Monday, December 12, 2016
Can Trump and Constitutional Conservatism Coexist?
At RealClearPolitics by Peter Berkowitz
-- The idea of a “constitutional conservatism” is back in the news. It came into vogue on the right in response to the pursuit by President Obama—after his victory in the 2008 presidential election and the Democrats’ sweep of both houses of Congress—of ambitious progressive policies. Many critics have been tempted to conclude that Donald Trump’s wildly unorthodox, anti-establishment campaign and improbable victory have dealt a deathblow to the brand of conservatism built around preserving the principles of liberty and self-government to which the Constitution is devoted.
Prominent among those who could not resist the temptation has been Sam Tanenhaus, who has been declaring the end of conservatism for the better part of a decade. In the summer of 2009, just as the Tea Party movement, with its call for a return to the Constitution, was jump-starting what would turn out to be the major Republican midterm gains of 2010, Tanenhaus published “The Death of Conservatism.”