The "conservative" world conceived of by the author of "The Flight 93 Election" isn't radical, it's unimaginative.
Being the good leftist that he his, however, Damon Linker senses the inherent weakness and flogs the man as a "reactionary" just for thinking about getting his feet wet, almost daring the author to defend what he knows he probably would not.
Struggling swimmer in the water. Shark arrives.
The weakness of the anonymous author, Publius Decius Mus, is illustrated by the closing which imagines what actually lassoing the moon would look like in his mind: a return to constitutionalism, limited government and a top marginal income tax rate of 28%. Really?
You won't get either of the first two while keeping the third. And the income tax wasn't "constitutional".
It doesn't occur to our anonymous author that through the income tax is how big government in this country made a big splash in the first place, and that it was necessary for progressives to eradicate the constitution's self-limitation expressed in its direct taxation handcuffs in order to achieve that big government.
In effect repudiating "constitutionalism" was necessary. And that's what the progressive era achieved, sweeping away the defenses of the constitution through the amendment process, bringing us woman's suffrage, the direct election of senators and the income tax. It made the country sick enough, but only enough to cut off the fourth leg of the progressive stool by repealing Prohibition.
So it works both ways. We can change our minds. The task of conservatism in our time ought to be to wake up the country to the possibilities of more repeal, to the conviction that we can correct our mistakes, whether it's the income tax, direct election of senators, or the vote of 18-year olds. And to the possibilities of ratification, say of Article the First.
Being "reactionary" isn't a bug, it's a feature, and thoroughly American.
Unless you're a communist. Or Damon Linker. But I repeat myself.