Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Conservative Defections Continue: Christopher Buckey Endorses Obama

In case you haven't noticed, the Republican intelligentsia has been running from the McCain-Palin ticket for some weeks. This response stems in part from McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate, a selection that hasn't gone over well with thinking Republicans.

The latest GOP defection is a big one. Christopher Buckley, son of the late conservative icon and National Review founder William F. Buckley, has endorsed Barack Obama. Hard to believe, we know, but it's a fact.

Needless to say, Buckley's decision hasn't been a popular on the Right. From what we've read, he's been drummed out of the movement. Some conservatives are dumping their subscriptions to National Review.

Here's some of Buckley's response:

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.


Savage Baptist said...

I have to agree with most of Mr. Buckley's quoted material; where I have the hard time understanding his actions is in why on Earth he thinks Senator Obama would be any better. He certainly doesn't have a track record suggesting any such thing.

Tulsan said...

So therefore, go with the GOP to get us out of all the problems the GOP got us into?

Savage Baptist said...

Nah, more like don't go jumping from the frying pan into the fire. :)

Look, I agree with Mr. Buckley to an extent.

Eight years of “conservative” government...

Agreed, because of the quote marks. It has been a Republican government, not a conservative one. But a Democratic government would be even less conservative.

... has brought us a doubled national debt...

True. But I think a Democratic government would likely bring us even more. Senator Obama certainly doesn't seem to have any ambitions of trimming spending.

...ruinous expansion of entitlement programs...

True. But when it comes to entitlement programs, Democrats are the creators thereof, at least most of the time. I don't think I can count on them to improve on the GOP's performance. Rather, I think they'll be worse.

...bridges to nowhere...

True. But again, I fail to see any indication that Democrats don't collect their share of pork.

...poster boy Jack Abramoff...

Hmmmm--I imagine we'd be trading the names of corrupt politicians and influence-peddlers back and forth for quite a while. Bottom line for me: as I've mentioned before, I pretty much take it for granted that most politicians are liars and probably corrupt. I call that one a wash.

...and an ill-premised, ill-waged war conducted by politicians of breathtaking arrogance.

As you may be aware, I have my objections as to how Iraq's been handled, too--but if there's a lick of evidence that Democrats are preferable in this regard, I have yet to see it. They seem just as prone to interventionist wars--the case can easily be made for "more so"--as Republicans. And since, as far as I can tell, most on the Far Left despise the military altogether--well, no, I don't see a Democratic administration as any better in this regard. brought us a truly obscene attempt at federal intervention in the Terry Schiavo case.

To my mind, one of the biggest heresies ever committed has been when Democrats turned from Jeffersonian small-government, more or less anti-federalist philosophy to become the progenitors of the Imperial Federal Government. Seems to me that Democrats are more interventionist than Republicans, not less.

So, no, I still don't see why Mr. Buckley would endorse Senator Obama on those grounds. Everything he lists as objectionable about Republican rule is just as bad, usually worse, under Democratic rule.

Tulsan said...

As the writer Digby notes periodically, "Conservatism can never fail, it can only be failed."

Much like communism: swell theory, but for some reason, never implemented correctly. Had it been done just right, no doubt it wouldn't have resulted in all those brutal dictatorships.

Bush won't enjoy the veneration showered on the sainted Reagan. He'll be excoriated by the "new" conservatives, i.e., the old conservatives who want their power back.