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A Conservative Son Gone Bad?
October 14, 2008 7:58 PM   Subscribe

Christopher Buckley endorses Obama and then is forced to resign from the National Review. Is he serious, or does he just want to let the Democrats f**k things up for a change?

Christopher Buckley's father, William F. Buckley Jr. founded the conservative National Review magazine in 1955. Perhaps Christopher Buckley's next satirical novel shall be Thank You For Voting?
posted by sararah (41 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
One more link: Buckley's reasons for resigning.
posted by sararah at 8:03 PM on October 14, 2008


He wasn't forced to resign. He offered to leave, and they "briskly" accepted. See here. He does title the post "Sorry dad I was fired," so maybe there's more to it than he's saying. But in the post itself he doesn't say he was fired.
posted by Tehanu at 8:07 PM on October 14, 2008


Ahem. "Forced to resign?" Hardly.
posted by jckll at 8:10 PM on October 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's nice to be reminded that there are Republicans of principle amoung the Sarah Palins. It gives me greater hope for bipartisanship in the future. (I am not defining bipartisanship as "why don't they just agree with me more often?", either.)
posted by Solon and Thanks at 8:12 PM on October 14, 2008


Ah. Good link, cklennon. The post title (but not URL) is now "Buckley Bows Out of National Review."
posted by Tehanu at 8:13 PM on October 14, 2008


This is, essentially, still being discussed here.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:14 PM on October 14, 2008


Don't forget Ralph Stanley.
posted by nola at 8:15 PM on October 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


Thanks for the links Tehanu and cklennon, he seems to be a little cheeky about the whole thing and enjoying the hate mail.
posted by sararah at 8:17 PM on October 14, 2008


As charming as his writing is, I couldn't help but note that he's sort of adopting an identity first as a National Review columnist (when it seems to have been a limited fill-in for someone else) and now as someone who's been chased out of conservative town by an angry, rabid mob (which may be a few people or many, depending on who you believe). He seems to be enjoying the drama, and his points are sympathetic, but I really doubt his version of the story at this point.
posted by Tehanu at 8:34 PM on October 14, 2008


I think one poltical wing of the country is falling off.

I don't know what I'm supposed to be thinking. It suddenly feels like the ground is shifting below our feet. I've grown so accoustomed to being disappointed that I'm just stunned.

The historians will all say it was inevitable . . .
posted by Ironmouth at 8:39 PM on October 14, 2008


Wait, Ralph Stanley got fired from the National Review?

As far as I know, supporting the good guys is nothing new to Dr. Ralph.
posted by Flunkie at 8:42 PM on October 14, 2008


The historians will all say it was inevitable . . .

I think one of them already did some time between 1934 and 1961.

"According to Toynbee, civilizations start to decay when they lose their moral fibre and the cultural elite turns parasitic, exploiting the masses and creating an internal and external proletariat."
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:59 PM on October 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


He was not forced in any way. He knew full well what would happen and he made his decision. The Nation will no doubt have a much nicer corner office waiting for him w/ free blowjobs next door at the New Republic.
posted by shockingbluamp at 9:04 PM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think one poltical wing of the country is falling off.

Oh dear. You've only got the one.
posted by Artw at 9:09 PM on October 14, 2008 [27 favorites]


Looks very much like they manually removed a turd from their broken toilet.
posted by Brian B. at 9:12 PM on October 14, 2008


You've only got the one.

Not even!
posted by lukemeister at 9:12 PM on October 14, 2008


LOL CONSERVATARDS
posted by troy at 9:12 PM on October 14, 2008



If his tenure there was temporary anyway, I imagine he expected and enjoys the drama and it brings him attention. Who gave a rat's ass about Christopher Buckley until now?
posted by bukharin at 9:14 PM on October 14, 2008


"The GOP likes to say it’s a big-tent. Looks more like a yurt to me."

I don't drink tea but if I did, I would have jiggled my tea-cupand chortled a little at this line.

Sarah Palin is the gift that keeps on giving. Honestly, McCain couldn't have picked a better running mate from my godless librul perspective. She's more polarizing than Hillary, and that says a lot.

In addition to the fact that she's, well, an idiot.
posted by bardic at 9:16 PM on October 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


bukharin writes "Who gave a rat's ass about Christopher Buckley until now?"

Ahem. His novels are pretty funny satire, somewhat reminiscent of Waugh's.


shockingbluamp writes "The Nation will no doubt have a much nicer corner office waiting for him w/ free blowjobs next door at the New Republic."

