By Charles Kesler. Sounds right to me.
Even a smart liberal like Sam Tanenhaus considers the Tea Party to be the last gasp of a dying conservatism that has ceased to be Burkean and become, in his word, “Jacobin,” that is, revolutionary in the bad, French sense. Of course, the Tea Party’s very name refers to a revolution—but to the American Revolution, not the irrational French one. Tanenhaus doesn’t see much of a difference because he seems to dismiss as extremist any form of politics that doesn’t go with the evolutionary flow, and that appeals to universal and timeless principles of justice. One is tempted to say that he rejects natural rights as firmly as John C. Calhoun did and for a similar reason: they endanger the ancien regime, which in our time is liberalism.