Christopher Buckley endorses Obama

The son of the founding father of the modern conservative movement has jumped ship on McCain.


Gabriel Winant
October 10, 2008 10:27PM (UTC)

Joining the steady drumbeat of conservative pundits giving up on John McCain today is Christopher Buckley. Unlike, say, David Brooks or Charles Krauthammer, Buckley doesn’t merely lament the nasty turn McCain’s campaign has taken, or predict a Republican defeat. Instead, he goes so far as actually promising to vote for Barack Obama and offering praise for the Democrat.

To demonstrate the magnitude of this heresy, a bit of background: The son of modern conservatism’s patron saint, the late William F. Buckley, Christopher remains a columnist for the National Review, his father's magazine. He announced his endorsement in Tina Brown's Daily Beast, however. Buckley wrote:

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Having a first-class temperament and a first-class intellect, President Obama will (I pray, secularly) surely understand that traditional left-politics aren’t going to get us out of this pit we’ve dug for ourselves. If he raises taxes and throws up tariff walls and opens the coffers of the DNC to bribe-money from the special interest groups against whom he has (somewhat disingenuously) railed during the campaign trail, then he will almost certainly reap a whirlwind that will make Katrina look like a balmy summer zephyr.

Obama has in him -- I think, despite his sometimes airy-fairy “We are the people we have been waiting for” silly rhetoric -- the potential to be a good, perhaps even great leader. He is, it seems clear enough, what the historical moment seems to be calling for.

So, I wish him all the best. We are all in this together. Necessity is the mother of bipartisanship. And so, for the first time in my life, I’ll be pulling the Democratic lever in November. As the saying goes, God save the United States of America.

Meanwhile, at the Corner, one of the National Review's blogs, Andy McCarthy speculates on whether Obama's sympathies are more Maoist or Stalinist. The American right truly is a many-splendored thing.


Gabriel Winant

Gabriel Winant is a graduate student in American history at Yale.

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