Christopher Buckley Resigns from National Review

October 14, 2008

After his endorsement of the One, it appears that reader outcry and an editor with a spine weaker than a soggy piece of spaghetti has forced William F. Buckley’s son to resign from National Review. Here are his comments:

Within hours of my endorsement appearing in The Daily Beast it became clear that National Review had a serious problem on its hands. So the next morning, I thought the only decent thing to do would be to offer to resign my column there. This offer was accepted—rather briskly!—by Rich Lowry, NR’s editor, and its publisher, the superb and able and fine Jack Fowler. I retain the fondest feelings for the magazine that my father founded, but I will admit to a certain sadness that an act of publishing a reasoned argument for the opposition should result in acrimony and disavowal…

So, I have been effectively fatwahed (is that how you spell it?) by the conservative movement, and the magazine that my father founded must now distance itself from me. But then, conservatives have always had a bit of trouble with the concept of diversity. The GOP likes to say it’s a big-tent. Looks more like a yurt to me.

While I regret this development, I am not in mourning, for I no longer have any clear idea what, exactly, the modern conservative movement stands for. Eight years of “conservative” government has brought us a doubled national debt, ruinous expansion of entitlement programs, bridges to nowhere, poster boy Jack Abramoff and an ill-premised, ill-waged war conducted by politicians of breathtaking arrogance. As a sideshow, it brought us a truly obscene attempt at federal intervention in the Terry Schiavo case.

So, to paraphrase a real conservative, Ronald Reagan: I haven’t left the Republican Party. It left me.

Two main things here. First, go back and read Christopher Buckley’s argument. It was far from reasoned.  It was drivel beneath the abilities of the man.  Second, like Mr. Buckley, we think that Jack Fowler is an outstanding person, but the heydays of National Review are well behind it. With the notable exceptions of Ramesh, Geraghty, Mark Steyn, and VDH, the magazine has little to offer.  I cancelled my subscription about two years ago and rarely go to the blog.  Personally, I have never found Rich Lowry capable of taking the proper leadership role for the caliber of magazine that NR should be.  He lacks a presence in both print and when he subs for Hannity.  I would love to see Mark Steyn take over and revitalize the magazine.

If I am going to get some sort of political information through a print magazine, I’d prefer something like the Economist so I can at least be pretentious.


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