It’s not a ringing endorsement, nor so wide as a church door.
When Christopher Buckley is saying he’s going to vote for Obama, it’s over.
Aaaannnd He’s been fired for it.
Or maybe resigned “briskly”…
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.
Might not have been a good idea to alienate one of the funniest writers, funny not just for a conservative, but funny, writers in America.
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.
How about Christopher Hitchens for Obama?
Last week’s so-called town-hall event showed Sen. John McCain to be someone suffering from an increasingly obvious and embarrassing deficit, both cognitive and physical. And the only public events that have so far featured his absurd choice of running mate have shown her to be a deceiving and unscrupulous woman utterly unversed in any of the needful political discourses but easily trained to utter preposterous lies and to appeal to the basest element of her audience. McCain occasionally remembers to stress matters like honor and to disown innuendoes and slanders, but this only makes him look both more senile and more cynical, since it cannot (can it?) be other than his wish and design that he has engaged a deputy who does the innuendoes and slanders for him.
Hey now Buckley, no slamming yurts! A well made yurt compared to a typical camping tent is super awesome (mostly because the completely vertical side walls make it easy to move around inside of them, and you can put a fire in one as well).
I like Hitchens. He’s a very persuasive writer that I usually agree with, so reading his stuff is nice.
If you’ve never read this Buckley, he can be a superbly funny writer, no matter what your political persuasion.
“Thank You for Smoking” was a very funny novel. Much better than the movie.
And now he’s fired:
National Review Boots Buckley Son For Obama Boost
In 1955, when WFB announced his new magazine and explained the reasons for it, he described conservatives as “non-licensed nonconformists”:
“Radical conservatives in this country have an interesting time of it, for when they are not being suppressed or mutilated by Liberals, they are being ignored or humiliated by a great many of those of the well-fed Right, whose ignorance and amorality have never been exaggerated for the same reason that one cannot exaggerate infinity.”
Fast-forward half a century, and the old is the new.
Radical conservatives are still having an interesting time of it, though these days they are being mutilated by fellow “conservatives.” The well-fed Right now cultivates ignorance as a political strategy and humiliates itself when its brightest sons seek sanctuary in the solitude of personal honor.
The truth few wish to utter is that the GOP has abandoned many conservatives, who mostly nurse their angst in private. Those chickens we keep hearing about have indeed come home to roost. Years of pandering to the extreme wing – the “kooks” the senior Buckley tried to separate from the right – have created a party no longer attentive to its principles.
Instead, as Christopher Buckley pointed out in a blog post on thedailybeast.com explaining his departure from National Review, eight years of “conservatism” have 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.”
Republicans are not short on brainpower – or pride – but they have strayed off course. They do not, in fact, deserve to win this time, and someone had to remind them why.
Christopher Buckley, ever the swashbuckling heir to his father’s defiant spirit, walked the plank so that the sinking mother ship might right itself.
Washington Post editorial page endorses Obama (albeit with reservations).
Considering this is the same editorial page which said Pinochet wasn’t all bad two years ago, that actually says something.
Who is William F. Buckley and why should we care?
Dead Arch Conservative (actual title) and the founder of The National Review. He’s often credited as one of the godfathers of modern conservatism.
One of the founding fathers of modern conservatism: started National Review in 1955 and hosted Firing Line for over 3 decades. Incidentally, not the biggest fan of the neocons or Bush administration before he died this year.
For those who think legacies within social movements are a big deal, his son supporting Obama is worthy of note.
EDIT: Damn you, Trashcan, and your ninja edits!
I like this Christopher Buckley fellow. An intellectually honest conservative! They do exist!
Thanks for clearing it up guys!
But one last thing, by “modern conservatism” how exactly does that differ from neoconservatism?
Chicago Tribune just announced they are endorsing Obama, first time in history they have endorsed the Democratic nominee.
David Brooks writes:
[Palin] is another step in the Republican change of personality. Once conservatives admired Churchill and Lincoln above all — men from wildly different backgrounds who prepared for leadership through constant reading, historical understanding and sophisticated thinking. Now those attributes bow down before the common touch.
And so, politically, the G.O.P. is squeezed at both ends. The party is losing the working class by sins of omission — because it has not developed policies to address economic anxiety. It has lost the educated class by sins of commission — by telling members of that class to go away.
I’m not sure William F. Buckley would be voting for McCain, either.
Why would a newspaper endorse a candidate? Isn’t that just confirming that the news is biased?
No. Endorsements are by the editorial board, which is separate from the news staff and oversees the op-ed pages.