Skip to comments.Buckley resigns from National Review [endorses Obama]
Posted on 10/17/2008 11:08:54 AM PDT by XR7
Christopher Buckley 75, co-founder of the Yale Daily News magazine and son of conservative icon William F. Buckley Jr. 50, resigned Saturday from his position as a columnist at National Review, the influential magazine his father founded five years after graduating from Yale.
The younger Buckley offered up his post to National Review editor Rich Lowry after Buckleys Thursday endorsement of Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama in an online news magazine elicited a wave of outrage from National Review readers.
By Friday, I was Judas, said Buckley in a telephone interview with the News on Tuesday night. I thought the decent thing to do under the circumstances was to offer to resign, and they rather quickly took me up on my offer.
Buckleys endorsement titled Sorry, Dad, Im Voting for Obama appeared Thursday on TheDailyBeast.com. In the piece, Buckley described his disapproval of the McCain campaign and the reasons for his surprising switch to Obama.
Obama has in him the potential to be a good, perhaps even great leader, Buckley wrote in the endorsement. He is, it seems clear enough, what the historical moment seems to be calling for.
National Review readers reacted immediately. In a Tuesday afternoon posting on The Daily Beast, Buckley described the flood of negative mail to National Review as a 700-1 landslide against his views.
They got an avalanche of pissed-off mail, Buckley said on the phone. People saying, Hes Judas, a Benedict Arnold, an asshole.
In a post on National Reviews Web site Tuesday afternoon, editor Rich Lowry denied Buckleys claim that his column had sparked such a massive reaction.
We have gotten about 100 e-mails, if that (a tiny amount compared to our usual volume), and threats of cancellations are in the single digits, Lowry wrote.
Although his father would have adamantly opposed the endorsement, Buckley said, the elder Buckley would have responded rationally, rather than emotionally.
He would let you say anything you had to say as long as it amounted to an argument, said Buckley. Then he would go after you and eviscerate you.
But the elder Buckley may not have been opposed to an Obama presidency in the first place. In 1970, Buckley wrote an article for LOOK magazine entitled Why We Need a Black President in 1980. In it, he argued that a young black man, possibly rising from the ranks of politically active blacks in communities across America, could rise to prominence and challenge Americas hypocrisy.
The election of a black man, William Buckley wrote then, would be a celebration of the ideals of a country which by this act alone would reassert its idealism.
It was a reminder of how unpredictable he was, said his son. That was one of the things that made WFB so damn interesting. He took unpredictable points of view.
Buckleys defection comes as an increasing number of moderate conservative pundits come out against the McCain-Palin ticket. Only three weeks ago, National Review columnist Kathleen Parker sparked a storm of controversy by calling for Republican vice-presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palins resignation. But the columns impacts may ultimately be washed out in the flood of media coverage surrounding trouble on Wall Street, which many pundits say has boosted Obamas prospects.
The financial crisis has been almost definitive, said diplomat-in-residence Charles Hill, a former foreign policy advisor to Mayor Rudy Giulianis presidential campaign. I think Obama is out in front and almost certainly will stay there.
Buckley cited the nomination of Palin as another turning point in the McCain candidacy.I initially swooned over Sarah Palin, he said. And then she started talking.
Buckley has written the back-page column for the National Review since June of this year and will be sad to bid farewell to the magazine, he said.
I love the National Review. Its the magazine my dad created and I will always be fond of it, Buckley said.
Yet he does not feel regret, he said. Im pretty confident I did not betray my fathers ghost, he said. I will sleep soundly tonight.
While Dad is rolling over in his grave!
Again? He’s done this like 20 times now.
Buckley is a typical ‘RAT. Endorse early and endorse often.
until they get their tax bill
...this really is the Apocalypse. The Seventh Seal is broken and its time for eight years of pure, delicious crazy....Anonymous Republican campaign consultant, quoted by Ben Smith.
Let’s see: Endorse a marxist. Feign ‘hurt’ and martyrdom because of conservative criticism.
What an unstable POS.
Funny, I and most people I know didn't care about Palin until she did start talking!
Chris Buckley is Ron Reagan Jr without the leotard
Another “Kapo Con” of the ObamaNation
Invertibrate dramaqueen attention whore; we got a million of’em. In 7 minutes you will have forgotten the whole thing and started focusing on what you’re going to eat for dinner.
No, by Friday everyone finally focused on how vapid and stupid you are after reading your shockingly shallow and muddle-headed reasons for supporting Obama. By Friday you were just another second-rate offspring of a first-rate father, something we've all seen a million times before.
