Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ed Morrisey on Buckley

Ed Morrisey reacts to Buckley's apostasy:
Obama also has a first-class bent towards statist policies and a tendency towards mob action, though, and that should be very concerning to anyone who claims — as Buckley does — to be conservative. A presidential election isn’t a vote on IQ, and you can insert your own joke here about any number of American presidents. It’s a referendum on character, but mostly on policy.
What Morrisey and others fail to realize is that there are several strands at play here, logically, that are serving to lead conservatives and moderate conservatives away from the McCain ticket.

First, there is Palin. Sarah Palin, for all her initial charm, is probably the catalyst that started this slow migration away from the GOP ticket and yes, toward "The One."

Kathleen Parker was the first of the many apostates to voice her doubts, but certainly not the last. Since then we've seen either Obama endorsements or McCain digs from David Brooks, David Frum, Christopher Hitchens, Christopher Buckley, and others.

Myself included.

Second, there is a sense among many conservatives that the movement has gone astray, and that a McCain Presidency would only make matters worse. That McCain's campaign has been so erratic, so fickle, does not help matters. Half the time nobody knows what the hell McCain is saying, or what he thinks, or whether he even believes the words coming out of his own mouth.

The negative attack campaign re: Ayers not help McCain in this, either, as he was both very uncomfortable in the role of attacker, and regardless he now seeks once again to re-invent himself, claiming absurdly of Obama that he "has him right where we want him" or some such nonsense.

Do conservatives really want to follow up the disastrous Bush years with a McCain presidency? Whatever his past heroism, his honesty in the Senate--McCain has obviously left his best days behind him. Perhaps an Obama Presidency is exactly what the Conservative m needs.

In any case, Morrisey doesn't buy into this line of reasoning. He goes on to say that it's one thing to denounce McCain, and quite another to endorse Obama. Perhaps. But then again, perhaps Morrisey, the NRO, and the rest of the Conservative movement don't actually own the title or the definition of the term "Conservative."

Perhaps it goes beyond them.

Perhaps, as in so many ideologies, there are competing visions of what it means and what it should mean to be conservative. There are tactics and strategies, after all.

Just a thought...

Update: Allahpundit has a slightly different take on the matter...