William F. Buckley’s son, Christopher, is endorsing Barack Obama (h/t Balloon Juice). And, somehow, I don’t think WFB is rolling over in his grave. He did not write the endorsement in the National Review because he wasn’t in the mood to repeat the experience of his colleague Kathleen Parker who pointed out that Sarah Palin is an embarrassment. Parker subsequently received on the order of 12,000 foaming conservative e-mails, including one suggesting that her mother ought to have aborted her and thrown the fetus into a dumpster. Classy. Country First!
As for McCain, Buckley seems to admire him — or at least his past, but:
This campaign has changed John McCain. It has made him inauthentic. A once-first class temperament has become irascible and snarly; his positions change, and lack coherence; he makes unrealistic promises, such as balancing the federal budget â€œby the end of my first term.â€ Who, really, believes that? Then there was the self-dramatizing and feckless suspension of his campaign over the financial crisis. His ninth-inning attack ads are mean-spirited and pointless. And finally, not to belabor it, there was the Palin nomination. What on earth can he have been thinking?
As for Obama, Buckley characterizes him as having a first class temperament, a solid intellect, and hopes that Obama isn’t all that serious about the left wing stuff.
Obama has in himâ€”I think, despite his sometimes airy-fairy â€œWe are the people we have been waiting forâ€ silly rhetoricâ€”the potential to be a good, perhaps even great leader. He is, it seems clear enough, what the historical moment seems to be calling for.
So, I wish him all the best. We are all in this together. Necessity is the mother of bipartisanship. And so, for the first time in my life, Iâ€™ll be pulling the Democratic lever in November. As the saying goes, God save the United States of America.
Update Speaking of Buckley, Paul Campos suggests four reasons why this might be a bleak time to be a Bill Buckley paleo-conservative.
(1) Massive bipartisan momentum for major government intervention in the financial markets, with upwards of a trillion taxpayer dollars already committed, and, worse yet, calls for serious regulatory oversight.
(2) Another trillion dollars lit on fire for idiotic foreign adventures combining the worst features of Teddy Roosevelt style imperialism and Wilsonian internationalism.
(3) Total defeat now practically a forgone conclusion in the culture wars, with the ongoing spread of teh gay through courts and legislatures across the land being a particularly sharp reminder of how time is not your side, no it’s not.
(4) A — what are they calling it these days — black? (no dear, I believe it’s “Africa-American”) man with a Muslim name is about to become president.
The Sidewalk to Nowhere – an example of the frothing ugliness of more McCain supporters in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania:
(Apparently ACORN brought the financial crisis upon us.)
What a bunch of dumbasses. Apparently immune to irony, they think Obama supporters being in the same place as them means they don’t have jobs.
That, and only a complete dipshit would think Wall Street leveraged $30 trillion of investments on poor peoples’ housing, and its Obama’s fault. These people obviously don’t know that the areas where the housing bubble is the worst, like the Miami condo market or the Inland Empire of California, are filled with defaulted-on million-plus dollar properties. This stopped being just a subprime problem months ago. The majority of these defaults are working white people who cashed equity out of their houses like they were ATM machines, or bought beyond their means.
Let these people choose our country’s course, and get more of the same. Idiots, immune to information, data, or logic, just talking shit while the country falls apart.
Rev. AJB says
Gee, that sounds just like what we heard when we marched with the Obama campaign in the Lowell Labor Day parade. I was marching with an 18 year old college freshman-and he and I just kept our chins up and our mouths shut.
What I loved best is that when the facist idiots would yell out “commie” or worse, there was always a larger group of Obama supporters in the crowd who would stand up and applaud us. And they refused to yell back insults.