Actually I came across McCain's blog a few months back, altough I'm not sure that I have posted anything about until now. I came across it when I was writing a review of McCain's (and Lynn Vincent's) book, Donkey Cons : Sex, Crime, and Corruption in the Democratic Party, which will be published in the August issue of Chronicles.
But as Maria von Trapp would say, er, sing, "Let's start at the very beginning." The June issue of Reason published the aforementioned review, which was in reality a dismissive little sidebar filled with non sequiturs. McCain's follow up post responding to Dreher indicates that he believes that Dreher is simply engaging in conspicuous consumption:
By "non-factory-farmed meat," Dreher refers to modes of production which add significantly to costs. It is all fine and good for the affluent educated elite to seek out organic vegetables and free-range meat, since they have the money, knowledge, and time to do so. This option is not really available to the poor, who must eat cheap or go hungry. Because there are (and always will be) more poor than rich people, the ostentatiously "moral" eating habits of the elite will have no measureable effect on the welfare of feed animals in general.
What Dreher's adoration of the organic diet is really about is Veblenesque conspicuous consumption. In this case, the status display involves moral virtue. Dreher apparently believes that his grocery shopping habits make him morally superior to those of us who just buy whatever's on sale at Food Lion. If I refuse to "engage" such an argument, it is because no sober person could take it seriously.
What nonsense. Factory farming and agribusiness don't produce "cheap" food-- they externalize their costs. It is safe to assume that Robert Stacey McCain doesn't care at all about the environmental damage done by the "meat-industrial complex," but that doesn't mean it that there is no reason for concern.
The real reason for McCain's antipathy seems to be jealousy. In Reason he wrote, "Right now, I'm envious of Dreher, whose anti-materialist conservative book is selling like crazy at Amazon.com." On his blog he added, "Last I heard, Rod Dreher's Crunchy Cons was in its third printing, having been promoted with its very own theme blog at National Review Online. But Dreher, not content with having pocketed fat royalty checks from Crown Forum . . ."
I guess more people are into Crunchy than Donkey. I noted in my forthcoming review in Chronicles that, " Donkey Cons holds little appeal for anyone who isn't already a partisan Republican, and it enters a market already saturated with the products of Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Bernard Goldberg, Michelle Malkin, and many others." It must stick in McCain's craw all the more since, to the extent that the books are aimed at conservatives, Dreher is offering up (organic, hippie-grown) spinach; while Donkey Cons offers ice-cream (store-bought, from factory-farm cows whose unhealthy bodies are crammed with antibiotics -- and he likes it that way, dammit!). It is a big heaping bowl of "DEMOCRATS ARE BAD!!!!!"
I guess that even many on the right want more nutritional value.