A Fascist Philosopher Helps Us Understand Contemporary Politics

To understand what is distinctive about today's Republican Party, you first need to know about an obscure and very conservative German political philosopher. His name, however, is not Leo Strauss, who has been widely cited as the intellectual guru of the Bush administration. It belongs, instead, to a lesser known, but in many ways more important, thinker named Carl Schmitt.

Strauss and Schmitt were once close professionally; Schmitt supported Strauss's application for a Rockefeller