> Speaking of braindead right-wingers, Jonah Goldberg once actually said
> something that was pretty plausible on this score. He said conservatives all
> have a common corpus of Great Classic Works of conservative political
> philosophy, like the ones you mention above, whereas liberals or
> "progressives" have nothing like that. Who is the great thinker of American
> liberalism? I mean that contemporary liberals actually recognize and cite as
> a maître à penser of their own?
Modern liberalism is just the more pragmatic, compassionate mode of the ideology held by American conservatives. The society we have - market, family, country - is basically just, but because it's not approached in dogmatic terms, one can engage in formal deviations that make sense in the particular context without jumping through a number of mental hoops. It's a very precritical approach, not that that's a necessarily good or bad thing.
Note that like us, movement Conservatives engage in endless definitional debates over the boundaries of their philosophy, have fine terms to distinguish different approaches, and so on. The center-left is unhappy when DP officials are excessively right but doesn't really view it in the same terms.