I will sleep soundly tonight.
I won’t...not with the threat of Iran and terrorists that Obama will go easy with.
I was typing too fast. Should have been;
“...sandals to sandals IN 3 generations...”
Quick Note to the Elite, Inside the Beltway Conservative Pundits: Youre not Martyrs
Peggy Noonan, a person whom I respected up until she was caught lying to her readers in a hot mic incident, digs herself a bit deeper into her hole with her own readers with her latest piece, Palins Failin. The subtext of her article is succinctly expressed in her subtitle: What is it she stands for? After seven weeks, we dont know.
Lets quickly recount what we learned about Sarah Palin beginning with her nomination all the way through the first Vice Presidential Debate: Sarah Palin is pro-life, in favor of utilizing Americas natural resources in order to reduce our dependence on foreign energy, favors strong second amendment rights, supports capital punishment, opposes same sex marriage, and supports a preemptive foreign policy. I suppose if you exclude all of those major issues then we really dont know much about where Sarah Palin stands.
Aha! Ms. Noonan might say, but what about important game-changing issues like which school of contemporary philosophy Sarah Palin identifies with most? Does she identify more with Realism, Existentialism, or perhaps Post-Structuralism? These are important questions that must be answered with the utmost thoroughness.
Well, I guess its pretty clear that Gov. Palin wont be able to carry the coveted North Hampton-Ivy League-Neo Conservative demographic in the same convincing fashion that Senator Obama has. After all, Senator Obama has clearly aligned himself with the Christian realism school of philosophy, a contemporary school of philosophy that is viewed favorably this election cycle by the aforementioned demographic. Darn!
After a few more paragraphs of bashing Governor Palin and the barefoot rubes who are ignorant enough to vote for, let alone identify with, someone who is clearly too vulgar and inexperienced for the likes of the ultra-sophisticated beltway political scene, Peggy Noonan tops off an already bitter tirade with an uncharacteristically self-righteous, yet oddly tangential crescendo:
I gather this week from conservative publications that those whose thoughts lead them to criticism in this area are to be shunned, and accused of the lowest motives. In one now-famous case, Christopher Buckley was shooed from the great magazine his father invented. In all this, the conservative intelligentsia are doing what they have done for five years. They bitterly attacked those who came to stand against the Bush administration. This was destructive. If they had stood for conservative principle and the full expression of views, instead of attempting to silence those who opposed mere party, their movement, and the party, would be in a better, and healthier, position.
At any rate, come and get me, copper.
Ok, Ill bite. There is no reason that you (Peggy Noonan), Christopher Buckley, Kathleen Parker, David Brooks, or any other member of the self-anointed conservative intelligentsia should be surprised at the amount of anger outpouring from your readership towards you when you write articles that appear to pile on an already struggling conservative campaign effort.
You dutifully qualify every criticism of Palin with some snippet along the lines of Im not doing this to get invited to all the cool parties, yet the first thing you do once youve been booed off stage by your own readership is exactly that - you show up onto some sort of liberal haven like Hardball or The Colbert Report to apologize for how stupid and ignorant your own political movement is. You claim that your articles against the McCain campaign are written out of some concern that true conservative principles are dying, yet you express your disagreement by cheering on a man who supports out-in-the-open socialism. You all claim that you are wholly invested in traditional bread-and-butter conservatism, yet all of your actions contradict such claims.
Let me reemphasize one of Ms. Noonans lines:
If [high-profile conservative pundits] had stood for conservative principle and the full expression of views, instead of attempting to silence those who opposed mere party, their movement, and the party, would be in a better, and healthier, position.
Had I been given this snippet in isolation away from the rest of the self-righteous squawking screeched by our beloved Id be inclined to think that Noonan and others believe that it would have been in the best interests of both the Republican Party and the Conservative Movement to fight Bush and push him further towards the right during his administration. Im inclined to agree. However, if Noonan and her cohorts honestly believe that what they are doing right now in this election cycle is conducive to bringing about a conservative realignment amongst the Republican party then they are either being disingenuous or idiotic. I believe its the former.
If anything, the recent slide away by conservative megapundits away from McCain / Palin appears to be a rescue mission designed to salvage the credibility of conservative megapundits, not the Republican Party or the Conservative Movement. In fact, I think the deception on the behalf of these conservative pundits is a bit more duplicitous than they let on. While they claim to want a true conservative realignment of the Republican Party, theyre retooling their writing as though they expect the opposite to happen. It appears as though most of these longtime conservative pundits believe that a liberal realignment is whats going to occur, and these conservative pundits are simply making a phased withdrawal away from their longtime readership towards a left-leaning future readership.
