Babbitt is a 1922 novel by Sinclair Lewis and the word, though little used now, came to mean “a person and especially a business or professional man who conforms unthinkingly to prevailing middle-class standards.” At this point, National Review more and more conforms unthinkingly to prevailing establishment standards in New York and Washington, D.C. and reminds me of the recent buoy at the North Pole…

Unfortunately, since Mr. Buckley died, the magazine has drifted. It is no longer true north for conservatism. It has drifted from its position at the pole of conservatism into the currents of a political party. It is the house publication for the Republican Party. And there is a difference — a difference this latest editorial highlights. Republicans are about the acquisition of power to advance policies and goals designed to keep the GOP in power. Conservatism is about human freedom. Conservative publications need not be stenographers of the party.

The well-fed right of the 1950′s had merged with the Republican Party of the day. Buckley’s National Review sought to brighten the lines between party and ideology. Perhaps it is time again.