Over at balkinization, my buddy Ken Kersch has a post on the punditocracy’s talk, apparently rampant this election season, about the contradictions within American conservatism—e.g. Congressman Ryan’s fondness for Ayn Rand and Roman Catholicism (not to mention headbanging music). A political movement that contains such disparate intellectual traditions and forces—plus neocons, business folks, etc.—can’t possibly hold together, thumb suckers surmise. As Ken notes, though, predictions of this sort have proven wrong for quite some time now. In 1995, political scientist Theodore J. Lowi predicted The End of the Republican Era and the disintegration of conservative politics.