I like it. With two caveats:
- WTF does the name mean? Is it some tragically hip reference I’m just not getting?
- As it stands, the editorial staff is like some bizarre combination of Townhall.com and The American Scene. Maybe this was intentional, but it comes off as pretty jarring. The Confabulum, for example, is populated by the likes of Conor Friedersdorf and James Poulos – both of whom are incredibly introspective and always worth reading – but then Ericka Andersen (good Scandinavian name, that!) pops in and worries out loud that an Obama Administration will be run by terrorists. Over at the PomoCon Blog, Peter Lawler says that Obama on foreign policy is a “McGovernite” (would that it were so!), and the Ladyblog almost entirely consists of fairly orthodox conservative writers.
Then again, maybe this is the genius of the venture. I’ve always thought there was a clear distinction between the two halves of the conservative-libertarian blogosphere. One the one hand, you have the mainstream outlets – your Townhalls, your Michelle Malkins, National Review – and on the other, dissidents from all over the ideological map, and never the twain shall meet. Incidentally, the brouhaha between RedState and Culture11 seemed likely to reify this divide.
But if Culture11 succeeds in bringing together dissident conservative intellectuals and their mainstream counterparts, it can only be a good thing. After all, if we’re to rebuild the conservative movement, we’ll have to convince a fair number of people who enthusiastically supported Bush (and now, McCain) to reconsider a number of intensely partisan positions (this one comes to mind). I don’t see that happening without some intense (and yes, jarring) inter-faith dialog. For what it’s worth, Culture 11 seems like a decent start.