Alongside Professor Jacobson I have always regarded Dan Riehl as the one of the most honest, independent and fearless commentators of the right. Serious and thoughtful, nobody would ever accuse Mr Riehl of playing to the gallery. He ploughs his own furrow and does not hesitate to lock horns with fellow conservatives if the occasion arises.
His tone can be sharp but it is counter balanced by a wry sense of humour and acceptance of the fact that although principles should never be compromised the realities and vagaries of life sometimes warrant a flexibility of tactics – he is the Oliver Cromwell of the US conservative blogosphere.
He has been a good (but not uncritical) friend of Governor Palin from the outset. However he has never sought to imply some sort of close connection – rather he has deliberately cultivated the role of observer. For those reasons I sit up and take notice when he reflects about Palin and Perry and conservative values.
For what it’s worth, I’m getting a sense that, within the conservative movement, Perry may come to more represent the old line conservative movement, much of which is seriously compromised as a result of having been established in Washington for so long.
At the same time, I’m getting a sense that if the movement is to truly be re-energized and move forward from something it’s been for decades – something already bound up in Washington – it may take a Sarah Palin to move forward along that path. If that does become the case, the two paths do lead to a different place.
Ultimately, I believe the older line path – Perry, ultimately may only lead to more of the same – a lot of good talk, but not a lot of change. It may take Sarah Palin, or a Sarah Palin, or some number of them over time to truly re-vitalize the conservative movement in America. But I’m far from certain of it at this point, it’s simply beginning to look that way.
Read the rest here – especially the final paragraph….vintage Riehl….