Tuesday March 24, 2020
Jon Utley saved my life. While I hadn’t literally fallen into a well and had him pull me out, in a figurative sense that is exactly what he did. Having just spent most of the 1990s living and working abroad in Hungary, I found myself back in Washington, DC, in a well-known neoconservative think tank. It’s a long story, but much of that strange situation had to do with a combination of disorientation and lack of political contacts after so long overseas.
As anyone in those DC circles would recall from that time, Wednesday mornings were set aside for “coalition” meetings chaired by Grover Norquist, where representatives of the so-called conservative think tanks would each give their updates to the delight of those “coalition members” lucky enough to be in attendance.
These organizations were all solidly neoconservative and were all somehow connected with the massive direct mail rip-off known as “Conservatism, Inc.” Terrify the rubes in flyover country into kicking in a few bucks to fight the enemy of the day who was about to destroy us. More than a couple mansions in the tony DC suburbs were built from the pennies of pensioners frightened by conjured hobgoblins.