Saturday, October 18, 2008


On Thursday I posted on the rather dramatic criticism of the GOP and its current presidential candidate which came from within the ranks of conservatism itself. That post was based on a Rosa Brooks column. Now, Ms. Brooks is a liberal, but I still felt that her analysis was for the most part correct. At least one of the conservatives who have been punished for the outspoken criticism agrees with Ms. Brooks, as this op-ed piece (which appeared in yesterday's Sacramento Bee makes clear. Written by Kathleen Parker (who received "a decent fragging" for daring to suggest that Sarah Palin should remove herself from the ticket), the column is a spirited defense of Christopher Buckley, the son of National Review founder William M. Buckley, Jr. ("WFB").

What gives here? What does it mean that the right cannot politely entertain dissenting opinions within its ranks? What, if anything, does it portend that Buckley the Younger has bolted from the right, even resigning (with enthusiastic editorial approval) from the family flagship? Some have opined, ridiculously, that Buckley – son of the famous William F. Buckley (WFB) – was merely seeking attention. ...

In 1955, when WFB announced his new magazine and explained the reasons for it, he wrote, "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." Fast-forward half a century, and the old is the new.

Radical conservatives are still having an interesting time of it, though these days they are being mutilated by fellow "conservatives." The well-fed Right now cultivates ignorance as a political strategy and humiliates itself when its brightest sons seek sanctuary in the solitude of personal honor.

The truth is that the GOP has abandoned many conservatives. 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." Republicans are not short on brain power – or pride – but they have strayed off course. They do not, in fact, deserve to win this time, and someone had to remind them why.

How refreshing, but how disingenuous.

What Ms. Parker fails to note is that the disaster which appears to be unfolding for her party did not come about in just the last eight years. While WFB might have tried to hold the "extreme wing" at bay, he certainly didn't mind it when his party took the "kooks'" money and votes for nearly thirty years, knowing that at some point that fringe would expect something for that support, like a Supreme Court and a Vice President. Nor did his successors put up any objections when the despicable Southern Strategy, the grandaddy of Rovian politics, was put into play to elect Ronald Reagan, surely no example of thoughtful conservatism.

And the big money players like Jack Abramoff didn't suddenly appear with George W. Bush. He and his ilk were busy buying off Republicans in Congress for years. How else would private contractors like Halliburton who triple charge the government for projects have gotten their brogans in the door. So much for fiscal responsibility, eh?

But Ms. Parker is right about one thing. The GOP does not deserve to win the election. It has proven itself unfit to govern.

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Blogger shrimplate said...

Reagan proved that a long time ago. Yet modern conservatives charge on, making the same mistakes over and over, bigger and bigger, expecting miracles which never come to fruition.

The "free market" is their great white whale,

4:16 PM  
Blogger Mr.Murder said...

The GOP was never about principles, only about casting others as scapegoats.
The current edition of the the GOP is where all the old editions were hoping to arrive or have been at already(the rebirth of Harding, Hoover, robber barons, etc.).

9:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ive been youtubing up a storm in lue of the upcomming election. ive stumbled upton some really shocking information about McCains connection to Abramoff. you should check it out

theres alot more if you just do a youtube search for 'gary chafetz'

7:12 PM  

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