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GOP Essayist: Nat’l Review ‘No Longer Even Remotely Conservative’

'It's hard to say what National Review is now... '

(Tony Sifert, Headline USA) Continuing a years-long feud between members of the right-wing commentariat — mostly having to do with rhetorical strategy — the Claremont-Hillsdale political philosopher and former Trump national security official Michael Anton has attacked Movement Conservatism’s flagship publication, National Review, for its “addiction to punching right.”

Anton was moved to comment in response to The American Spectator’s publication of a self-interview (!) conducted by Neal B. Freeman, a friend and former colleague of National Review‘s founding editor, the late William F. Buckley, Jr.

As he interviewed himself, Freeman contended that the so-called New Right — the latest example of those he calls “prefixed conservatives” — is unwilling to join with the “coalition conservatives” represented by National Review in their practice of the “politics of reality.”

According to Freeman, members of the Trump-supporting “New Right” are too stupid to understand prudential “leadership” of the man who sought to appease the Left by kicking the John Birch Society, along with many others, out of the respectable conservative movement.

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In response, Anton attacked National Review‘s “continued drift to the left” and its desperate attempts to achieve relevance by attacking anyone to its right.

“I do not believe the magazine Buckley founded is any longer even remotely conservative in the manner of the Buckley whom Freeman praises,” Anton wrote in his letter to the editor. “It’s hard to say what National Review is now.”

In an essay published in late June at The American Mind, Anton took National Review to task for publishing a reductio-ad-Hitlerum hit-piece on the Claremont Institute in which a certain Mike Watson suggested that the Institute’s support for Trump is animated by a Nazi political philosophy.

“One reason the genuine right considers National Review a joke is that the magazine long ago lost the ability to distinguish between friends and enemies,” Anton wrote.

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“NR spills considerable ink cozying up to the left and trying to show that they are not like those unacceptable bad conservatives but are instead harmless and reliable good guys.”

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