Christopher Buckley is the latest republican to run away from McCain and write a column endorsing Barack Obama (albeit a rather half-hearted endorsement).
His common sense arguments? McCain's
once-first class temperament has become irascible and snarly; his positions change, and lack coherence; he makes unrealistic promises, such as balancing the federal budget “by the end of my first term.” Who, really, believes that? Then there was the self-dramatizing and feckless suspension of his campaign over the financial crisis. His ninth-inning attack ads are mean-spirited and pointless. And finally, not to belabor it, there was the Palin nomination. What on earth can he have been thinking?
Now I don't know much about Christopher Buckley, but I know a bit about his father, William F. Buckley Jr. Watching video of Buckley debate Noam Chomsky made me a lifelong fan of Chomsky and a lifelong critic of war apologists of all stripes. Whatever his faults, William Buckley represented a certain brand of Republicanism with an intellectual coherence. Well, a hypocritical kind of coherence. Anyone was entitled to run the world as long as they were American. Or something. And believed in "free markets" (but never actually implemented them).
John McCain deserves some kind of award for sinking so far below this standard as to cause someone like Christopher Buckley (who like his father wrote for the National Review) to run away. The readers of the National Review sunk even lower in demanding his resignation.
The Republican party is dead. It's become the party of racists and religious whackos. After this election, we all need to put every effort into building up the Green Party so that the two-party system doesn't die with it.
Here's the legendary Chomsky/Buckley debate. For those who haven't seen it, it's a real treat.