Ms. Noonan and other megapundit turncoats: the outrage expressed by your readers hasnt been incurred because youve shifted your support away from the only conservative ticket on the ballot this November. Youre faced with reader outrage because youve expressed the same contempt for your readership that has traditionally been expressed solely by your colleagues on the other side of the aisle regarding conservatives - you extoll conservative virtues with one article and then damn the very candidates who embody those virtues simply with another, and not due to any substantive reason. Rather, its because those candidates didnt attend a university with a high enough U.S. News & World Report college ranking and dont articulate their positions using the same ebullient language found in the stump speeches of Senator Obama. Youre not sold on Palin or McCain out of lack of substance, but of lack of style; you claim that Gov. Palin hasnt effectively conveyed her positions on any major issues, yet its apparent that you have not been listening.
The problem of you and the rest of the intelligentsia on the conservative side of the aisle is that most of you are profusely embarrassed by the stylistic, not substantive, failings of your candidates. To make matters worse for your readers, there happens to be a candidate at the top of the Democratic ticket who has the opposite problem (lots of style, little substance), one which was widely recognized by yourselves and your readers prior to McCains financial crisis poll-slide and Palins Katie Couric interviews. You mull it over and decide that the Democratic candidate is the better choice, not for your historical ideological alignment but because hes the more intellectually defensible choice when it comes to your profession. Youve made a choice that will make it easier for you to maintain your credibility as thought leaders and journalists. There is no nobler choice for supporting a particular candidate than self-preservation.
But no long after youve made your decision you have to try your hand at persuading your audience, and you fail utterly. In the course of writing your article where you announce your strategic withdrawal away from McCain and towards Obama you experience severe cognitive dissonance: you cant explain why it makes sense to abandon a conservative candidate and support an ulta-liberal candidate in order to save conservatism, but you cant risk becoming a laughing stock among your Beltway cocktail buddies at the Washington Post by supporting a clear loser and his permapregnant rookie Governor sidekick from the backwash of the country. So you end up producing a garbage exit post and piss off the vocal majority of your readers.
Lets make this clear: when youre getting bombarded with angry emails from your subscribers, you know, the people who pay you money to write stuff that they want to read, you dont have any right to call their treatment unfair when youre the one being a duplicitous asshole. Just a thought.
Something happens to a person who is put on a pedistal for much of his or her life, it seems. (movie stars, rockers, etc)
They start to feel guilty for their privledge and their wealth, and they become obsessed with appeasing the “little man” in hopes of solidifying their perceived benevolence in history.
Warren Buffett is such an example. He is so wealthy he subconsiously feels the need to appease those less fortunate.
The problem is that the solutions these big shots want for themselves will wreck the opportunities for those who are still trying to climb the ladder.
The problem is, idiots like Buckley don’t see themselves as problematic at all. They are so adrift on moral issues, that they can honestly judge Obama to be the best choice.
Others may disagree with me, but this dynamic seems to be playing out across the top of the Republican party. With very few exceptions, the leadership simply doesn’t have ANY contact with real world Conservative reality these days.
I’m not here to bad mouth McCain, even though folks know what my thoughts on him are. What I would like to address is the problem John has with quick biting criticism of leftists. His instincts are to praise them as good people, then eek out a rather lame criticism of their views. He just doesn’t have it in him to go for the throat.
I’m not saying this to get people to take a pass on him. I am saying it because you get fewer people to vote for you, if you can’t pin a guy as bad as Obama down when you have the chance.
McCain hurts himself more than I would like to see at this point. He has spent decades chumming it up with the wrong people. And now he has a very difficult time recognizing them for what they are. And if he can’t, then he can’t explain to the public why they are wrong and he is right.
To John, Wright isn’t all that big a problem. He doesn’t even know about the brutal dictator thug from Kenya, and Obama’s support for him. Obama denied any contact with Acorn, went into a full description of his association with them and left out the $830,000 paid to them earlier this year, and John didn’t even correct him just after he said it.
We wonder why our views don’t sell. Our views aren’t being sold folks. Palin is a saleswoman. McCain, not so much. He may eek this out, but he IS hurting our cause.
He was a Judas before Friday.
Buckley actually believes that Bambi wrote his own books. How he can be so naive is lost on me.
Chrissy, don’t let the door hit ya.....