Rod Dreher is a political and religious conservative writer for the Dallas Morning News as well as a blogger over at Beliefnet. A Methodist who converted to Catholicism and then Eastern Orthodoxy, he is a complex individual when it comes to politics and religion, two topics he finds significantly intertwined. He accepts certain liberal inclinations, not because they are liberal but because thinks they are desirable and should be conservative. Using granola as a symbol of liberal tokenism and as a metaphor, he defines himself and many conservatives like himself as crunchy conservatives. The title of an article he wrote for National Review (the late William F. Buckley’s journal), “Birkenstocked Burkeans: Confessions of a granola conservative,” says it all. He wrote:
The Granola Conservatives I know tend not to be wealthy, but labor in the creative and intellectual vineyards as writers, professors, and artists. They also tend to be religious. It’s foolish to go too far in metaphysicalizing questions of taste, but a big part of it, at least for those of us who are part of older Christian traditions, comes from learning to see the world sacramentally. In the sacramental vision, which is shared by Catholics and the Orthodox, the spirit world is mediated through the material world, which is another way of saying we experience God in creation. To someone imbued with a sacramental vision, qualities inherent in things — from the food we eat to the buildings we live in — matter in profoundly spiritual ways.
For some reason, he liked Sarah Palin. I don’t think it was a knee jerk response to McCain’s pick or to the Republican Party. I think he saw her as something of a crunchy conservative. That has ended. This morning I found this on his blog Cruchy Con: Palin debacle on CBS Evening News
Couric’s questions are straightforward and responsible. Palin is mediocre, again, regurgitating talking points mechanically, not thinking. Palin’s just babbling. She makes George W. Bush sound like Cicero.
[more] I remember the morning I woke up in my college dorm room and went in to take my final exam in my Formal Logic class. I knew I was unready. Massively unready. And now I was going to be put to the ultimate test. I sat down in Dr. Sarkar’s class and resolved to wing it. Of course I failed the exam and failed the class, because I had no idea what I was talking about. I wasn’t a bad kid, or even a stupid kid. I was just badly unprepared, and in way over my head. Seeing the Palin interview on CBS, I thought of myself in Dr. Sarkar’s exam. But see, I was a college undergraduate who had the chance to take the class again, which I did, and passed (barely). I wasn’t running for vice president of the United States.
[more still] UPDATE: New Palin excerpt up, in which she discusses why having Russia next to Alaska gives her relevant foreign policy experience. I am well and truly embarrassed for her. I think she’s a good woman who might well be a great governor of Alaska. But good grief, just watch this train wreck[.]
And in another posting, Dreher points us to Daniel Larison writing in the American Conservative. Dreher says this:
Larison’s also very good on how McCain has taken someone who’s to all evidence a good person, and a good governor, and elevated her via a kind of political affirmative action to a position vastly beyond her competence, and probably destroyed her.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see McCain drop her and pick another candidate, specifically someone to focus on the economy. It may be too late. In destroying Palin, he may have destroyed himself. He picked her.