Monday, October 13, 2008

Narcissists for Obama

Andrew Sullivan, Chris Hitchens, and now Chris Buckley.

Birds of a feather and all that.


Anonymous said...

I'd rather have Chris Buckley on my team than "K-Lo" or Jonah Goldberg.

Anonymous said...

AW, so true. And in fairness, Sullivan is crazy. Hitch is a drunk and Chris is kind of a whiny little b!tch (I got nasty emails when I decided to announce my support for Obama!), but neither are batsh!t insane (like Sullivan). For instance, I bet neither of these guys are obsessed with Trig's maternity.

Anonymous said...

Mark Steyn pulled up this delicious little morsel from the archives of the New York Times:

"It may strike some conservatives today as odd, if not absurd, to see John McCain being subjected to an auto-da-fé conducted by such Torquemadas of the right as Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity. The other day, he even endured jeers at a conservative gathering in Washington, by otherwise well-behaved exemplars of conservatism...

"In response, let me offer a thoughtful, considered, carefully worded comment: Would you all please just...shut...up? (I’d insert an intensifier, but this is a family newspaper.)"

The author? One Christopher Buckley.

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Perhaps Steyn was too occupied writing tedious, predictable columns to notice that Buckley himself discussed that NYT piece in his DailyBeast endorsement of Obama.

Earlier this year, I wrote in The New York Times ... a highly favorable Op-Ed about McCain, taking Rush Limbaugh and the others in the Right Wing Sanhedrin to task for going after McCain for being insufficiently conservative. I don’t—still—doubt that McCain’s instincts remain fundamentally conservative. But the problem is otherwise.

I look forward to Steyn's imminent "discovery" that Chris Buckley used to work for Vice President Bush. Or that he wrote an anti-GOP op-ed for the Washington Monthly a couple of years ago.

Mark said...

Is it really fair lumping in The Two Christophers with Sullivan? Hitchens might be many things, but he is no conservative, and has never claimed to be one. While in the past, Buckley has proclaimed his allegiance to the Republican party, and even pledged fealty to McCain, the recent court battle over the Buckley estate would indicate that at least privately, Buckley fils harbored doubts about some of the values held by Buckley pere.

Anonymous said...

AW, you're p*ssing up a rope if you think you can tease out a logical, philosophically sound argument from Christopher Buckley's mish-mash of gripes, complaints, and excuses.

Anonymous said...

Although AW, I must admit that having Chris Buckley on "your team" is much better than Jonah Goldberg et al. After all, "No Way To Treat A First Lady" is a much more compelling piece of political writing than "Liberal Fascism" or "America Alone".

Anonymous said...

Anonymous (if that is your real name),

Buckley's argument is straightforward: McCain has proven to be disconcertingly erratic, not least of all in his selection of Sarah Palin. Obama, for all of the allegations of extremism, appears to be pragmatic and levelheaded. Buckley hopes that once Obama is burdened with actual responsibility, he will act with prudence -- at least, with more likelihood than McCain would.

I don't happen to agree with Buckley's argument. But let's not pretend that he hasn't made an argument.

Anonymous said...

Okay, Buckley has made an argument. It's a stupid argument not grounded in anything close to reality.

If being a leftwing liberal idealogue has, in Obama's mind, enabled him to rocket through the ranks of the Democratic party, why on earth would anyone expect him to give that up now just because he's got "responsibility?" Obama has been a moonbat his entire political career and been constantly rewarded for it by the Democrats. He will have no incentive to change.

Why would he change when he has an adoring press and fellow travelers controlling Congress? They'll be covering for him, passing his bills, and attacking anyone who speaks ill of The One as a racist.

Buckley's wishing in one hand because he likes Obama's prose and crapping on the rest of the country with his other hand when he pulls the level for Obama. His argument is absolute nonsense and I think JVL hit it on the head by calling it a fit of narcissism.

Anonymous said...

AW, those are statements, not an argument. I know you're trying to make a silk purse out of Buckley's argument, but c'mon. It's begging the question to just assert the following, as Buckley has done:
1. McCain was good, now he's not
2. Palin is just terrible
3. We should judge Obama on his persona and writings, but we should NOT judge him on his stated intentions, policy preferences, or record.

At best, Buckley makes an essentially stylistic argument for Obama and against McCain and claims it's somehow the conservative case for Obama. Just saying so doesn't constitute an argument.

Anonymous said...


You presume that Obama is, in fact, a "leftwing liberal ideologue." That's a factual question, and one still open to debate. Is Obama an ideologue, or is he, at core, a center-leftist who simply curried favor with whomever had the power to help him advance? Buckley is leaning toward Option 2. I started off agreeing with you, but the more I've seen, the less I've come to believe that he has any sort of coherent, solid leftist program in mind.

In your last post, you set up a fairly phony trichotomy. You define his evaluations of McCain, Palin, and Obama in different terms, when really Buckley appears to apply the same rubric to all: gven that none of them have a truly developed and clear ideological foundation, which of them will approach complicated issues with the right mix of intelligence, prudence, levelheadedness, and instinct?

He clearly think that even if Palin and McCain have superior conservative instincts (and that's open to dispute with McCain), that benefit is quickly superseded by what Buckley sees to be McCain's lack of prudence and temperment, and Palin's utter lack of intelligence with respect to all issues relevant to this election.

Buckley's looking for temperment, not ideology. So is Jeff Hart, NR's seniormost Senior Editor (and Obama endorser), I might add. I don't agree with his conclusions, but his is not an easily dismissed argument, no matter what Mark Levin or Laura Ingraham say.

Anonymous said...

AW, there are multiple anon posters here. Yes, this blog is that popular.

At this point, you're giving Buckley's essay a lot more effort than he obviously did.

Both of you continue to assert that which remains to be proven--namely judgement statements about the candidates.

Buckley may have made his endorsement based on temperment, but he neglected to make his endorsement based on anything approaching an argument.

If you think this level of argumentation is acceptable, then it's no surprise that Goldberg, Levin and the rest turn you off.

Anonymous said...

FWIW, I'm Anonymous 10:02. (I'm also Anonymous Super Trooper, for long time Galley Slave lurkers!)

The definition of ideologue is: An advocate of a particular ideology, especially an official exponent of that ideology

There are many examples of Obama being a left- wing ideologue as define by, but I will give you two specific examples that I'm sure you are probably already aware of.

From 1994- 2001 Obama served as a board member of the Joyce Foundation, which counts among it's many causes gun control of the toughest kind. I think it's safe to say that, campaign rhetoric in rural states aside, Obama meets the definition of ideologue, considering his service as an official with this organization.

The second example is his (in)famous service as the board chair of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.

These are two examples where Obama has taken a leadership role in a very left- wing organization. He is, by definition, a left- wing ideologue. Hoping that he will not perform his duties as POTUS guided by his left- wing beliefs and ideals amounts to wishing in one hand and crapping in the other.