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This line from Sam Tanenhaus’s article on the “original sin” of conservatism jumped out at me:

Calhoun’s innovation was to develop a radical theory of minority-interest democracy based on his mastery of the Constitution’s quirky arithmetic, which often subordinated the will of the many to the settled prejudices of the few.

Near as I can tell, John C. Calhoun is periodically reincarnated, and most recently as Harry Blackmun.  Tanenhaus would be better off if he either thought more deeply about, or else let alone questions of “the Constitution’s quirky arithmetic” allowing policy to be made according to “the settled prejudices of the few.”  Yes, I know Blackmun was a Republican, but his ideological descendants aren’t.

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