The first family of Crunchy Conservatism

The first family of Crunchy Conservatism

The Washington Post sent its Style reporter (what is “Style?”) to have dinner with Rod and Julie Dreher and their kids recently to talk to them about Crunchy Con culture. I have a unique perspective, I guess, because Melanie and I and Melanie’s sister Theresa also had dinner with the Drehers a couple of years ago when we were down in Dallas. And like the reporter Hank Stuever, we too found the Drehers to be very hospitable hosts and the kind of people you want to call friend.

(Incidentally, it’s interesting but I’ve noticed a certain dynamic among male conservative Catholic journalists that their wives tend to really be the better halves. And that’s not putting Rod down at all! It’s true of Rod and Julie, of me and Melanie, and of Phil and Leila Lawler. We Catholic ink-stained wretches definitely marry “up”.)

The story takes its typically snarky shots—even while quoting a prescient Jonah Goldberg who had predicted the Crunchy Con idea was “fit for some snarking liberal reporter at the Washington Post ‘Style’ section”—but on the whole it does a decent job of letting the Drehers’ personality shine through.

What’s with the labels?

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
7 comments
  • When Rod first wrote on this subject, he referred to it as “granola conservatism.” I’ve wanted to write on this topic for a long time now, but have trouble getting past the label.

    Of course, that’s just me.

  • BTW, I just found out today, from Amy’s blog, that Rod and his family are considering becoming Orthodox(as in Greek, Russian, etc. not orthodox Catholic). He as a post on his blog about it and there are like a zillion comments.

  • (Incidentally, it’s interesting but I’ve noticed a certain dynamic among male conservative Catholic journalists that their wives tend to really be the better halves. And that’s not putting Rod down at all! It’s true of Rod and Julie, of me and Melanie, and of Phil and Leila Lawler. We Catholic ink-stained wretches definitely marry “up”.)

    Dom, is that because your wives (or gifted women in general) are very bad at finding and forming relationships with their true peers, or because their peers don’t exist (or are too rare)?  Or, is it because somehow they see a higher value in marrying down?

    To what do you attribe your answer, whatever it is?

  • We have impeccable taste, while our wives compensate for their brilliance by having low standards.

    (You do know that I was semi-tongue-in-cheek with my original comment, right?)

  • I thought you probably were, but I thought I would toss in a jab.  Not being in the know I didn’t receive it as a private joke.  I’m not accustomed to describing anyone in that way unless I know for certain people will take it as in jest (unless, of course, it’s actually true that the person in question is more capable and I have reason to believe others don’t know that).  Since I don’t know any of you at all well, I had no specific reason to believe you were joking.

  • “I like fine, handmade cigars and old whiskey.”

    …which makes you a Catholic worthy of Belloc and Chesterton.

    I just got back from my pastor’s rectory. I had a nice handmade Dominican cigar and some very nice blended Scotch.

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