Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Is Christopher Buckley an idiot, or a traitor?

It’s one of life’s tragic realities: sons of great men rarely live up to their father’s standards.

None of John Lennon’s sons turned out to be much, musically. In fact, none of the Beatles’ kids have made any impact. None of the Kennedy kids have produced anything of note, although they continue to ride on their father’s coat tails. I could go on, but I won’t.

The point I’m about to make brings me to Christopher Buckley, son of the late (and great) William F. Buckley. Bill Buckley was, by all accounts, the father of modern conservatism. He influenced Reagan, who influenced so many others.

Chris Buckley, who proclaims himself to be a “conservative”, announced yesterday that he is resigning from the National Review magazine his father created, and that he now supports Barack Obama’s candidacy for the Presidency of the United States.
He said:

"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.” –Chris Buckley

The stupidity of this comment is shocking.

Conservatism can be divided into multiple facets: Social (or Libertarian) Conservatism, Cultural Conservatism, Religious Conservatism, and Fiscal Conservatism. By all these standards, the past eight years has been a failure of conservative values. It must be recalled that Republicans are not always “conservative”, and John McCain is the poster child of that truism.
But how does one come to the conclusion that, because some Republicans have failed Conservatism, the logical alternative is to turn to socialism?
The eight years of the Bush administration were not eight years of a conservative government. Indeed, Bush’s immigration policies, fiscal policies, military policies, were the antithesis of conservatism. Conservative pundits—true conservatives—such as Rush Limbaugh, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, and Newt Gingrich, have lambasted the Bush administrations repeated failure to adhere to true conservative principals. It was this failure that cost the Republicans control of the Congress in 2006, because they simply would not control spending, reduce government, resolve the immigration policy, and listen to the Generals (instead of Rumsfeld) about when and how to wage a successful war.
It is therefore fair to say that Bush failed to follow or enforce conservative values. So how can you blame the current political situation on conservatives, when the guilty parties are not conservatives at all?

If we are to criticize “entitlement programs” (and please, let’s!), we should note that the worst of these—known as the Community Reinvestment Act—was the result of Liberal Democrat policies. The only failure of Republicans was that they had failed to put a stop to it, and Bush (who is not a conservative) was certainly guilty of having continued the policy as part of the “Ownership Society”. But, Christopher, exactly how will supporting Barack Obama reign in “entitlement programs”? Afterall, this is the socialist who recently said that our tax system should be designed to “spread the wealth around”. That’s hardly a philosophy that Bill Buckley would have recommended!

Regarding the “ill-premised war”, it should be noted that the war authorization was bi-partisan, and that the entire world’s intelligence on Iraq was flawed. As for the war being “ill-waged”, it should be noted that the war went “swimmingly”; it was the peace that was flawed, and it is certainly fair to accuse Rumsfeld of “breathtaking arrogance” that caused it to be seriously (but only temporarily) bungled. Yet certainly the Democrats were no less tainted by their back stabbing, traitorous behavior. It was the Democrats who openly provided comfort to our enemies by publicly declaring that the enemy was winning, the war was lost, and we should just “run away!” like that ludicrous knight from the Monty Python skit.
It is true that Obama opposed the war. But Obama has already promised to sit down—without preconditions—with some of the worst political thugs in the world. It is Obama who claims on the one hand to be a supporter of Israel, while simultaneously palling around with anti-Zionists and promising to meet with Ahmadinejad—yes, that fellow who called Israel a stinking corpse and said it should be wiped off the map. Christopher, how would an Obama presidency make us safer?

As for the “bridge to nowhere”, whose principal sponsor was Alaska Republican Ted Stephens, that pork barrel project was sunk by other Republicans, including John McCain, Tom Coburn, and Governor Sarah Palin. And when it became clear that corruption was rife in Fannie and Freddie, it was Republicans who tried to reform those GSEs, while it was Obama and his Democrat pals who stopped them. Christopher, how will an Obama presidency reduce corruption and resolve our economic crisis?

So, if Chris Buckley actually thinks that he is a true conservative, and that Republicans have lost their way, then he should join the ranks of other conservatives who have been calling for a renewing of the Reagan values that brought greatness to the party for over a decade. Or, he could run for office himself, and try to reinvigorate the party and lead by example.

Contradictorily, he instead runs to embrace the candidate and party who are the exact opposite of the values he claims to espouse. They will not correct the "wrongs" that have apparently driven Buckley away from the Republicans. No, they will instead expand the programs and continue to take us in the wrong direction.
If I were a Christian, and I attended a church, and found out that the Minister was a sinful adulterer, I would not switch religions, I'd switch churches!
The failure that we all lament is not a failure of the creed, but a failure of leaders to stick to the creed. The creed continues to be right, and it is the leaders who should be replaced. But it would be stupid beyond belief to replace the "Christian adulterer" with an Atheist adulterer, and think that the Atheist will provide the moral direction that the minister did not!
The answer, as if it weren't obvious, is to find a virtuous leader who shares the creed you value, and promote him!
Or is it that you never shared the conviction of your father's creed, but instead were simply riding on his coat tails, as long as it gave it you glory, recognition, and power...and now that you sense a change of political fortune, you are willing to adopt any new creed that will give you access to the new power?
I wonder if your Father, in heaven, is not in this very moment lamenting:
Et tu, Brutus? Et tu?

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