“In March, First Things published a manifesto of sorts signed by several mostly youngish, mostly Roman Catholic writers, who argued that “there is no returning to the pre-Trump conservative consensus that collapsed in 2016,” that “any attempt to revive the failed conservative consensus that preceded Trump would be misguided and harmful to the right.”
Against whom, concretely speaking, was this declaration directed?
I don’t claim to speak for the other signatories. But as one of the principal drafters, I have given the question a great deal of thought, both before and since the document’s publication. And I can now say that for me, “Against the Dead Consensus” drew a line of demarcation with what I call David French-ism, after the National Review writer and Never-Trump stalwart.
What is David French-ism? As Irving Kristol said of neoconservatism, French-ism is more a persuasion or a sensibility than a movement with clear tenets. …”
What is David French-ism?
In our view, David French is the personification of the class of pundits who we labeled cuckservatives: a weak, pretentious, hypocritical, grinning, housebroken, sanctimonious loser. He is always searching for that pat on the head from the mainstream media. He is the modern American conservative who is bossed around by his wife. He is the conservative who lacks testicles.
I mean … I don’t hate the guy for being low-T and politically correct. I find him more amusing than anything else. There is a type of trendy evangelical conservative in American politics who has lost the culture war and David French is their leader. They lack confidence in themselves and are content to go on losing indefinitely too. We can’t afford another 20 years of David French-ism.
David French is nicer than we are, but we are tougher. He is so nice and deferential to his wife that he is raising some black guy’s kid for she can go around preening at CPAC.
Note: Imagine for a moment what it must be like to be David French. His wife publishes Op-Eds in The Washington Post about carrying on a sexual relationship with her family pastor as a teenager.