Wednesday, October 15, 2008

On the conservative intelligentsia leaving McCain-Palin

Of late, a number of conservative pundits appear to be fleeing McCain - George Will, David Brooks, Kathleen Parker... On this topic, I find this Ross Douthat piece very smart and well-written.  Here's a key excerpt:
Suppose that you accept the most cynical account of, say, Peggy Noonan's uncertainty about whom to vote for in this election, or Christopher Buckley's Obama endorsement - that they're just craven, self-interested bandwagon jumpers who want to keep getting invited to all those swanky cocktail parties I keep hearing about. Suppose that you regard every right-of-center writer - or single-issue fellow traveler with the Bush Republicans, in the case of Christopher Hitchens - who's publicly hurled brickbats at the McCain campaign as a quisling and a coward, a stooge for liberalism and a rat fleeing a fast-sinking ship. In such circumstances, what's the best course of action - denouncing the rats, or trying to figure out why the hell the ship is sinking? Even if Brooks and Noonan and Buckley and Dreher and Kathleen Parker and David Frum and Heather Mac Donald and Bruce Bartlett and George Will and on and on - note the ideological diversity in the ranks of conservatives who aren't Helping The Team these days - are all just snobs and careerists who quit or cavil or cover their asses when the going gets tough and their "seat at the table" is threatened, an American conservative movement that consists entirely of those pundits with the rock-hard testicular fortitude required to never take sides against the family seems like a pretty small tent at this point.
Of course, not all conservative pundits are fleeing McCain.  Michael Gerson - once Bush-43's speechwriter - says McCain may be "a great man running at the most difficult of times."  And his reasoning for saying that?  That Obama's naturally a laidback 1940s crooner, who has done nothing of note to alleviate the current fiscal crisis, unlike McCain, who suspended his campaign to work on the bailout bill.  Oh, and that Obama is friends with terrorists, unlike McCain, about whose bad associations we would surely have known.
Really, Mr Gerson?  I suppose you don't consider G Gordon Liddy a radical (he did it for Nixon!  But what about shooting government officials?)  And maybe Major General John Singlaub is an American Hero... but what about his links to Nazi collaborators and ultra-right-wing death squads? (via a dkos diary)  And I am sure the Alaska Independence Party is all-OK! (via midwest voices)  And of course, the fact is that McCain didn't really suspend his campaign to work on the bailout plan - and he didn't do much to get the bailout plan passed either, rather he might have actually helped Republicans oppose the "rescue" plan!
Ahhh... what am I thinking?  Gerson sees McCain, sees the Bush within, and reverts to his old fealty.  D-uh!

1 comment:

Alkibiades said...

Ha! Don't forget Timmons, the lobbyist for Saddam!