Andrew Sullivan on Dinesh D’Souza

From The New Republic (via Powells’ Review-a-Day):

Screenhunter_08_mar_23_0040American conservatism is in crisis. That much is almost universally clear. But the next period in American politics will be determined not least by how clearly we understand the crisis of the right. For it may be that the remarkably successful Republican coalition of the last three decades is not at all doomed at the polls. A Giuliani or Romney candidacy, especially up against a Clinton candidacy, could well eke out a victory in 2008. Nor is it quite the case that the familiar fault lines within the movement — libertarians versus social conservatives, neoconservatives versus realists, economic internationalists versus populists — have somehow come to a head all at once. The strains are there, all right, and they have been made much more acute in the Bush years under the weight of massive spending increases, evangelical overreach, abuse of executive power, conventional corruption, and (most disastrously) a mismanaged war. But the reflexive sense of cohesion on the right still manages to keep the rickety coalition together — if only because of the palpable weakness of the alternatives, at least so far.

Dsouza_2The crisis, rather, is of a different kind. It is intellectual, and it is deeper than anything captured by the conventional categories. The sole merit of Dinesh D’Souza’s new book is that it acknowledges this intellectual collapse, even as it is itself a document of that collapse; and it proposes a new way forward. Whatever else may be said about The Enemy at Home — and the maledictions from left and right have been ferocious — it has at least the courage to pursue the logic of Bush-era conservatism all the way to its end. In this sense, it is a mainstream conservative book, in its own way even a visionary one, expanding on the direction that American conservatism has taken and daring it to continue aggressively on that very path.

More here.