The New Yorker is hardly the optimal vehicle for reaching the conservative intelligentsia. But, last year, Barack Obama cooperated with a profile for that magazine where he seemed to be speaking directly to the right. Because he paid obeisance to the virtues of stability and continuity, his interlocutor, Larissa MacFarquhar, came away with the impression that the Illinois senator was an adherent of Edmund Burke: "In his view of history, in his respect for tradition, in his skepticism that the world can be changed any way but very, very slowly, Obama is deeply conservative."
As The New Yorker's assessment shot across blogs, many conservatives listened eagerly. A broad swath of the movement has been in open revolt against George W. Bush--and the Republican Party establishment--for some time. They don't much care for the Iraq war or the federal government's vast expansion over the last seven-and-a-half years. And, in the eyes of these discontents, the nomination of John McCain only confirmed the continuation of the worst of the Bush-era deviations from first principles.