According to Wolfe’s article in the The Chronicle of Higher Education:
Liberals think of politics as a means; conservatives as an end. Politics, for liberals, stops at the water’s edge; for conservatives, politics never stops. Liberals think of conservatives as potential future allies; conservatives treat liberals as unworthy of recognition. Liberals believe that policies ought to be judged against an independent ideal such as human welfare or the greatest good for the greatest number; conservatives evaluate policies by whether they advance their conservative causes. Liberals instinctively want to dampen passions; conservatives are bent on inflaming them. Liberals think there is a third way between liberalism and conservatism; conservatives believe that anyone who is not a conservative is a liberal. Liberals want to put boundaries on the political by claiming that individuals have certain rights that no government can take away; conservatives argue that in cases of emergency — conservatives always find cases of emergency — the reach and capacity of the state cannot be challenged.
American conservatives who bothered to read the article didn’t think the argument worked. NRO’s Jonah Goldberg suggested that if you "spend half an hour trolling for websites fully loyal to the Democratic party… you will find a moral absolutism and dualism of the Schmittian variety oozing out of every page view."
Bloggers like Russell Arben Fox, Jacob Levy, Eric Grey, and Matt Yglesias weren’t overly impressed either. Some thought that Wolfe’s analysis of right wing politics only made sense if Schmitt was right.
Wolfe has trouble understanding why so many leftists are fascinated with a strident anti-semite and Nazi like Schmitt. He suggests that Schmittian leftists are attracted to his stress on the use of power in politics and his opposition to liberalism. He worries that after the collapse of communism these leftists have adopted an ‘anyone but John Stuart Mill’ approach.
Troppo’s Mark Bahnisch has written an academic paper on Schmitt’s ideas (pdf). Personally I’m not familiar enough with Schmitt’s work to have a clear opinion on many the issues Mark raises so I’d welcome comments. I’m sure Mark would too.