Friday, October 17, 2008

Obama's Army: Buckley and Jesse, Jr.

William F. Buckley was to the modern conservative movement what was FDR was to New Deal liberalism.

Buckley was the captain who sailed his flagship of conservative ideals into the public discourse. The flagship was the magazine Buckley founded, the National Review.

That is why it is so startling, seismic actually, that Christopher Buckley the Younger not only endorsed Barack Obama -- but then abruptly departed from the back page of the National Review.

Christopher's walking-the-plank for Obama created more than a splash, "it has caused a ripple of contempt from the conservative right," as Kathleen Parker opines today in "WFB Would Be Proud." (WaPo)

Parker explains, "In 1955, when WFB announced his new magazine and explained the reasons for it, he described conservatives as 'non-licensed nonconformists' "

WFB lamented that "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."

But today, Parker points out, "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 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.' "

Paraphrasing Ronald Reagan, Christopher said: "I haven't left the Republican Party. It left me." ... so he set sail for more hopeful seas.

Regardless of whether it is the son of liberal old-guard Jesse Jackson.... Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr..... who publicly rejected his father's divisive remarks and hanging-on politics in favor of Obama's; or, Christopher who recognized the Republican party no longer represented conservatism and endorsed Obama.... the change that is here is a changing of the guard to the next generation.... to Obama's "working together" can-do discarding-of-old-failed-ideas generation.

It makes one hopeful.

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