That stalwart set at National Review known as “The Editors” has done what it always does to a genuinely conservative display in the halls of power.  Far from a radical denunciation, which may invite a more thoughtful reading of events and sentences, they’ve taken to light pooh-poohing.  Rand Paul is providing “great entertainment,” and “We salute his brio.”  Yet please, they snortle: Drones are “suddenly the world’s most feared weapon”?  And just imagine the absurdity of a drone strike on Americans “at cafes”!  (Paging Janet Reno!)  Obviously, obviously a President who ordered such an attack would be impeached.  Senator Paul is “tilting at drones” and “fighting a phantom menace.”

Reading that pooh-pooh reminded me of a key passage from Sam Francis’s “Neoconservatism and the Managerial Revolution” (collected in his indispensable book Beautiful Losers):

“Neoconservatism rejected all forms of extremism and all suggestions of a need for far-reaching change. . . . Moderation, gradualism, empiricism, pragmatism, centrism became the watchwords of neoconservatism, whereby confrontation with the fundamental mechanisms and tendencies of the managerial system and fundamental changes suggested by either the Right or the Left were avoided.  In the neoconservative view of America, there was nothing seriously wrong with the society and government that had developed between the New Deal and the Great Society, and it was the goal of neoconservatives to communicate the soundness of the managerial system to the adversary intellectuals of the Left and to co-opt the militant activists of the New Right.”