Bitter much?
posted by orthogonality at 9:25 PM on October 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


Republicans of principle

Elle oh Elle. I don't know if I call heading for the lifeboats when the band is playing "Nearer My God To Thee" "principle."
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:26 PM on October 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


I have read and enjoyed several Christopher Buckley novels. I don't know much about him, as a person, but growing up as his father's son, it isn't hard to imagine that, whatever his political leanings really are, he is dedicated and devoted to not taking them too seriously.

In that light, a bit of sporting fun with this election seems perfectly in character, to me.
posted by paisley henosis at 9:27 PM on October 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


This post is largely incomplete without noting National Review editor Rich Lowry's response to Buckley. The whole incident seems hardly as acrimonious as it's been made out to be:

Chris is up with a post at The Daily Beast, "Sorry, Dad, I Was Fired." I’d like to clarify this “firing” business. Over the weekend, Chris wrote us a jaunty e-mail with the subject line "A Sincere Offer," in which he offered to resign his column on NR's back page and said that if we accepted, there "would be no hard feelings, only warmest regards and understanding." We took the offer sincerely. Chris had done us the favor of writing the column beginning seven issues ago on a "trial basis" (his words), while our regular back-page columnist, Mark Steyn, was on hiatus. Now, Mark is back to writing again, and—I'm delighted to say—will be on NR's back-page in the new issue.

Just one other point: Chris says that his Obama endorsement has generated a "tsunami," that e-mail at NRO has been running "oh, 700-to-1" against him, and that there's a debate about whether to boil him in oil or shoot him. Chris is either misinformed or exercising poetic license. We have gotten about 100 e-mails, if that (a tiny amount compared to our usual volume), and threats of cancellations in the single digits (we never like to lose any readers, but circulation is way up this year). No doubt part of what upset these readers was the dim view Chris expressed of them in his first Daily Beast post. So it goes. It's an intense election season and emotions are running high. We continue to have the highest regard for Chris's talent and wit, and extend to him warmest regards and understanding.

UPDATE: The Daily Beast headline has been changed to "Buckley Bows Out of National Review."

posted by Heminator at 9:31 PM on October 14, 2008


Whoops. Guess I missed cklennon's post...
posted by Heminator at 9:32 PM on October 14, 2008


growing up as his father's son, it isn't hard to imagine that, whatever his political leanings really are, he is dedicated and devoted to not taking them too seriously.

That. That's how I read it too. His words on the page have the same barely-containing-his-own-laughter tone.
posted by rokusan at 9:38 PM on October 14, 2008


Epic troll.
posted by ryoshu at 11:39 PM on October 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


Watching the Republicans crack up is going to be the funnest thing since Nerf.

It's good that it's starting before the election, since the inevitability of it all was starting to wear thin. Who can stand another double digit lead headline?
posted by dhartung at 11:52 PM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


While I agree Buckley's likely having a bit of fun about all this, I refuse to take seriously anything written by Rich "Little Starbursts" Lowry. This is the man who wrote, after the VP debate:
I'm sure I'm not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, "Hey, I think she just winked at me." And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America. This is a quality that can't be learned; it's either something you have or you don't, and man, she's got it.
Dude. Get a room.
posted by LooseFilter at 11:57 PM on October 14, 2008 [9 favorites]


Republipron.
posted by bardic at 12:10 AM on October 15, 2008


I think one of them already did some time between 1934 and 1961.
"According to Toynbee, civilizations start to decay when they lose their moral fibre and the cultural elite turns parasitic, exploiting the masses and creating an internal and external proletariat."


Impossible! That's 40 years before 2001.
posted by JHarris at 2:24 AM on October 15, 2008


Buckley still owns around 15% of the National Review. I expect he could have thrown his weight around if he wanted but, with a total election disaster, the complete rout of neo-Con foreign policy, and the collapse of voodoo economics, many rats are leaving this ship and trying to realign their "conservativism". Good luck, fuckers!
posted by CCBC at 2:55 AM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


He's not the only Christopher leaning toward Obama.
posted by mandal at 3:25 AM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


That's great and all but Hitchens is still a complete and utter shitheel cowering in the shadow of his imagined "Islamofascist" nightmares. I wonder whether 30 years ago Hitchens had a terrifying and utterly unwarranted fear of the Irish?
posted by longbaugh at 4:26 AM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


From the Slate article cited by mandal:

"The most insulting thing that a politician can do is to compel you to ask yourself: "What does he take me for?" Precisely this question is provoked by the selection of Gov. Sarah Palin. I wrote not long ago that it was not right to condescend to her just because of her provincial roots or her piety, let alone her slight flirtatiousness, but really her conduct since then has been a national disgrace. It turns out that none of her early claims to political courage was founded in fact, and it further turns out that some of the untested rumors about her—her vindictiveness in local quarrels, her bizarre religious and political affiliations—were very well-founded, indeed. Moreover, given the nasty and lowly task of stirring up the whack-job fringe of the party's right wing and of recycling patent falsehoods about Obama's position on Afghanistan, she has drawn upon the only talent that she apparently possesses."


