Follow up on the Christopher Buckley endorsement

It appears that the conservatives are (shock) not so tolerant as one might hope.  Christopher Buckley has been co-opted into resigning from the National Review, the magazine his father, the late William F. Bukley, Jr., founded, over his reasoned endorsement of Barack Obama for President.  Buckley, indeed, took great care in distancing his endorsement from the magazine, instead publishing it in The Daily Beast.  Apparently, that was not enough to keep the National Review On-Line from getting in the “awkward position” Buckley was trying to help them avoid.  Here is part of his explanation, from The Daily Beast, on why he is leaving the NRO:


Within hours of my endorsement appearing in The Daily Beast it became clear that National Review had a serious problem on its hands. So the next morning, I thought the only decent thing to do would be to offer to resign my column there. This offer was accepted—rather briskly!—by Rich Lowry, NR’s editor, and its publisher, the superb and able and fine Jack Fowler. I retain the fondest feelings for the magazine that my father founded, but I will admit to a certain sadness that an act of publishing a reasoned argument for the opposition should result in acrimony and disavowal.

My father in his day endorsed a number of liberal Democrats for high office, including Allard K. Lowenstein and Joe Lieberman. One of his closest friends on earth was John Kenneth Galbraith. In 1969, Pup wrote a widely-remarked upon column saying that it was time America had a black president. (I hasten to aver here that I did not endorse Senator Obama because he is black. Surely voting for someone on that basis is as racist as not voting for him for the same reason.) 

My point, simply, is that William F. Buckley held to rigorous standards, and if those were met by members of the other side rather than by his own camp, he said as much. My father was also unpredictable, which tends to keep things fresh and lively and on-their-feet. He came out for legalization of drugs once he decided that the war on drugs was largely counterproductive. Hardly a conservative position. Finally, and hardly least, he was fun. God, he was fun. He liked to mix it up.  

So, I have been effectively fatwahed (is that how you spell it?) by the conservative movement, and the magazine that my father founded must now distance itself from me. But then, conservatives have always had a bit of trouble with the concept of diversity. The GOP likes to say it’s a big-tent. Looks more like a yurt to me.

While I regret this development, I am not in mourning, for I no longer have any clear idea what, exactly, the modern conservative movement stands for. Eight years of “conservative” government has brought us a doubled national debt, ruinous expansion of entitlement programs, bridges to nowhere, poster boy Jack Abramoff and an ill-premised, ill-waged war conducted by politicians of breathtaking arrogance. As a sideshow, it brought us a truly obscene attempt at federal intervention in the Terry Schiavo case. 

So, to paraphrase a real conservative, Ronald Reagan: I haven’t left the Republican Party. It left me. 

Thanks, anyway, for the memories, and here’s to happier days and with any luck, a bit less fresh hell.



Filed under Barack Obama, People, Political Opinion

3 responses to “Follow up on the Christopher Buckley endorsement

  1. Lawrence Kennon

    I was wondering if Christopher Buckley, who apparently is very impressed by Barrack Obama’s writing skills, has read about Jack Cashill’s theory that Bill Ayers fixed up, or nearly rewrote Obama’s “‘Dreams from My Father” for him? Might it be that Christopher is really admiring Ayer’s writing skill? See this URL for more on that:

    Evidence Mounts: Ayers Co-Wrote Obama’s Dreams

    By Jack Cashill

  2. ashpolitics

    This conspiracy theory is one of the biggest jokes around. Puh-lease.

  3. Donovan Moore

    It appears McCain was more tied up in the Abramoff scandal then anyone at first thought. I’ve found a series of videos on youtube explaining the disturbing connections.

    there are many others that can be found by doing a youtube search for ‘gary chafetz’

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