration, should have realized long ago that if there ever was an intellectual basis for modern conservatism, it was long gone.

And the truth is that the Reaganauts were a pretty grotesque bunch too. Look for the golden age of conservative intellectualism in America, and you keep going back, and back, and back — and eventually you run up against William Buckley in the 1950s declaring that blacks weren’t advanced enough to vote, and that Franco was the savior of Spanish civilization.

So the idea that we should pay any attention to people who somehow failed to see all this until very late in the game — and, in the case of Posner (not Bartlett), waited to express their doubts until conservatism had lost power ….

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