Ouch... and well written.
posted by JoeXIII007 at 4:37 AM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Good luck, fuckers!

Thanks, we're gonna need it. I've been treading water for a couple of years myself, it's somewhat gratifying to finally see other conservatives waking up on the deck just at it goes fully vertical and begins to slip at last into the cold brackish sea. Lulled to sleep by the bland and soothing strains of the Lazy Faires string band, they didn't notice the corpulent Maître d' rummaging through their belongings in the cloak room and slipping off into a golden lifeboat, nor did they smell the fires from the kitchen of the retarded cook who, disbelieving in recipes, passed out from noxious fumes into the dark pot of hot boiling oil. At last the enormous ice sculpture in the shape of a spiked and hateful gallows pole, its base melted by the flames, crashed through the deck, creating a massive black hole from whence the gentry on deck could hear the private fearful mutterings of passengers in every cabin, and flooded the basement, drowning the servants who kept the engine room going. Spinning out of control of the drunken captain, the entire edifice somehow ended up facing the opposite direction they thought they were going, until without warning it slammed full speed into a wild island mountain, it's jagged downward descending exterior line knifing out the last bit of of the ship's momentum, sending even the most stupefied guest sprawling.

Good Luck Fuckers! I called from my perch on the jetsam of a discarded Swift Boat I had secured long before the wreck, but the jumping sharks had already bitten off their ears, and I turned to the creaky but sensible old garage barge I could see in the middle distance approaching. I stripped and waved my white tuxedo shirt, hoping to be rescued and taken aboard. Call me Ichabod if you like, but at least I still have my head.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:37 AM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


I've always wanted to interview Chris Buckley. This certainly gives me a few more meaty questions to ask.
posted by colinmarshall at 10:38 AM on October 15, 2008


Potomac Avenue: Strong working-class hands reached from the barge to haul Potomac Avenue aboard. "Thank you kindly," he muttered, delving into his pockets for loose change with which to reward his rescuers. One swarthy chap stepped forward and, gesturing toward PA, shouted an order in some gutteral non-English tongue, Spanish perhaps, or Mayan. Before he was beaten unconscious, PA realized he had been rescued by a boatload of illegal immigrants on their way to the Promised Land in Europe. They stripped his body of everything of value, then heaved it overboard where it floated, for a time, near those of Buchanans, Buckleys, Bushes, and other scions of the privileged families that had run the great ship onto the rocks. Soon, small fishes and crustaceans, the most humble of God's creations, nibbled their carcasses into bits that drifted down to the ocean floor. They signalled with their teeny tiny antennae to the bottom-feeders waiting below."Good luck, fuckers!"
posted by CCBC at 4:40 PM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


From the FPP: Christopher Buckley endorses Obama and then is forced to resign from the National Review. ... One more link: Buckley's reasons for resigning.

Huh? If he was "forced" to resign, then how could he be giving his "reasons" for resigning? If you're forced to resign, your whole "reason" is "I was forced."

And as noted above, he wasn't actually forced. He chose to.

The whole premise of this FPP is plainly false; it should be deleted.
posted by Jaltcoh at 5:54 AM on October 16, 2008


Ouch... and well written.

You are ignoring what he is actually saying. His initial defense of her was written out of complete ignorance. His gut instinct was to defend her and he didn't bother to even go any further than that. Now that his previous column belongs to the great collect works of right wing stupidity he is trying to sign himself out of the stupid camp by claiming that Sarah Palin's subsequent behaviour undermined his column.

I used to enjoy disagreeing with Hitchens because at least he had some logic and erudition but this little escapade was naked partisan whoring. Claiming afterward that he didn't know Sarah Palin was a bad pick is a wide stance defense.
posted by srboisvert at 8:06 AM on October 16, 2008


From the Hitchens column:
"After all, in a debate on serious issues, any mention of the opponent's personality would be ad hominem at best and at worst would stoop as low as ad feminam."
Hitchens is a good writer, but also a tiny, bigoted, bully of a man whose views tend toward myopic and self serving.
posted by stagewhisper at 9:55 AM on October 17, 2008


Christopher Buckley on the Daily Show, standing by his endorsement of Obama, and talking about what happened.
posted by paisley henosis at 4:27 PM on October 27, 2008


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